51 Groups Unite for Information Discussion on FNG Issues

VUFO recently hosted the inaugural Information Seminar on Foreign Non-Governmental Affairs (FNG) in Hanoi on August 23, providing an insightful and informative platform for socio-political and people organizations to share information and receive the latest updates on FNG work.

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The event was attended by representatives of leaders, officials of 51 socio-political and people organizations, interdisciplinary mechanisms, and representatives of agencies participating in the Committee for Foreign Non-governmental Organization Affairs (COMINGO). Nguyen Thi Hoang Van, Deputy Head of the Standing Committee of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations; and Phan Anh Son, Vice Chairman, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations, Vice Chairman of the COMINGO, chaired the conference.

In her opening remark, Nguyen Thi Hoang Van highly appreciated VUFO’s initiative to organize a conference to share information on FNG work for mass organizations and people’s organizations with COMINGO playing the role of a standing agency.

“FNG work plays an important role in people-to-people diplomacy. The achievements of FNG work are not only reflected in the amount of aid mobilized annually but also in specific achievements and contributions in different fields in the cause of national construction and development, meeting the priorities and needs of Vietnam. That achievement is also reflected in the mobilization of the wide participation of localities, ministries, branches, mass organizations, and people’s organizations,” said Nguyen Thi Hoang Van.

51 Socio-political and People Organizations Join Information Conference on FNG Affairs
Nguyen Thi Hoang Van, Deputy Head of the Standing Committee of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations highly appreciated VUFO’s initiative to organize a conference to share information on FNG work for mass organizations and people’s organizations. (Photo: Thu Ha)

According to Van, the Party and State shows interest and regard for the participation of people’s organizations in this important field. As the global, regional, and national contexts bring up new issues and content for people-to-people affairs in general and FNG work in particular, Nguyen Thi Hoang Van suggested the delegates express their opinions, share experiences, and talk about problems that they face in practice to remove difficulties and contribute to improving the quality and effectiveness of FNG work.

Reporting at the conference, Nguyen Ngoc Hung, Head of the People’s Aid Coordination Committee (PACCOM – a unit under VUFO), a representative from the standing agency, said, according to initial statistics, about 25-30 people’s organizations at the central level have cooperated and received FNG aid, focusing on the following areas: environmental resources, socio-economic development, and solving social problems. Programs and projects received by people-to-people organizations at the central level are concentrated mainly in the Red River Delta and North Central region, in addition to many other inter-regional projects and programs.

People-to-people organizations show a growing interest and proactiveness in cooperating with NGOs. Some organizations have had rich experience and received many aid cooperation projects. Most of the aid programs and projects have been consistent with the organizations’ objectives and fields of activity. However, besides the achieved results, the organizations’ aid mobilization and project implementation capacity have certain limitations. They face many difficulties in reciprocal funding, coordination between central and local levels is not effective, and many organizations only have a few projects.

51 Socio-political and People Organizations Join Information Conference on FNG Affairs
Representatives of mass organizations and people’s organizations spoke at the conference. (Photo: Thu Ha)

At the conference, representatives of mass organizations and people’s organizations talked about difficulties such as implementing project approval procedures, asking for approval from ministries and management agencies, advocating and approaching NGOs, building and proposing cooperation projects. They spoke highly of VUFO’s initiative to organize a conference to share information about FNG work with mass organizations and people’s organizations at the central level.

51 Socio-political and People Organizations Join Information Conference on FNG Affairs
Phan Anh Son, Vice President, General Secretary of VUFO, Vice President of COMINGO spoke at the conference. (Photo: Thu Ha)

At the event, Phan Anh Son talked about issues discussed and proposed by mass organizations and people’s organizations related to mobilizing, receiving aid, and cooperating with NGOs. According to him, their opinions will be collected by PACCOM and discussed at COMINGO’s upcoming meeting. The meeting will also clarify the participation and role of agencies in the Committee mechanism and the role of the standing agency in supporting and coordinating to solve difficulties that mass organizations and people’s organizations face when working with NGOs.

At the conference, the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations made recommendations to mass organizations and people’s organizations to improve the effectiveness of future FNG work, which are: Increasing awareness and understanding of the Party’s guidelines and the meaningful role of cooperation with NGOs; Clearly defining needs and priorities in each stage; Taking the initiative in developing cooperation plans; Properly allocating resources; Building capacity for staff in charge of FNG work; Closely coordinating with relevant agencies and organizations in the implementation of aid programs and projects to ensure compliance with the Party’s guidelines and policies and the State’s laws while promoting their actual effectiveness; Promoting communication about the organization’s activities, aid needs, commitments, successful programs and projects in recent years.
Hai An – Hong Anh