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Cablegate: Vietnam's Increasing Role in the International

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

140954Z Mar 02

2002HANOI00589 - UNCLASSIFIED

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 USNW-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05
MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01
PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00
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PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00
/022W
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FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5789
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AIT TAIPEI 0669
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, INR, EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/RSP, L/UNA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SOCI EAID ECON VM UN HUMANR APEC ASEAN
SUBJECT: VIETNAM'S INCREASING ROLE IN THE INTERNATIONAL
-- AND MULTILATERAL COMMUNITY


1. (U) SUMMARY. VIETNAM HAS MOVED STEADILY TO INCREASE
ITS PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL FORA
SINCE THE COMMUNIST PARTY (CPV) DIRECTED THE GVN TO
IMPLEMENT A MORE OUTWARD ORIENTED FOREIGN POLICY AT THE
SEVENTH PARTY CONGRESS IN 1991. TODAY, VIETNAM HAS
MEMBERSHIP IN 62 GLOBAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. THE GVN
LEADERSHIP VIEWS THIS PARTICIPATION AS A MEANS TO ADVANCE
NATIONAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INTERESTS AND TO DIVERSIFY
THE FOCI OF ITS FOREIGN POLICY. ) THIS PARTICIPATION WILL
LIKELY ENHANCE VIETNAM'S UNDERSTANDING OF INTERNATIONAL
NORMS AND VALUES, AND ADD MOMENTUM BOTH TO THE EVOLUTION OF
A MORE PROFESSIONAL -- RATHER THAN IDEOLOGICAL -- BODY OF
OFFICIALS AS WELL AS TO THE ONGOING DEVELOPMENT OF CIVIL
SOCIETY WITHIN VIETNAM. A LACK OF MATERIAL AND HUMAN
RESOURCES, INCLUDING GOOD ENGLISH SPEAKERS, HAS LIMITED
VIETNAM'S PARTICIPATION AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR THE
FORESEEABLE FUTURE. END SUMMARY.

------------------------------------------
THE PARTY ESTABLISHES THE POLICY FRAMEWORK
------------------------------------------

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2. (U) DURING THE SEVENTH PARTY CONGRESS IN 1991,
VIETNAM'S LEADERSHIP DECLARED THAT THE TIME HAD COME TO
EXPAND ITS INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. AS STATED IN THE
CONGRESS' POLITICAL REPORT, THE CPV LEADERSHIP WAS
DETERMINED HENCEFORTH TO EMBARK ON A MORE OUTWARD FOREIGN
POLICY, DECLARING IT WOULD COOPERATE WITH ALL COUNTRIES ON
THE BASIS OF "EQUALITY AND MUTUAL BENEFITS, REGARDLESS OF
DIFFERENT SOCIAL AND POLITICAL REGIMES." THE REPORT FURTHER
STATED THAT VIETNAM WOULD STRIVE "TO BE FRIENDS WITH ALL
COUNTRIES. . ." AND AFFIRMED VIETNAM'S SUPPORT FOR THE UN
MORE DEFINITIVELY THAN HAD THE PREVIOUS CONGRESS. IT
PLEDGED THAT VIETNAM WOULD WORK CLOSELY WITH THE UN AND
COOPERATE WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, UN SPECIALIZED
AGENCIES, AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGO).

3. (U) THIS POLICY MARKED A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE FROM THE
SIXTH PARTY CONGRESS OF 1986, WHICH ONLY REFERRED TO
PROMOTING RELATIONSHIPS AND COOPERATION WITH SPECIFIC
COUNTRIES, SUCH AS THE SOVIET UNION AND A FEW OTHER
"TRADITIONAL FRIENDS." (NOTE: THE TERM "TRADITIONAL" IN
THE VIETNAMESE CONTEXT REFERS TO COUNTRIES, PRIMARILY
SOCIALIST, WITH WHICH VIETNAM HAD LONG-STANDING
RELATIONSHIPS, SUCH AS THE THEN-USSR, LAOS, IRAQ, AND THE
EASTERN EUROPE BLOC. END NOTE.)

