Cablegate: Ambassador Calls On New Institute Of

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) SUMMARY: In a February 26 courtesy call,
Ambassador Trinh Quang Thanh, the new Director General of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Institute of
International Relations (IIR), told Ambassador Burghardt
that IIR "greatly appreciates" Embassy Hanoi's support and
looks forward to a continued and expanded cooperative
relationship. Thanh expressed interest in receiving help
from FSI in developing a course for senior GVN diplomats.
Ambassador said that the embassy would welcome more
engagement with IIR. END SUMMARY

2. (U) Ambassador Burghardt paid a courtesy call on new
IIR General Director Trinh Quang Thanh on February 26.
Prior to assuming the IIR post, Ambassador Thanh was
Vietnam's ambassador to Canada (1999-2002; worked in the
MFA's Policy Planning Division (1990-1999); and served in
the MFA's Europe I Division (1972-1989). He holds a BA from
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and an MA from
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies


3. (U) The GVN established IIR in 1977 and tasked it with
doing research on international affairs and training the
MFA's diplomats. In Department of State terms, IIR can be
viewed as a MFA combination of FSI and INR. Current
enrollment is about 1,100 students. According to Ambassador
Thanh, about twenty percent of IIR graduates actually end up
working in the MFA; most land in other GVN ministries or in
external relations offices within provincial governments.

4. (U) IIR's research component consists of three
divisions: (1) North America/Europe; Northeast Asia; and
Southeast Asia. There are approximately 25 researchers who
do research projects for the MFA. Some projects are self-
generated, while others are done upon request. A number of
researchers have access to classified information, according
to Ambassador Thanh, and many also have concurrent teaching
responsibilities. Ambassador Thanh said that during his
tenure, he envisions IIR assuming more of a "think tank"
role, focusing on Vietnam's activities within the regional


5. (U) Strong ties already exist between IIR and US
institutions. The Ford Foundation and Asia Foundation both
support scholarships for students to study in the U.S.
and/or bring in guest lecturers from the U.S. Ambassador
Thanh noted that IIR researchers/instructors have studied at
Columbia, Johns Hopkins/SAIS, Notre Dame, Tufts University
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, St. Johns, and the
University of Hawaii.

6. (U) Ambassador Thanh said that he "very much
appreciates" the support of the US embassy for IIR. He also
invited Ambassador Burghardt for another roundtable
discussion, similar to one held in 2002. Reaction among the
students who attended was "very positive," noted Ambassador
Thanh. Ambassador Burghardt said that he would also welcome
expanded cooperation, including more guest speakers from the
U.S. and would look forward to another roundtable.


7. (U) While IIR trains young and mid-level diplomats,
there is currently no training at the senior level.
Ambassador Thanh said that he plans to develop such a course
and would like to learn more about FSI's approach.
Ambassador Burghardt agreed that it would be useful to
implement such training and said that he would inquire how
FSI could help.


8. (U) While the relationship between the embassy and IIR
is already quite strong, Ambassador Thanh appears genuinely
interested in expanding it. Although at times IIR
researchers have been fearful of attending PAS programs on
"sensitive" topics such as U.S. policy towards Iraq or North
Korea, there are elements within the institution, which
consider the contact useful. This relationship is worth
nurturing and embassy will continue to work with IIR towards
the goal of expanding USG contacts among a significant group
of well-educated men and women who have a good chance of
moving into future policy making positions. BURGHARDT

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>