Although a lawsuit filed by Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims against US chemical companies was rejected by the US Court, a great number of friends throughout the world, even US veterans and organisations, affirmed their intention to continue joining the struggle for not only AO/dioxin victims but also justice and humanity.

At the second international conference of victims of AO/dioxin in Hanoi on August 8 and 9, President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers Jeanne Mirer said, “50 years is too long to wait for justice and recompense” and “we are here to declare that the time for justice it now”.

Jeanne Mirer, who was also co-ordinator of the Vietnam AO Relief and Responsibility Campaign, said the campaign was devising a national movement to urge the US Congress to finance a community-based medical programme for the physical rehabilitation for AO victims and clean up hot spots in Vietnam .

Secretary General of the UK-Vietnam Friendship Association Len Aldis called on heightened public awareness and stronger measures to gain justice for Vietnamese AO victims.

He expressed his dissatisfaction at the lack of progress recorded in the Vietnamese AO struggles for justice as US Government and chemical companies refused to accept their responsibility and compensate victims.

Len Aldis emphasised the need to organise an international seminar on the issue and called for an international ban on all products of Monsanto, one of 37 US chemical companies that supplied US troops with AO/dioxin chemicals to spray in Vietnam during the war.

Rosemarie Hoehn-Mizo from Germany , who is also President of the International Committee for the Van Canh Friendship Village, suggested joint activities to create assistance, hope and justice for Vietnam ’s children, war veterans and future generations.

Over the past 13 years, the Van Canh Friendship Village has provided care for more than 3,000 war veterans and more than 500 AO disabled children.

For his part, Vice President of the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Association Roberto Cocevari laid stress on the need to ask for immediate justice for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims and noted that support for Vietnam should be formed in the international arena.

Roland Weyl from the French Lawyers Association affirmed that it was undeniable that the US was responsible for compensating Vietnamese AO victims.

The international conference of victims of AO/dioxin was an opportunity for all peoples to gather and raise a common voice to ask for justice for Vietnamese people, said the French lawyer.

According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange /dioxin (VAVA), US troops sprayed 80 million litres of defoliant Agent Orange that contained almost 400 kilograms of toxic dioxin in southern Vietnam battlefield during a 10-year period beginning on August 10th, 1961.

Nearly 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to dioxin and around 3 million suffer from health problems due to the exposure./.