Participants at the 29th Diplomatic Conference (Photo: VGP)
Hanoi (VNA) – Cultural diplomacy helps further strengthen political and economic partnerships and should be promoted in the time to come, diplomats said on the sidelines of the 29th Diplomatic Conference which is taking place in Hanoi from August 22-26.

Head of the Vietnamese delegation to ASEAN, Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam said the Socio-Cultural Community is one of the three pillars of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has the goal of building a community of nations living in harmony, solidarity and sharing. The community centres around the people and works for the health, welfare and better living environment of the people, while creating a shared identity of the region.

Towards this goal, cultural diplomacy should be further promoted, the Ambassador said, noting that ASEAN countries in general and Vietnam in particular, should take measures to increase cultural diplomatic programmes, not only at governmental level but also at people-to-people level.

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga, senior advisor to the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), emphasized that cultural diplomacy is an indispensable source of “soft power” in the context of world and regional situations facing numerous challenges to peace and security.

“The more cultural exchanges we engage in, the better we understand and respect each other, and it will assist with efforts to safeguard peace and security of each country as well as of the region and the world,” the Ambassador said.

She noted that cultural diplomacy will be one of the key tasks in 2017, as APEC leaders have urged its member economies to organize cultural exchanges during the year.

Vietnam’s national APEC committee has discussed ways to promote the country’s image and culture, according to Ambassador Nga.

“I think the economies should enhance their bonds by getting to know more about each other’s culture, which will strengthen not only mutual understanding and friendship but also the bonds among their people,” she said.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh noted that when looking into Vietnam’s ties with other countries, including the US, it can be seen that cultural diplomacy is one of the channels that create stronger links between political and economic partners.

According to the ambassador, all diplomats should know thoroughly the nation’s history, culture and land in order to promote the national image and ties with other countries.-VNA