4. (U) DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN TAN DZUNG REAFFIRMED
IN FEBRUARY 2002 THAT VIETNAM WOULD PURSUE A POLICY OF
"MULTILATERALIZATION." LAST NOVEMBER, FOREIGN MINISTER
NGUYEN DY NIEN ALSO HIGHLIGHTED THE NEED FOR VIETNAM TO
PROMOTE A "DIVERSE" FOREIGN POLICY AND TO INCREASE ITS ROLE
IN THE "INTERNATIONAL ARENA." HE PLEDGED THAT VIETNAM WOULD
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CONTINUE TO HOST "IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES" AND
STRIVE TOWARD WTO ACCESSION. HE NOTED THAT, DURING 2001,
VIETNAM HAD ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN "MANY" UN AND OTHER
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS' ACTIVITIES.

5. (U) ACCORDING TO PHAM QUANG VINH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF
THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
DEPARTMENT (MFA/IO), TWO IMPORTANT FACTORS SPARKED THIS
SEMINAL CHANGE: (1) THE END OF VIETNAM'S INVOLVEMENT IN
CAMBODIA RESULTED IN THE LIFTING OF REGIONAL AND
INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS AND LED TO MORE NORMAL RELATIONS
BETWEEN VIETNAM AND OTHER NATIONS; (2) THE SOVIET UNION
DISSOLVED BETWEEN THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH PARTY CONGRESSES,
CHANGING THE DYNAMIC OF VIETNAM'S FOREIGN POLICY. WITH THE
FALL OF THE SOVIET UNION, VIETNAM COULD NO LONGER BENEFIT
FROM ANY CLIENT STATUS. THESE FACTORS, COMBINED WITH THE
"DOI MOI" (ECONOMIC RENOVATION) POLICY ADOPTED IN 1986,
INFLUENCED VIETNAM TO MOVE FROM A "RELATIVELY ISOLATED
PERSPECTIVE TO ONE THAT WAS MORE OUTWARD LOOKING," VINH
CONCLUDED. HE ALSO SAID THAT, AS VIETNAM EXTENDED ITS
BILATERAL RELATIONS, THIS "LED TO A CORRESPONDING INCREASE
IN MULTILATERAL PARTICIPATION."

6. (U) TRAN TRONG GIAP, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR THE DEPARTMENT
OF ASIA, AFRICA, AND LATIN AMERICA OF THE VIETNAM UNION OF
FRIENDSHIP ORGANIZATIONS, STATED SEPARATELY THAT THE SEVENTH
PARTY CONGRESS "CORRECTLY REACTED TO THE CHANGING WORLD

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00 USNW-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00
E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00
MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01
OPIC-01 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00
ECA-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
SWCI-00 /022W
------------------7463E3 141021Z /38
R 140954Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5790
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AIT TAIPEI 0670
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, INR, EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/RSP, L/UNA

ENVIRONMENT." HE NOTED THAT ONCE THE CPV SET THE POLICY,
STATE DIPLOMACY HAS "DONE ITS BEST" TO IMPLEMENT IT. DR. LE
THI QUE, DEAN OF THE FACULTY OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AT THE
VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, NOTED THAT PARTICIPATION IN
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WAS "VERY IMPORTANT" AS A WAY
FOR VIETNAM TO MAKE ITS VOICE HEARD. "IN THE ERA OF
GLOBALIZATION, NO ONE CAN AFFORD TO BE ISOLATED," HE
STRESSED.

7. (U) WORLD BANK SENIOR ECONOMIST PHAM MINH DUC NOTED
THAT IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS, AS VIETNAM HAD BECOME MORE OPEN
ECONOMICALLY AND POLITICALLY, IT HAD BECOME MUCH MORE
INTERESTED IN REACHING OUT TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.
DUC SAID THAT HE HAD SEEN A CHANGE IN THE GVN'S PERCEPTION
OF THE WORLD BANK FROM A STRICTLY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION TO
ONE THAT ALSO PROVIDES ADVICE AND COORDINATES PROJECTS. THE
GVN NOW VIEWS THE WORLD BANK MORE AS A DEVELOPMENT PARTNER
AND LESS AS JUST A FINANCIER, DUC CONCLUDED.

