Phát biểu của Đại diện UNESCO Hà Nội tại Hội thảo Quốc tế "Di sản Hồ Chí Minh trong thời đại ngày nay"
On the celebration of the birth of Ho Chi Minh
I am here today to fulfill the mandate of the resolution adopted by the General Conference of
UNESCO at its twenty-fourth session held in Paris in 1987, on the
celebration of the birth of President Ho Chi Minh, a
national hero and a great man of culture. The General Conference considered
that international celebrations on the birthdays of eminent intellectual and
cultural personalities would contribute to reaching UNESCO’s objectives and to
greater international understanding.
The General Conference also considered him an outstanding symbol
of national affirmation since he had devoted his life to freeing Vietnam
and the Vietnamese people, thereby contributing to the common struggle of all
people for peace, national independence, democracy, and social progress. They also considered that his
important and multifaceted contributions in the fields of culture, education,
and the arts crystallized Vietnam’s
cultural tradition, one that stretches back several thousand years, and that
his ideals embodied the aspirations of people as they strive to affirm their
cultural identity and promote mutual understanding.
on these considerations, the General Conference recommended
to Member States that they join in the commemoration of the birth of President
Ho Chi Minh by organizing various events as a tribute to his memory in order to
spread knowledge of the greatness of his ideals and of his work for national
They also requested the Director General of UNESCO to take
appropriate steps to celebrate his birth and to lend support to commemorative
activities organized on that occasion, in particular those taking place in Viet Nam.
UNESCO’s decision was also
based on contributions made by Ho Chi Minh in UNESCO’s five sectors. I would
like to recall just a few of them:
In the Culture Sector, for example, we
find that Ho Chi Minh, in addition to being a poet, was concerned with
protecting and preserving heritage. Decree No. 65 dated November 1945 and
issued by the then President of the Provisional Government of the Vietnam
Democratic Republic, stipulated that preserving historical vestiges is a very
necessary task for the construction of Vietnam. The decision went further to forbid destruction ofcommunal
houses, pagodas, temples, shrines, or other places of worship, palaces,
citadels, and tombs, as well as objects, edicts, diplomas, documents, books,
whether of a religious nature or not, but beneficial to history, that had not
as yet been preserved. He was also concerned with restoration of the many traditional art forms from around the country.
preservation are very important mandates in UNESCO. The
Organization seeks to encourage identification, protection, and preservation of
natural and tangible and intangible cultural heritage around the world
considered to be of outstanding value to humanity, as embodied in the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritageand in the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding
of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Another of Ho
Chi Minh’s examples in keeping with this is the decree recognizing Hung Kings
Festival, a patriotic event whose purpose is to bring to mind great deeds of
long ago as well as to emphasize the spiritual strength of a unified nation.
Early on, Ho Chi Minh
acknowledged the mixed nature of the Vietnamese culture. He said, “The Vietnamese culture is the outcome
of the interaction between East and West.” He also
believed that culture serves as a guide for nations in the sense that it helps
increase public awareness, revive national vitality, and guarantee human
rights, while asserting the people’s economic, political, and cultural rights.
He also paid special
attention the relationship of culture, economics, and politics and furthermore
believed that culture should permeate all of society and touch each member in order to
tap their creative potentials.
In the sector of
Communication and Information, we see his role in developing the press. For
example, he created his
own monthly journal,Le Paria, which means "The Outcast" in 1921, and foundedVietnam’s first revolutionary
newspaper, Thanh niên (Youth), in 1925 and
became its first editor-in-chief. He also created the
Vietnamese Communist Party’s primary national newspaper, Nhân Dânor, (ThePeople's Daily),
which is published in Hanoi
and still is the official voice of the Vietnamese Communist Party Central
Ho Chi Minh introduced a new style of journalism
in the country: the nation and the population as main news topics. Writing for
the working class, revolutionary newspapers had to describe real life events of
working people and guide their behaviors and actions to help them improve their
Some have said that Ho Chi Minh laid the foundation for Vietnamese
journalism, a logical assumption since he was a journalist throughout his life.
He wrote many types of literature and journalism: eye witness accounts, news
stories, editorials, poems, and others. His articles, to the point and written
simply, clearly, and concisely, were easily understood by his large readership.
Journalists Association was also established under the guidelines of the
Central Party Committee and President Ho Chi Minh; at its inception, it counted
on just 200 members, but that group has increased now to over 16,000.
I find interesting the fact that in
1946 Ho Chi Minh, as Interim President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam,
signed an edict to create the Ministry of National Economy, which included a
statistics division charged with gathering figures on the population, financial
situation, economics, politics, and, even more interesting, culture.
