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AGENT ORANGE/DIOXIN
Vietnam, US hold dialogue on Agent Orange/dioxin
Posted: Jun 09,2009

Vietnam and the US held their fourth dialogue on Agent Orange/Dioxin in Washington DC on June 2 (local time) to address outstanding issues related to the harmful effects of the toxic chemicals on Vietnamese people and the environment.

Ambassador Ngo Quang Xuan, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly Committee for External Affairs, and chairman of the Vietnam-US Dialogue Group, talked about the dialogue in an interview granted to a Washington DC-based VOV correspondent.

VOV: Would you please give us a brief on the result of this dialogue?

Mr Xuan: The dialogue group serves as a channel to promote mutual understanding and help the US public become better informed about the toxic chemicals used by American troops in Vietnam that need to be addressed adequately. 

It aims to deal with human health – related and environmental issues, especially the remediation of contaminated soil. It also aims to raise awareness of the toxic chemicals among Americans, especially policy-makers in congress and the administration, so that they will introduce effective measures, cooperate with and provide assistance to Vietnam to deal with the issues.

I think this dialogue was successful because it outlined tasks for the group in the coming time.

VOV: Could you further elaborate on the success of the dialogue?


Mr Xuan: Both sides agreed to speed up the implementation of programmes, plans and specific projects among the five priority areas identified by the group. They discussed cooperation programmes between their scientific research agencies and worked out plans of action for the group. If these plans are carried out effectively, they will help solve pending issues related to the US spraying of Agent Orange/Dioxin over Vietnam.

VOV: Was this dialogue different from the previous three?


Mr Xuan: The scale of the dialogue was rather large in terms of the contents and modes of discussions, including those between the governments and mass organsations of both sides. The dialogue also saw a record number of participants, including US officials and political, social and humanitarian activists.

VOV: What are the unsolved issues and solutions?


Mr Xuan: We have not yet fully mobilised all recourses to make an accurate assessment of Agent Orange/dioxin contamination in Vietnam and worked out solutions. This is simply because it is such a massive undertaking, and financial support is still limited. This is what needs to be addressed as we move forward./. 

Minh Hien .VOV

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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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