--------------
KEY MILESTONES
--------------

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8. (U) NGO QUANG XUAN, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE MFA'S
DEPARTMENT OF MULTILATERAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION, EMPHASIZED
SEVERAL KEY MILESTONES OF THE EARLY AND MID-1990S THAT
INFLUENCED VIETNAM'S INCREASED PARTICIPATION IN
INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS: (1) VIETNAM'S
JOINING ASEAN; (2) MEMBERSHIP IN THE UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC
AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (ECOSOC); (3) A FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH
THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU); AND, (4) DIPLOMATIC NORMALIZATION
WITH THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDING TO XUAN, THESE EVENTS
PUSHED VIETNAM (BACK) INTO THE INTERNATIONAL MAINSTREAM AND
ENABLED THE COUNTRY TO EXPAND ITS PARTICIPATION IN "KEY
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS." DURING THIS PERIOD, VIETNAM
ALSO SERVED AS VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S
52ND SESSION. "SUCH ACTIVITY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE
WITHOUT THE SEVENTH PARTY CONGRESS POLICY CHANGES,"
CONCLUDED XUAN. COLONEL TRAN NHUNG, INTERNATIONAL
DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR OF THE "PEOPLE'S ARMY" NEWSPAPER,
SUGGESTED SEPARATELY THAT JOINING THE ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC
COOPERATION (APEC) FORUM IN 1998 WAS ANOTHER IMPORTANT EVENT
THAT INCREASED VIETNAM'S PROFILE IN A MULTILATERAL FORUM.

9. (U) THE MFA/IO'S VINH ADDED THAT VIETNAM'S ELECTION TO
THE UN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (UNDP) GOVERNING BOARD IN 1998
WAS ALSO SIGNIFICANT, DUE TO THE LEADING ROLE UNDP PLAYS IN
THE MULTILATERAL COMMUNITY IN VIETNAM. HE ALSO NOTED THE
IMPORTANCE OF VIETNAM'S ELECTION TO THE UNICEF EXECUTIVE
COUNCIL IN 1996, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE UNICEF'S PROGRAMS ARE
IMPORTANT TO THE GVN'S OVERALL SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
DISCUSSING THE GVN'S LONG-RANGE GOAL IN THE MULTILATERAL
SYSTEM, VINH SAID THAT THE GVN WILL TRY FOR ELECTION TO THE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2007. HOWEVER, THIS WILL BE "VERY
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COMPLICATED AND REQUIRE A LOT OF WORK AND PREPARATION," HE
ADDED.

10. (U) ACCORDING TO DR. NGUYEN THIET SON, DIRECTOR OF THE
CENTRE FOR NORTH AMERICA STUDIES, DIPLOMATIC NORMALIZATION
WITH THE U.S. IN 1995 GAVE GVN AND CPV LEADERSHIP MORE
CONFIDENCE THAT VIETNAM COULD ASSUME A LARGER MULTILATERAL
ROLE. COLONEL NHUNG STATED SEPARATELY THAT WHILE THE U.S.
AND VIETNAM CONTINUE TO HAVE DISAGREEMENTS OVER VARIOUS
ISSUES, ESPECIALLY HUMAN RIGHTS, THE TWO COUNTRIES COOPERATE
WELL IN A NUMBER OF AREAS. AS THE LEVEL OF COOPERATION WITH
THE U.S. HAS INCREASED, SO HAS VIETNAM'S INTEREST IN WORKING
WITH INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS, HE
OBSERVED.

--------------------------------------------
ASEAN: REGIONAL STAGE WITH A BILATERAL TWIST
--------------------------------------------

11. (U) VIETNAM JOINED ASEAN IN JULY 1995 AS ITS SEVENTH
MEMBER. ACCORDING TO PROFESSOR CARLYLE THAYER OF THE ASIA
PACIFIC CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, VIETNAM MOVED RAPIDLY
TO NORMALIZE ITS REGIONAL RELATIONS AFTER THE CAMBODIA ISSUE
WAS RESOLVED, GIVING PRIORITY TO RELATIONS WITH ASEAN
COUNTRIES AND WITH CHINA. MEMBERSHIP IN ASEAN ENHANCED
VIETNAM'S DIPLOMATIC STANDING AND CREATED FAVORABLE
CONDITIONS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THAYER CONTINUED.

