Throughout the year, Vietnam’s relations with UNESCO have reached new heights, with a record number of mutual visits that have contributed to the deepening of bilateral ties and the utilization of the organization’s knowledge and resources for the country’s development.
Furthermore, the year 2023 marked significant milestones in Vietnam’s multilateral external relations at UNESCO, illustrating the international community’s trust and support for Vietnam’s ability to make valuable contributions and effectively manage global multilateral institutions. It is worth noting that Vietnam, for the first time, held positions in five key management mechanisms of UNESCO simultaneously, including three Vice Chair positions.
Vietnam’s accomplishments were also recognized and celebrated at UNESCO, with the country earning numerous titles and a variety of its cultural and natural heritages receiving prestigious honors. Notably, Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Archipelago was acknowledged as a world natural heritage site, Da Lat and Hoi An cities were added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and the progenitor of Vietnamese traditional medicine, Hai Thuong Lan Ong Le Huu Trac, was recognized. In total, Vietnam has earned 65 UNESCO titles. Additionally, Vietnam successfully repatriated the imperial seal “Hoang de chi bao” (Treasure of the Emperor), which belonged to the Nguyen Dynasty.
In 2023, Vietnam further demonstrated its significant contributions by hosting the first UNESCO international conference on harnessing the values of UNESCO titles for sustainable development in Ninh Binh. This event played a crucial role in shaping strategic issues and global policies.
Moreover, Vietnam organized several important events at the UNESCO headquarters, which helped showcase and promote its cultural values and the image of its nation and people to the international community. The three nights of Vietnamese Heritage at UNESCO provided a platform to highlight the nation’s rich traditions, diverse culture, and deep-rooted identity. The event effectively communicated Vietnam’s dynamism in terms of reform, integration, and a strong national identity, according to Van.
Regarding strategies to promote the values of UNESCO titles and heritages and their economic development, Vietnam’s former Permanent Representative to UNESCO emphasized the importance of raising public awareness about the conservation and promotion of these values. This can be achieved through efficient state management, completion of legal documents, and the development of preservation and promotion plans. Additionally, the involvement of communities and individuals is crucial.
Furthermore, digital transformation should be expedited in heritage management and exploitation, with a focus on diversifying communication and education methods related to heritage. It is essential to enhance regional, national, and international connectivity to protect and empower cultural heritage while effectively utilizing the economic aspects of the heritage to contribute to socio-economic development, Van stated.
In conclusion, Van outlined five key tasks for Vietnam at UNESCO. These include actively proposing ideas and initiatives to optimize UNESCO’s policies in line with national targets, further deepening and enhancing the Vietnam-UNESCO partnership, submitting more dossiers of Vietnamese heritage for UNESCO titles to generate additional resources and encourage sustainable socio-economic development models in localities, maintaining strong performance in implementing the country’s positions in five key management mechanisms of UNESCO, and taking the lead in promoting the image of Vietnam’s nation, people, and culture to the world.