A Party Politburo member has hailed people-to-people diplomacy’s contributions to the country’s achievements in political, economic, cultural, social, scientific and technological areas.

Addressing a conference in Hanoi on March 15 to review people-to-people diplomacy in 2010 and discuss activities for 2011, Truong Tan Sang, who is also permanent member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Secretariat, stressed the need for the diplomacy to focus on efficiency in external relations, particularly the ties with people in neighbouring and traditionally friendly countries and progressive forces around the world.

He also emphasised active popularisation of foreign affairs to increase understanding and support of people around the world to the doi moi (renewal) process of the Vietnamese Party and people, improve operations at multilateral mechanisms and forums, and seek assistance from international friends in poverty reduction, socio-economic development, and in the fight against natural disasters and environmental pollution.

Over the past year, people-to-people diplomacy achieved important results in strengthening solidarity, friendship and cooperation with people in neighbouring, regional and traditionally friendly countries, mobilising and gaining support from international friends, according to the report of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations presented at the conference.

Diplomacy also contributed to maintaining political order, protecting the country’s interests, promoting international solidarity and support for democracy, peace and progressive people’s movements around the world alongside creating a favourable environment for national strategy and development.

Positive results were also seen in efforts to call for foreign non-government aid. Last year, the disbursed non-governmental aid was estimated at 280 million USD.

Through external activities, mass and people’s organistions joined hands with relevant agencies to fight erroneous acts, and to promote the rights of women, children, the disabled and the elderly. All activities were applauded and supported by international countries and organisations.

Moreover, an increasing number of organisations considered external affairs as a link to support their economic development task. Prominent among them were the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and many economic associations involving in seafood, apparel, leather, rice, coffee, fruit and vegetables and some friendship associations.

The organisations conducted international cooperative activities to raise capacity and promote trade, investment, trade names and marketing.

In addition, attention was paid to works relating to Overseas Vietnamese, assisting Vietnamese expatriates to return to the country to invest, share experiences, implement economic, cultural and art cooperation programmes and attend the country’s important political events, according to the report./.