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00 USNW-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00
E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00
MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01
OPIC-01 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00
/022W
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R 140954Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5791
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AIT TAIPEI 0671
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, INR, EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/RSP, L/UNA

THAYER ALSO NOTED THAT POLICY MAKERS IN VIETNAM VIEWED
MEMBERSHIP IN ASEAN AS PROVIDING SOME "COVER" FOR CERTAIN
ISSUES OF CONCERN TO THE WEST, SUCH AS HUMAN RIGHTS AND
DEMOCRATIZATION. COLONEL NHUNG OF "PEOPLE'S ARMY" NOTED
THAT ASEAN HAD ALSO BEEN AN "IMPORTANT FORUM" FOR VIETNAM TO
ADDRESS REGIONAL SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES. HE
POINTED TO THE FEBRUARY 2002 ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS'
MEETING IN PHUKET, WHICH HAD RATIFIED A PLAN TO ASSIST
VIETNAM, LAOS, BURMA, AND CAMBODIA (THE FOUR NEWEST AND
LEAST DEVELOPED ASEAN MEMBERS) TO CLOSE THE "DEVELOPMENT
GAP" BETWEEN THEM AND OTHER ASEAN NATIONS.

12. (U) LE LINH LAN, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR EUROPEAN
AND AMERICAN STUDIES AT THE MFA'S INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS (IIR), ALSO NOTED THE POSITIVE SECURITY IMPACT OF
ASEAN AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO VIETNAM. LAN POINTED TO THE
34TH ASEAN MINISTERIAL MEETING IN HANOI LAST JULY, WHICH
REAFFIRMED THE HIGH COUNCIL'S MANDATE TO FACILITATE THE
PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES THROUGH "REGIONAL
PROCESSES."

13. (U) MFA ASEAN DEPARTMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR TRAN DUC BINH
SAID THAT VIETNAM'S INCREASINGLY PROMINENT ROLE IN ASEAN WAS
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A "SOURCE OF PRIDE" TO THE GVN LEADERSHIP. HE POINTED
ESPECIALLY TO THE SIXTH ASEAN SUMMIT, 34TH ASEAN FOREIGN
MINISTERS' MEETING, AND 8TH ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM, ALL HELD
IN HANOI AND ORGANIZED BY VIETNAM AS THE ASEAN CHAIRMAN.
BINH SAID THAT VIETNAM WAS ALSO "VERY PLEASED" TO CO-CHAIR
THE U.S.-ASEAN DIALOGUE HELD IN WASHINGTON IN NOVEMBER 2001.

14. (U) VIETNAM'S ASEAN PARTICIPATION HAS ALSO PROVIDED A
PLATFORM FOR INCREASING BILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS OUTSIDE THE
REGION. AT THE DECEMBER 2000 EU-ASEAN BILATERAL MEETINGS,
FOREIGN MINISTER NIEN HELD TALKS WITH EU COUNTERPARTS FROM
FRANCE, ITALY, IRELAND, AND SPAIN IN AN EFFORT TO
"ACCELERATE" ECONOMIC COOPERATION IN AREAS SUCH AS TRADE,
INVESTMENT, AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY. THIS TYPE OF
ACTIVITY IS IN LINE WITH THE GVN POLICY OF IMPROVING ITS
BILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH AS MANY COUNTRIES AS POSSIBLE.

-----------------
APEC FILLS A NEED
-----------------

15. (U) VIETNAM BECAME A FULL APEC MEMBER IN 1998.
COLONEL NHUNG OF "PEOPLE'S ARMY" DESCRIBED VIETNAM'S
PARTICIPATION IN THE ORGANIZATION AS "ACTIVE," ESPECIALLY IN
THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR. IN MARCH 2002, VIETNAM HOSTED THE
25TH APEC TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION WORKING GROUP
MEETING; IN APRIL 2001, VIETNAM HOSTED THE FIRST INDUSTRIAL
SERVICE AND TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP. AT THAT MEETING,
MINISTER OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND ENVIRONMENT CHU TUAN
NHA SAID THAT TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IS ONE OF THE GVN'S
"TOP POLICY PRIORITIES." AT THE EIGHTH APEC SUMMIT IN
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NOVEMBER 2000, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN MANH CAM
STRESSED THE NEED FOR TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION AMONG APEC
MEMBERS. IN ADDITION, HE NOTED THAT APEC ACTIVITIES SHOULD
HELP PREPARE VIETNAM FOR ACCESSION TO THE WTO. ACCORDING TO
COLONEL NHUNG, APEC IS A GOOD MATCH FOR VIETNAM'S INTERESTS,
BECAUSE VIETNAM IS ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM THE EXPERTISE OF
MEMBERS WITH MORE DEVELOPED ECONOMIES, SUCH AS THE U.S.,
JAPAN, AND AUSTRALIA.

