Foreign affairs need improving substantially

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem has asked ministries, provinces and cities to fulfil their all-round diplomatic tasks in terms of planning, networking and staff training.

Mr Khiem, who is also Foreign Minister, gave the task to provincial and municipal departments and ministerial-level agencies in charge of foreign affairs at their 15th national conference in central Quang Nam province on June 16.

He affirmed that these organisations are part and parcel of the country’s diplomatic sector, which play an important role in carrying out the sector’s tasks including political-economic-cultural diplomacy and work relating to overseas Vietnamese, in their localities.    

He asked them to make the best use of the traditional relationship between Vietnam and foreign countries to boost cooperation in politics, economics, culture and the protection of Vietnamese nationals.

Vietnam has 31 provincial and municipal departments of foreign affairs and 30 ministerial-level agencies in charge of the affairs. During the past years, these organisations, especially those in border provinces, have actively engaged in tackling complicated and sensitive issues, including border demarcation and landmark planting along borders with China, Cambodia and Laos so as to build borderlines of peace, friendship and cooperation for common development.

Although these organisations receive support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, their officials and staff in some provinces are not fully aware of the importance of the work. In addition, there are no specialised agencies responsible for border affairs, people-to-people diplomacy, overseas Vietnamese and culture.