British friendship organisation co-founders awarded Vietnamese medals
The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) on December 4 presented the Medal “For Peace and Friendship Among Nations” to Ben Chapman, Warwick Morris and Paul Smith, the co-founders of the Vietnam-UK Network (VUKN), to honour their outstanding contributions to the relations between the two countries.
The medal, the highest award of the Presidium of VUFO, was presented by Nguyen Van Phuc, First Vice Chair of the Vietnam-UK Friendship Association (VUFA), at VUKN’s annual pre-Christmas reception in London, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK relations and 10th anniversary of the Network.
According to VUKN, its founders were honoured not only for their outstanding contributions to the culture, politics, economy, and society of Vietnam over the decade through the establishment and development of the Network, but also for their contributions and achievements in a number of other important roles which have contributed positively to the development of the Vietnam-UK relations. Founding Chair of VUKN, Ben Chapman, was a former Member of Parliament while former Chair Warwick Morris was former British Ambassador to Vietnam and former Vice Chair Paul Smith was founder of software group Nash Tech with years of business experience in Vietnam.
The Network said the presentation of this commemorative medal affirmed Vietnam's high appreciation of the contributions of British individuals and organisations to the relations between the two countries and peoples.
At the event, VUKN and VUFA also signed a new five-year Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), which acknowledges the two organisations’ long standing and fruitful on-going relationship while marking a new era of partnership between them. The partnership is expected to enhance the relations between British and Vietnamese peoples in various fields of mutual interest, from business, science and technology, environment to culture and welfare.
Addressing the event, VUKN Chair Mark Kent, who is also former British Ambassador to Vietnam, noted that this year marked not only the 50 years of Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations but also the 10th anniversary of VUKN. He highlighted the contributions of the VUKN founders as well as diplomats and many others from both countries to this achievement.
Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long reaffirmed the commitment to do everything to enhance cooperation and relations between the two countries.
Phuc said the achievements in developing relations between the two peoples and the effective cooperation between VUFA and VUKN have been largely attributable to the contributions and enthusiasm from the VUNK co-founders, its Chairman Mark Kent and members.
Established in early 2013, VUKN is a friendship organisation run by British volunteers to promote friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.