--------------------------------------------- -----------
EU PROVIDES A MARKET, A WINDOW TO EUROPE, AND ASSISTANCE
--------------------------------------------- -----------

16. (U) ANOTHER IMPORTANT MULTILATERAL ACCOMPLISHMENT
DURING THE 1990S WAS THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT SIGNED BETWEEN
THE EU AND VIETNAM IN JULY 1995. THIS AGREEMENT FOLLOWED
OTHER EU-GVN MILESTONES, INCLUDING (1) NORMALIZATION OF
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IN NOVEMBER 1990; AND, (2) THE TEXTILE
AND CLOTHING AGREEMENTS SIGNED IN 1992 AND SUBSEQUENTLY
AMENDED/RENEWED SEVERAL TIMES. THESE AGREEMENTS ALLOWED
VIETNAM GREATER ACCESS TO EU MARKETS. ACCORDING TO
PROFESSOR BUI HUY KHOAT, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL CENTRE FOR
SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES, THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EU
HAS PROVEN "VERY IMPORTANT" TO VIETNAM. HE OBSERVED THAT
THE ENHANCED ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP HAD LED TO STRONGER
POLITICAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH EU COUNTRIES.

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00 USNW-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00
E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00
MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01
OPIC-01 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
SWCI-00 /022W
------------------746402 141021Z /38
R 140954Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5792
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AIT TAIPEI 0672
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

UNCLASSIFIED

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, INR, EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/RSP, L/UNA

17. (U) IN ADDITION TO TRADE AND POLITICAL BENEFITS, THE
GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EU ADVANCES GVN SOCIAL AND
DEVELOPMENT GOALS. IN THE FIELD OF DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION,
THE EU (ALONG WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL DONORS) SUPPORTS
PROJECTS IN HEALTH AND EDUCATION, REFORESTATION, AND
"POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN THE LEAST FAVORED RURAL AND
MOUNTAINOUS AREAS," ALL BASIC GVN DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

18. (U) DESPITE A GENERALLY POSITIVE PICTURE, THE VIETNAM-
EU RELATIONSHIP HAS EXPERIENCED A FEW BUMPS ALONG THE ROAD,
PARTICULARLY CONCERNING HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY. EU
COMMISSIONER FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHRIS PATTEN EXPRESSED
"CONCERN" ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN VIETNAM IN
JULY 2001. THE EU FOLLOWED WITH A STRONGER STATEMENT AT THE
NOVEMBER JOINT COMMISSION MEETING, EXPLICITLY CITING
PROBLEMS WITH FREEDOM OF OPINION AND RELIGION, THE SITUATION
OF ETHNIC MINORITIES, AND CONTINUED APPLICATION OF THE DEATH
PENALTY. THE GVN RESPONDED FORCEFULLY TO THIS STATEMENT,
CLAIMING IT DID "NOT REFLECT REALITY."

---------------------------------------------
ECOSOC: A HIGH PROFILE MULTILATERAL PLATFORM
---------------------------------------------
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19. (U) ACCORDING TO THE IIR'S LAN, SERVING AS AN ECOSOC
MEMBER FOR THREE YEARS (1997-2000) PROVIDED VIETNAM WITH "AN
IMPORTANT AND PRESTIGIOUS WINDOW" TO MAKE ITS VIEWS ABOUT
THE UN AND DEVELOPMENT KNOWN TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.
ON JULY 17, 2000, NGUYEN XUAN ANG, VIETNAM'S THEN-
REPRESENTATIVE AT ECOSOC, TOLD THE COUNCIL THAT UN PROGRAMS
IN VIETNAM HAD BEEN EFFECTIVE, THAT THE RESOURCES PROVIDED
UNDER THOSE PROGRAMS HAD BEEN WELL USED, AND THAT THEY WILL
HELP VIETNAM ACHIEVE "POVERTY ERADICATION BY 2010," ONE OF
THE GVN'S PRIMARY SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS. ANG EMPHASIZED
THAT VIETNAM WOULD CONTINUE TO "FULLY COOPERATE" WITH UN
PROGRAMS. IN A SPEECH AT A JULY 1999 ECOSOC HIGH LEVEL
SEGMENT, THEN-DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER NIEN PRAISED THE WORK
OF THE COUNCIL AND NOTED ITS IMPORTANCE TO ADDRESSING THE
NEEDS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, INCLUDING VIETNAM.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS: TRYING TO HEAD OFF CRITICISM
--------------------------------------------- ------------

