Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the workshop (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – An international workshop was held in Hanoi on August 8 to share research outcomes on Agent Orange (AO) consequences and discuss measures to help Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.

The event saw the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, former Japanese Prime Minister Yuki Hatoyama, representatives from foreign embassies in Vietnam, Vietnamese agencies, and domestic and international scientists and social activists.

Addressing the function, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam emphasised the Vietnamese State, Government and people wish that all war victims, especially AO/dioxin victims, receive sufficient support to have a better life.

Therefore, Vietnam has conducted multiple pragmatic and effective activities to assist the victims while calling on the international community, countries, organisations and individuals at home and abroad to join efforts in overcoming the consequences of the toxic chemical sprayed by the US during the war, he said,

He hailed the Vietnam Association of Victims of AO/Dioxin’s (VAVA) for organising the workshop on the occasion of 55 years of AO catastrophe in Vietnam (August 10,1961-2016), while thanking scientists and social activists for raising their voice to demand justice for Vietnamese AO victims.

The Deputy PM described the workshop as a practical activity that promotes drives for the victims, calls for solidarity, and for the prevention of the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

The function offers an opportunity for domestic and foreign scientists, managers and social activists to exchange scientific research, to help make it clearer the severe consequences the chemical had on the local environment and on humans.

The participants proposed countermeasures and called for more material and spiritual support for the AO victims, as well as the public’s backing for their fight for justice.

They held that a lot of jobs are still left to be done in order to deal with the consequences of AO/dioxin in Vietnam, stressing the need to use suitable technologies to decontaminate those areas with high dioxin concentrations and minimise the number of people still being exposed to dioxin.

The most important task is to complete policies on caring for and supporting AO victims, they said, adding that all the tasks require a great endeavour by Vietnam and the assistance of the international community.

From 1961 – 1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides, 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370 kilograms of dioxin, over southern Vietnam, according to the VAVA.

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical, about 3 million of them became AO victims. While tens of thousands of people died, millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects.-VNA