Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh has urged the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) to further strengthen its role and elevate its position as the country enters a new era of development.

In his welcoming speech delivered at the opening session of the 7 th term—from 2009 to 2014--of the VFF’s National Congress held in Hanoi on Sept. 28, the Party Chief called on the VFF to focus on thoroughly grasping President Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts and the Party’s guidelines and policies on improving great national unity as well as promoting democracy and social consensus.

He stressed that the congress is a manifestation of the determination of the Vietnamese people’s determination to strive for the noble goal of “a rich people, a strong country, an equitable, democratic and civilised society.”

As a VFF member, Manh said, the Communist Party of Vietnam strongly supports the implementation of joint activities, creating the most favourable conditions for the VFF to fulfil its tasks in this new phase of the country’s history.

He said policies to build and promote the strength of the ‘great national unity bloc’ have been implemented widely and effectively while mass mobilisation work has drawn much attention.

The operation of the VFF and other socio-politic organisations and their role in expanding friendship and cooperation among the Vietnamese people and international friends have contributed to raising Vietnam’s position and prestige in the international arena.

Under the theme of enhancing the role of the VFF in the spirit of promoting peace, democracy, prosperity, and consensus among the people, 989 delegates, representing all walks of life, 54 ethnic minority groups and religions as well as overseas Vietnamese are attending the convention.

Prominent at the event were Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and Politburo members of the Party Central Committee.

The event also drew the participation of international delegates from the Laos Front for National Construction, China ’s People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Cuban Revolutionary Protection Committee, the Cambodian Front for National Solidarity and Development, and representatives from foreign embassies in Vietnam and domestic and international non-governmental organisations.

The congress identified targets for the new term to improve the role of the VFF, in terms of promoting patriotism, national pride, and self-reliance along with democracy, social consensus, and solidarity among all Vietnamese people throughout the world, to build a strong, unified bloc to contribute to the successful implementation of the national construction platform in the transitional period to socialism and to secure independence and territorial integrity for the benefit of the people.

The congress also agreed to boost the role and responsibility of the VFF Committee and its member organisations in taking care of and protecting the rights and the legitimate entitlements of the people; in carrying out its role as both monitor and social critic while combining this with the need to enhance social consensus and expand people-to-people activities to increase solidarity between the Vietnamese people and people in all over the world. Improving the VFF in terms of its new mission, its staff, and its methods of operation at all levels is also target set for the front in the new tenure./.