20. (U) HOANG BICH LIEN, SENIOR EXPERT IN MFA/IO FOR HUMAN
RIGHTS, SAID THAT VIETNAM'S ELECTION TO A THREE YEAR TERM ON
THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IN 2000 WAS AN "IMPORTANT
STEP" AND PROVIDED AN OPPORTUNITY FOR VIETNAM TO "SHOW"
THAT IT HAS A GOOD HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD. OTHER OBSERVERS
HAVE NOTED THAT ITS SEAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO VIETNAM AS A
WAY TO PRE-EMPT CRITICISM OF ITS DOMESTIC HUMAN RIGHTS
SITUATION, HOWEVER. IN 2001, VIETNAM PARTICIPATED IN THE
COMMISSION FOR THE FIRST TIME AS A FULL MEMBER. (NOTE:
ACCORDING TO THE US MISSION IN GENEVA, THE GVN DELEGATION
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PAGE 04 HANOI 00589 04 OF 06 141021Z
KEPT A "VERY LOW PROFILE" DURING COMMISSION SESSIONS. THE
MISSION CHARACTERIZED VIETNAM'S PARTICIPATION AS "PASSIVE."
END NOTE.)

-------------------------------------
STRONG GVN-UN DEVELOPMENTAL RELATIONS
-------------------------------------

21. (U) COLONEL NHUNG NOTED THAT OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS,
THE UN HAS MADE "GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS" TO VIETNAM'S
DEVELOPMENT. GVN LEADERS IN GENERAL HAVE BEEN VERY PLEASED
WITH UN PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION, AND, FOR THE MOST PART, THE
PROJECTS HAVE BEEN "FREE OF CORRUPTION," SOMETHING THAT IS
NOT ALWAYS TRUE FOR BILATERAL PROJECTS, NHUNG ADDED.

22. (U) SEVERAL RESIDENT UN REPRESENTATIVES GAVE THE GVN
HIGH MARKS AS A PARTNER. DR. DORIS BUDDENBERG, RESIDENT
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UN INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONTROL PROGRAM
(UNDCP), SAID THAT SHE HAS EXCELLENT RELATIONS WITH HER GVN
COUNTERPARTS AND HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY IMPRESSED WITH THE CROP
SUBSTITUTION EFFORTS OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND
RURAL DEVELOPMENT.

23. (U) ROSAMARIA DURAND, REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UN
EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)
VIETNAM OFFICE, SAID SEPARATELY THAT THE NATIONAL COMMISSION
FOR UNESCO IN VIETNAM (ORGANIZATIONALLY UNDER THE MFA) LOOKS

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO3923

PAGE 01 HANOI 00589 05 OF 06 141021Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 USNW-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 OIGO-00
E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00
MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01
OPIC-01 PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00
EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /022W
------------------746415 141022Z /38
R 140954Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5793
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AIT TAIPEI 0673
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00589 05 OF 06 141021Z
UNCLAS SECTION 05 OF 06 HANOI 000589

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, INR, EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/RSP, L/UNA

WELL AFTER UNESCO'S INTERESTS. SHE PRAISED THE FOREIGN
MINISTER FOR HAVING "STRONGLY SUPPORTED" UNESCO ACTIVITIES
IN VIETNAM. AT UNESCO'S 31ST SESSION IN OCTOBER 2001, DPM
PHAM GIA KHIEM EXPRESSED THE GVN'S DESIRE TO SERVE ON THE
UNESCO EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. VIETNAM'S SUCCESS IN WINNING A
PLACE ON THE COUNCIL SIGNALED ITS DESIRE TO BE MORE ACTIVE
IN THE ORGANIZATION, ACCORDING TO DURAND.

