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Cablegate: Vietnam Views On Burma and the Ilo

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

260937Z May 00

2000HANOI01161 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ0496

PAGE 01 HANOI 01161 260940Z
ACTION DRL-02

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-01 CIAE-00 DODE-00 WHA-00
SRPP-00 EAP-00 EB-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 MOFM-04 MOF-03 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OIC-02 OPIC-01 PRS-00 P-00 SP-00 SS-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /016W
------------------5BD1F3 260940Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9958
DEPTLABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
INFO AMEMBASSY TOKYO
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS HANOI 001161

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL/IL, IO/T, EAP/BCLTV
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR ILAB
USMISSION GENEVA FOR HAGEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM BM VM ASEAN LABOR
SUBJECT: VIETNAM VIEWS ON BURMA AND THE ILO

REF: SECSTATE 94961

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 01161 260940Z
-------
SUMMARY
-------
1. THE GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM (GOV) FAVORS RESOLUTION
OF THE FORCED LABOR ISSUE IN BURMA THROUGH
NEGOTIATION RATHER THAN IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS, AS
THE LATTER WOULD ONLY SERVE TO ISOLATE BURMA,
ACCORDING TO VIETNAM'S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
(MOFA). IF NEGOTIATION IS UNSUCCESSFUL AND A
RESOLUTION AGAINST BURMA IS INTRODUCED AT THE
INTERNATIONAL LABOR CONFERENCE, VIETNAM WOULD VOTE
AGAINST IT. THE GOV ALSO HOPES THE OTHER ASEAN
COUNTRIES WOULD JOIN IT IN A COMMMON POSITION AGAINST
THE RESOLUTION. END SUMMARY.

2. ON MAY 26 ECONOFF AND POLOFF DISCUSSED THE ISSUE
OF FORCED LABOR IN BURMA WITH VU VAN MIEN OF THE
DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AT MOFA.
WE ALSO REQUESTED A MEETING WITH RELEVANT OFFICES AT
THE MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS, AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
(MOLISA) BUT WERE REFERRED BY THEM TO MOFA.

3. AFTER LISTENING TO OUR PRESENTATION BASED ON
REFTEL, MR. MIEN SAID VIETNAM OF COURSE WAS AGAINST
FORCED LABOR. HE SAID THE BURMA ISSUE HAD BEEN
BROUGHT TO THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION (ILO)
IN 1999 BUT AT THAT TIME MANY COUNTRIES, INCLUDING
VIETNAM, DID NOT SUPPORT THE ILO'S COURSE OF ACTION.
BECAUSE IT DID NOT WANT TO `ISOLATE' BURMA, VIETNAM
HAD VOTED AGAINST THE ILO RESOLUTION.

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 01161 260940Z
4. MIEN SAID THE GOVERNMENT OF BURMA (GOB) WANTED TO
RESOLVE THE FORCED LABOR ISSUE THROUGH COOPERATION
WITH THE ILO. THE GOB THEREFORE HAD INVITED `WITHOUT
PRECONDITIONS' A TECHNICAL COOPERATION MISSION HEADED
BY THE SPECIAL ENVOY OF ILO DIRECTOR GENERAL SOMAVIA
TO VISIT BURMA DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 23.

5. IF THE GOB AND ILO WERE UNABLE TO COME TO
AGREEMENT ON A COURSE OF ACTION AND THE ISSUE WAS
BROUGHT TO THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR CONFERENCE FOR A
VOTE, VIETNAM `COULD NOT' VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE
RESOLUTION. HE EMPHASIZED AGAIN THAT THE MATTER MUST
BE CONCLUDED THROUGH NEGOTIATION SO AS NOT TO ISOLATE
BURMA THROUGH IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS. FURTHERMORE,
HE SAID THE GOV HOPED THE ASEAN COUNTRIES WOULD ADOPT
A COMMON POSITION OPPOSING SUCH A RESOLUTION, AS THEY
DID IN 1999.

PETERSON

UNCLASSIFIED

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