The ninth Asia-Europe People’s Forum opened in Vientiane, Laos on October 16 with the participation of about 800 representatives of people’s organisations and movements in the two continents.

The Vietnamese delegation to the forum was led by Vu Xuan Hong, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO).

This year’s event embarks on the theme “People’s Solidarity against Poverty and for Sustainable Development: Challenging Unjust and Unequal Development, Building States of Citizens and for Citizens.”

In his opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thonglun Sisoulith of the host country said the forum is an opportunity for delegates to share ideas and exchange experience to contribute to the comprehensive development of each country in Asia and Europe .

It provides a venue where solidarity and unity of peoples of the two continents will be consolidated and constructive dialogues made to support the creation of viewpoints and policies of each country towards sustainable development, practical interests and prosperity of humans, he said.

The Lao leader also called upon Asian and European countries to identify a new sustainable development model and stressed the necessity of a suitable measure to prevent economic crisis so as to protect legitimate rights and interests of people of all walks of life while ensuring the balance between economic development and social welfare and protecting the environment sustainably.

Delegates at the four-day event will discuss issues of common concerns to be recommended at the ninth Asia-Europe Summit scheduled for early November.

These include universal social protection and access to external services; food sovereignty and sustainable land and natural resource management; sustainable energy production and use and just work and sustainable livelihoods.

Established in 1996, the Asia-Europe People’s Forum is held biennially.-VNA