Online Meeting Between Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and Local Unions: a Catalyst for Dynamic, Practical, Impactful Collaborations

This marks the first time the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations has convened a virtual conference with 52 member organizations, which consist of local Unions of Friendship Organizations. During this conference, a wide range of issues spanning various fields were brought forth, thoroughly examined and addressed through innovative perspectives and methodologies.


On April 19, the head of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations chaired a conference at the central bridge point to connect with 52 bridge points at localities. More than 500 delegates participated and dozens of presentations were made on 6 key topics in various areas of work, mechanisms, and policies.

Online meeting of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and 52 Unions of Friendship Organizations in provinces/cities (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

At the meeting, local Unions were informed about the outcomes and plans to implement key tasks in 2024; solutions to strengthen the organizational structure, and improve the staff quality and operational efficiency of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations system.

Representatives of local Union leaders highly commended the organization of the virtual conference. They view this as a timely information channel on guidelines for implementing people-to-people diplomacy tasks to localities, fostering unity in the system. The conference also serves as a platform for local unions to update the central Union leadership on the practical situation in their localities. Delegates exchanged views on 6 topics: the name of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations system; charter, work orientation, coordination throughout the system and between the system and its partners; training of officials; emulation and reward work; coordination between the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and other Vietnamese ministries, departments, and agencies; institutionalization of the Party’s documents and regulations.

Vibrant, comprehensive, and diverse opinions from localities

Luong Ngoc Binh, Chairman of the Union of Friendship Organizations of Quang Binh province, spoke at the Quang Binh bridge. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

Nguyen Ngoc Binh, President of the Da Nang City Union of Friendship Organizations, recommended that VUFO leaders propose to the Prime Minister and discuss with ministries, departments, and localities to promptly institutionalize Decision No. 118- Decision/TW dated August 22, 2023, of the Secretariat promulgating the Regulations on organization and operation of mass associations assigned tasks by the Party and State at the Central level.

Tran Thi Kim Van, President of the Binh Duong Province Union of Friendship Organizations, emphasized the need to standardize and synchronize the organizational model, apparatus, name, and identity of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations. She stressed the urgency of developing a unified reporting format and regulations on the emulation and reward work.

Do Viet Ha, President of the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations, highlighted the need for consistency between the Charter (amended) of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations and the charters of the Unions of Friendship Organizations at the local level. He underscored the importance of ensuring benefits for full-time officials of the local Unions. He suggested considering establishing emulation groups and working groups according to the nature, scale, and model of the local Unions; and bringing events and activities to the localities.

Nguyen Thanh Tri, President of the Dong Nai Province Union of Friendship Organizations proposed that VUFO sign cooperation agreements with relevant ministries and departments to facilitate smoother operations of local Unions. Central Friendship Associations should provide guidance, direction, and support for local Friendship Associations, he suggested.

Le Xuan Hai, President of the Dong Thap Province Union of Friendship Organizations, spoke from the Dong Thap bridge point. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

Le Xuan Hai, President of the Dong Thap Province Union of Friendship Organizations, stated that to guarantee the successful implementation of the policy of unifying the operating apparatus of the Central and Local Unions, it is crucial to standardize the number of staff and organizational structures in the local Unions. The Central Union should collaborate with relevant ministries and central departments to propose staff allocation to provinces and cities. Additionally, he recommended that the Central Union partner with schools and academies to provide long-term training for local Union officials; and explore the establishment of foreign non-governmental working groups/ committees in the localities.

Close, unified, organized coordination

At the conference, Phan Anh Son, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations, responded to the suggestions raised by local unions’ leaders.

Phan Anh Son, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations delivered a speech. (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

Regarding Charter amendment, the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations will gather feedback from 52 local Unions and submit it to the 7th National Congress of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations.

In terms of training, it is anticipated that in 2024, VUFO will organize two training sessions targeting leaders of local unions and officials responsible for or specializing in people-to-people diplomacy in localities. The training programs will clearly reflect professional activities in the Union system.

For emulation and reward work, the Standing Agency has finalized a draft of emulation and reward regulations (amended), which encompasses the division of emulation clusters in work and emulation in various areas.

Additionally, they discussed a proposal to sign working coordination agreements. Phan Anh Son stated that VUFO will prioritize signing agreements with international partners. With Vietnamese ministries, departments, and agencies, VUFO will increase the frequency of meetings, information exchange, and provision, and invite them to participate in meeting mechanisms. VUFO encourages localities to actively collaborate with departments and sectors, thus enhancing their reputation.

Regarding the institutionalization of Party’s documents and regulations, Decision 118-QD/TW dated August 22, 2023, of the Secretariat has taken effect. According to the instruction of the Permanent Member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Secretariat at the meeting on January 10, 2024, the Ministry of Home Affairs will submit a decree to amend Decree 45/2010/ND-CP for promulgation between now and June 30. The Central Commission for Mass Mobilization will provide specific instructions based on that.

Concerning information on work orientation, from 2024, the Central Union will adjust and distribute work orientation in early July to assist the work of local unions. In addition to the general orientation, specific orientations for certain regions, areas, and countries will be included. The Central Union will also continue to extend the activities of member organizations at the Central level to the localities.

According to Phan Anh Son, it is anticipated that in July 2024, the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations will organize a National Conference on People-to-people Diplomacy in Hanoi. This conference is expected to establish favorable conditions for mechanisms and policies for provinces/ cities to provide greater assistance and conditions for the 52 local Unions.

Additionally, the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations’ Party Committee will maintain collaboration with the Standing Committees of the provinces/ cities, the Party’s Designated Representation of the People’s Committees of the provinces/ cities in various forms to increase the effectiveness of proposals from local Unions.

Valerie Mai