The Vietnam branch of UNESCO has been an effective bridge between the nation and the rest of the world, Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
On a song: Vietnamese artists perform Quan ho songs, A UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritage, at the ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO (1977-2017) on Monday in Ha Noi.
He was speaking at a meeting held in Ha Noi to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Viet Nam branch of UNESCO).
“The National Commission for UNESCO has played an important role in making cultural diplomacy an important pillar of modern Vietnamese diplomacy.
“Its efforts have evoked national pride, nourished aspirations to develop the country’s economy and society while preserving its cultural identity, enriching the image of Vietnamese people among international friends,” he said.
The event drew the participation of government officials, ambassadors and other guests.
In the 40 years since its inception on June 15,1977, UNESCO Viet Nam has worked as an advisory body to the Government and helped implement policies in culture, education and science.
The 40th birthday celebrations was an opportunity to spotlight UNESCO Viet Nam’s achievements, particularly in preserving the nation’s culture and heritage.
Dang Thi Bich Lien, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and Vice President of UNESCO Viet Nam, said that the agency’s most outstanding achievement in the last 40 years was the building of dossiers to submit to UNESCO for recognition of monuments and unique, indigenous art forms as world heritages.
Until now, UNESCO has recognised seven world heritage sites in Viet Nam: the complex of monuments in Hue, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An Town, My Son Sanctuary, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long and the Trang An Landscape.
The country also has 11 Intangible Cultural Heritages recognised by UNESCO: belief in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms, a traditional practice with a long history in Viet Nam; Tugging rituals and games; Vi and Giam folk songs; Don ca tai tu (southern folk music); the worship of Hung Kings; Xoan singing in Phu Tho; Giong festival of Phu Dong and Soc temples; Ca Tru singing; Quan ho folk songs of Bac Ninh; Gong culture in the Central Highlands and Nha Nhac – Vietnamese court music.
Minh said UNESCO Viet Nam should focus on training its personnel so that it can strengthen its relations with UNESCO, have more Vietnamese nationals work for the agency, including the highest posts.
In April, Pham Sanh Chau became the first Vietnamese to be nominated for the position of Director-General of UNESCO for the 2017-2021 tenure.VNS