As close neighbors, the people of Vietnam and Laos have had a long-standing relationship based on their shared struggle for national liberation in the past, and national construction and defense at present. The friendship between the people of Vietnam and Laos has been characterized by solidarity. Specifically among women who consider themselves comrades and sisters, this friendship is continuing to grow stronger. As a large force in society, generations of Vietnamese and Lao women play an important role in building, strengthening, and developing the friendly relations characteristic of the two nations.

The year 2012 is a year of great significance for the relationship between Vietnam and Laos. In 2012, the two countries celebrate "the Solidarity and Friendship Year between Vietnam and Laos", the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (5th September 1962 – 5th September 2012), and the 35th anniversary of the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty between Vietnam and Laos. In response to these momentous occasions, the Vietnam Women's Union has organized many practical activities such as welcoming high-level delegates from the Lao Women's Union, headed by Mrs. Sisay Ludedmunsone, to visit and work in Vietnam (May 2012). The Women's Unions of the two countries discussed and exchanged information o­n the status of women in their country and the work of their organization. The two sides have also reviewed the results of the implemented Cooperation Agreement (2011-2015) and signed the new Cooperation Agreement (2012 -2017).


To ensure effective cooperation, the two Women’s Unions will focus o­n promoting and strengthening communication, the exchange of visits, and sharing knowledge and experiences o­n women’s issues. The Vietnam Women’s Union continues to support the Lao Women's Union by providing training to their staff. The contents stated in the new Cooperation Agreement signed in May 2012 are of great significance, marking the development of a special relationship and comprehensive cooperation between the women and people of Vietnam and Laos.


The Vietnam Women's Union has organized many practical activities to correspond with “the Solidarity and Friendship Year between Vietnam and Laos”. The Vietnam Women's Union recently succeeded in mobilizing 25 scholarships valued at two million dong each for female Lao students studying in Vietnam. Moreover, the Vietnam Women’s Union has actively revised training programs and materials and organized successfully a recent training course for Lao Women’s Union staff.


The Vietnam Women's Union also directed provincial level Women's Unions, especially those bordering Laos, to strengthen solidarity, friendship, and cooperation through exchanging visits, sharing experiences in different fields, such as supporting women in economic development and health care for women and children, and increasing communication to communities about the risks and consequences of trafficking in women and children across the border. Some Women's Unions located in large cities and provinces, such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Kon Tum, and Bac Giang, launched a "Learn the history of the special relationship between Vietnam and Laos” contest for all cadres, Party members, and employees within their Women’s Union.


With effective contribution to building and strengthening solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Laos, the two Women’s Unions were granted noble recognition by the Party and State of Vietnam and Laos. The Lao government awarded the VWU in 1998 with the First Class Medal of Freedom–the highest Medal of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Central Women’s Training School in 2012 with the Second Class Labour Medal, and VWU President Mrs. Ha Thi Khiet in 2005 with the Friendship Medal. The State of Vietnam in 2012 conferred the “Friendship Medal” to Mrs. Sisay Ludedmunson, President of the Lao Women’s Union, and Mrs. o­nchan Thammavong, former President of the Lao Women’s Union. The two Women’s Unions also granted their respective Merit Medals to the leaders and staff of the other organization.


To help each other progress and continuously develop throughout the process of international integration in the coming time, the women and Women’s Unions of the two countries will deepen their cooperation, giving attention to practical and effective activities. Treasuring the loyal and traditional friendship between the two countries as a priceless inheritance, the two Women’s Unions consider it their responsibility to inform and inspire their respective women to preserve this devoted and exemplary relationship for future generations of women and people in the two nations. This will make an important contribution to the success of the national construction and defense of each country, and to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and around the world.

(VWU International Relations Department)