Belgian Parliament Passes Resolution to Assist Vietnam’s AO Victims

Belgium has become the first European country to pass a resolution calling for the support of those affected by the toxins of Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam. The resolution was adopted by the Belgian parliament.

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Belgian Chamber of Representatives Passes Resolution in Support of Vietnam’s AO Victims

The Belgian Chamber of Representatives recently showed their support for the Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims in Vietnam by passing a resolution with unanimous approval votes.

During the plenary session of the Parliament, lawmakers listened to various opinions regarding the resolution.

Belgian Chamber of Representatives Adopts Resolution in Aid of Vietnam's AO Victims

At the plenary session of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Photo: VNA

Lawmaker Andr√© Flahaut, who submitted the resolution in December 2021, shared his firsthand experience of visiting Hoa Binh Village in Vietnam and witnessing the devastating effects of AO on the Vietnamese people across generations. He emphasized the importance of creating a “livable” future, particularly in Vietnam.

Lawmaker Michel De Maegd highlighted the need for long-term support to the Vietnamese AO victims, as many areas in Vietnam are still contaminated with chemical toxins sprayed by the US troops during the war. He also emphasized the need for soil and water decontamination, as well as addressing the ecological consequences of the AO issue in Vietnam.

Els Van Hoof, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, emphasized the significance of this resolution, especially as this year marks the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Belgium diplomatic ties. She called for the protection of AO victims, as millions of Vietnamese people continue to suffer from the long-term consequences of exposure to this chemical toxin, including illness, disabilities, and contaminated land.

After the resolution was passed, Flahaut sent a letter to the Vietnamese Embassy expressing his joy that the Belgian Parliament had become the first legislature in the world to approve a resolution supporting the AO victims of Vietnam. He reiterated his commitment and determination to advocate for the women, men, and children affected by AO.

The Belgian Chamber of Representatives also held a hearing on the draft resolution on June 20. Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao briefed the participants on the policies, action programs, and plans for war victims in Vietnam, as well as the close coordination between Vietnam and the US in addressing war consequences.

According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA), the US army sprayed 80 million liters of toxic chemicals on the South of Vietnam between 1961 and 1971, with 61% of them being AO containing 366kg of dioxin, covering nearly 3.06 million hectares of land.

Preliminary statistics show that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to AO/dioxin, and about 3 million people became victims. Many have died from cancer and other incurable diseases, and their offspring also suffer from birth deformities.