24. (U) UN POPULATION FUND (UNFPA) VIETNAM REPRESENTATIVE
OMER ERTUR STATED SEPARATELY THAT, FROM UNFPA'S PERSPECTIVE,
VIETNAM HAS BEEN A GOOD PARTNER FOR ITS PROJECTS. HE
DESCRIBED VIETNAM AS A "MOBILIZATION" SOCIETY; ONCE THE GVN
DECIDED TO TAKE A SERIOUS APPROACH TO THE POPULATION
PROBLEM, THE "MASS ORGANIZATIONS TOOK OVER" AND CONVINCED
THE POPULATION THAT THIS WAS THE POLICY OF THE FUTURE. IN
GENERAL, HE SAID, THE GVN VIEWS UNFPA AND ITS PROGRAMS AS
"VERY IMPORTANT" TO ITS OWN POLICIES.

25. (U) FORMER UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE MORTEN GIERSING SAID
BEFORE HE LEFT HIS POST IN DECEMBER 2001 THAT HE VIEWED HIS
EXPERIENCE WITH THE GVN AS "VERY POSITIVE." ACCORDING TO
GIERSING, SINCE UNICEF PROJECTS ARE DEVELOPED WITH
SIGNIFICANT INPUT FROM THE GVN, THERE IS GENERALLY A "BUY-
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 00589 05 OF 06 141021Z
IN" AT THE SENIOR LEVELS AND RELATIVELY GOOD MINISTERIAL
COORDINATION. HE CLAIMED THAT THE GVN HAD SEEN THE POSITIVE
RESULTS OF UNICEF PROGRAMS, ESPECIALLY THE SUCCESSFUL
CAMPAIGN TO VACCINATE CHILDREN. HE ALSO POINTED TO
VIETNAM'S ACTIVE ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION, NOTING THAT
VIETNAM SERVED A TERM ON UNICEF'S EXECUTIVE COUNCIL FROM
1996 TO 1999.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
LACK OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES LIMITS PARTICIPATION
--------------------------------------------- ------------

26. (U) THE MFA/IO'S VINH NOTED THAT, AS VIETNAM HAS
BROADENED ITS ACTIVITIES WITH INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL
ORGANIZATIONS, A LACK OF QUALIFIED PERSONNEL HAD LIMITED ITS
EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION. FOR EXAMPLE, HE SAID, THE MFA DOES
NOT ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH OFFICIALS TO SEND TO INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCES, EVEN THOSE OF INTEREST TO THE GVN. GVN EMBASSY
OFFICIALS IN THOSE COUNTRIES SOMETIMES ATTEND AS OBSERVERS,
BUT THE RELEVANT GVN FUNCTIONAL MINISTRY OFTEN DERIVES
LITTLE BENEFIT, VINH ADDED. THE IIR'S LAN NOTED SEPARATELY
THAT THE STAFFS OF THE MFA AND OTHER MINISTRIES WOULD
REQUIRE MORE TRAINING FULLY TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO OPERATE IN
A MULTILATERAL FORUM. RECOGNIZING THIS PROBLEM, LAN
CLAIMED, VIETNAM HAD USED ITS PARTICIPATION IN APEC AS ONE
WAY TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE. AT THE 9TH MEETING OF ECONOMIC
LEADERS OF APEC, HELD IN SHANGHAI IN OCTOBER 2001, VIETNAM
PUT FORTH AN INITIATIVE ON "TRAINING AND RETRAINING OF HUMAN
RESOURCES TO ASSIST DEVELOPING MEMBERS TOWARD THE NEW
ECONOMY."

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 00589 05 OF 06 141021Z
27. (U) IN ADDITION, VINH ADMITTED THAT VIETNAM SIMPLY
DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT OFFICIALS WHO HAVE THE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE ABILITY NEEDED TO PLAY RESPONSIBLE ROLES IN
INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS; THIS IS ALSO
TRUE WITHIN ASEAN. THIS PROBLEM IS LESS ACUTE NOW THAN A
FEW YEARS AGO BUT IT STILL WILL TAKE "SOME TIME" UNTIL IT IS
RESOLVED, CONCLUDED VINH. COLONEL NHUNG PREDICTED THAT AS
MORE VIETNAMESE STUDENTS STUDY ABROAD, THEY WILL BECOME A
GOOD RESOURCE FOR BOTH GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS.

28. (U) VIETNAM ALSO FACES A CONSTANT STRUGGLE TO FIND THE
BUDGETARY RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ITS PARTICIPATION IN
INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS, ACCORDING TO
VINH. HE EXPLAINED THAT VIETNAM "IS A POOR COUNTRY" AND
CANNOT AFFORD TO SET UP MISSIONS AND PARTICIPATE AS FULLY AS
THE GVN WOULD LIKE. FUNDS ARE VERY LIMITED EVEN FOR SENDING
DELEGATIONS TO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES. VINH CONCLUDED
THAT THE LACK OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES WILL CONTINUE
TO BE A PROBLEM FOR "QUITE SOME TIME."

--------------------------------------------- ----------
SINGAPORE HELPING TRAIN OFFICIALS UNDER ASEAN FRAMEWORK
--------------------------------------------- ----------

29. (U) ASEAN HAS RECOGNIZED THE HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUE
AMONG ITS LESS DEVELOPED MEMBERS. AT THE FOURTH ASEAN
INFORMAL SUMMIT HELD IN SINGAPORE IN NOVEMBER 2000, ASEAN

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2756

PAGE 01 HANOI 00589 06 OF 06 141022Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 OIGO-00 E-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05
MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01
PA-00 PC-01 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00
SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00 EPAE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00
/022W
------------------746420 141022Z /38
R 140954Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5794
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
AIT TAIPEI 0674
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ABLAGG//

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 00589 06 OF 06 141022Z
UNCLAS SECTION 06 OF 06 HANOI 000589

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, INR, EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/RSP, L/UNA

LEADERS AGREED TO LAUNCH THE "INITIATIVE FOR ASEAN
INTEGRATION" (IAI), WHICH PROVIDES A FRAMEWORK FOR REGIONAL
COOPERATION "AIMED AT NARROWING THE DIVIDE WITHIN ASEAN AND
ENHANCING ASEAN'S COMPETITIVENESS AS A REGION." SINGAPORE
AGREED TO TAKE THE LEAD FOR THIS PROGRAM, AND IN NOVEMBER
2001 LAUNCHED THE VIETNAM-SINGAPORE TRAINING CENTER IN
DOWNTOWN HANOI. (NOTE: SINGAPORE WILL SUPPORT SIMILAR
CENTERS IN CAMBODIA, LAOS, AND BURMA. END NOTE.) ACCORDING
TO ANDREW TENG, SINGAPORE EMBASSY FIRST SECRETARY, THE
CENTER WILL TRAIN VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS IN FIELDS INCLUDING
TRADE, INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS, INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW,
POLICY ANALYSIS AND FORMULATION, TOURISM, AND ENGLISH.
ALTHOUGH THE TRAINING CENTER DID NOT OFFICIALLY OPEN UNTIL
NOVEMBER, 73 VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS RECEIVED TRAINING IN TRADE
POLICY AND WTO ACCESSION UNDER THE IAI FRAMEWORK IN JULY AND
OCTOBER, TENG NOTED. TENG SAID THAT SINGAPORE WILL COMMIT
USD FIVE MILLION TO THE PROJECT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.
MOST TRAINEES WILL BE FROM THE GVN OR STATE-OWNED
ENTERPRISES.

-------
COMMENT
-------
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 00589 06 OF 06 141022Z

30. (U) VIETNAM HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT EFFORTS TO ASSUME A
LARGER ROLE IN THE INTERNATIONAL AND MULTILATERAL
ENVIRONMENT, A TREND THAT IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE TO DEEPEN
DESPITE THESE HUMAN AND MATERIAL LIMITATIONS. THIS
PARTICIPATION WILL LIKELY ENHANCE VIETNAM'S UNDERSTANDING OF
AND COMMITMENT TO INTERNATIONAL NORMS AND VALUES, PROVIDE
NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXCHANGES OF VIEWS THAT MAY SOMETIMES
BE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR MORE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENTS WITHIN THE
GVN, AND ADD MOMENTUM TO THE EVOLUTION OF A MORE
PROFESSIONAL -- RATHER THAN IDEOLOGICAL -- BODY OF GVN
OFFICIALS AS WELL AS TO THE ONGOING DEVELOPMENT OF CIVIL
SOCIETY WITHIN VIETNAM.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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