Today, we are working with support
from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Vietnamese General Statistics
Office and Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sports to develop a Framework for
Vietnamese Cultural Statistics in order to support evidenced-based policy
formulation and implementation, especially since culture is becoming a key
factor in sustainable development.
Along different lines, I found evidence that
throughout his life, Ho Chi Minh paid attention to women's issues. He believed that in order to help women participate in social activities,
gender-based discrimination must be eradicated and that the government should
introduce policies to encourage women to join men in production, economic
management, and cultural activities. He also said in his testament that the
party and government should work out practical plans to ensure more women
participate in every area of work, including leadership, and that they should
strive to advance themselves.
For UNESCO, gender equality is a
fundamental human right, commonly shared value, and necessary condition for
achieving international development goals, including all Millennium Development
Goals. Ultimately, women’s empowerment and gender equality are political issues
that require a political response and commitment by world leaders and policy
In relation to Social
Sciences and under UNESCO-promoted concepts of
peaceful cooperation and world mutual understanding, Viet Nam is working intensely on
contributing to the region and the world. A new-style of Vietnamese diplomacy
came into being at the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, under the
leadership of Ho Chi Minh. The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs was founded in August 1945 when the provisional
cabinet was announced. Acknowledging the importance of diplomacy, President Ho
Chi Minh doubled as Minister of Foreign Affairs until March 1947.
In relation to the
Natural Science Sector, Ho Chi Minh showed early on his concern for issues
relating to the environment and to a harmonious relationship between man and
nature in the development of a nation. He is said to have advocated for the
need to fight against natural disasters and topreserve and to protect
natural resources and the ecology, emphasizing the importance of forestation,
irrigation, and soil quality improvement.
His focus on tree planting and environmental
improvement stretched across borders such that, during overseas visits or when
receiving foreign guests in Vietnam, he would hold tree planting ceremonies and
called these “friendship trees”, symbols of the relationship between Vietnam
and the world and of a positive attitude towards the environment. I can easily understand why we are invited to ceremonies
in which we plant trees. Even in his will, Ho Chi Minh recommended visitors plant memorial trees.
He furthermore appealed to everyone to
“plant and protect forests, as if you were protecting your own home.” As an
example, he created a wonderful natural environment around his house and took
care of his trees, pond, and birds, stressing that the latter should be
protected as they are the gems of the nature.
In the Education Sector, I find it
interesting he believed that eradicating illiteracy meant forging a mass
education movement. He pointed out that reading and writing could be done
anywhere, using charcoal, the ground, or banana leaves as pens and paper. He
wisely indicated that when a person has learned to read, he or she should
continue studying because literate people can forget how to read if they have
no reading materials. He stated clear that the government and the Ministry of
Education have the task of furnishing books and newspapers suited to the each
Since its foundation in 1946, UNESCO has been at the forefront of global
literacy efforts with such central programs as Education For
All, essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing
population growth, achieving gender equality, and ensuring sustainable
development, peace, and democracy. Moreover,
it was interesting to read in the 1945 Vietnam Nationalist Official Gazette
that the Ministry of Education was constituted almost immediately after Ho Chi
Min became President of the Provisional Government of the Vietnam Democratic
is somehow a correlation between Ho Chi Minh’s thought that “the ultimate goal
of learning is to become a human in the real sense of the word”, and the four
pillars of learning that were defined back in the 1990’s as fundamental
principles for reshaping education by the International Commission on Education
for the Twenty-first Century in their report to UNESCO. The Commission felt
that education throughout life is based upon four pillars:
Learning to know
which implies providing the cognitive tools required to comprehend the world
and its complexities better, and to provide an appropriate and adequate
foundation for future learning.
Learning to dowhich meansproviding
the skills that would enable individuals to participate effectively in the
global economy and society.
Learning to be
means providing self analytical and social skills to enable individuals to
develop to their fullest potential psycho-socially, affectively as well as
physically, for an all-round ‘complete person’.
Learning to live togetherimplies exposing
individuals to the values implicit within democratic principles, intercultural
understanding, and respect and peace at all levels of society and human
relationships to enable individuals and societies to live in peace and harmony.
I would like to end my speech with the
For a sailboat that does not have a
port to sail to, it does not matter which way the wind blows. It can arrive at
any port. Knowing which port you want to go to means having a clear vision of
where you want to get to. It means controlling the wind speed and strength to
reach that specific port.
Having a national hero such as Ho Chi
Minh, who is considered so by many not only in Viet Nam, but also throughout the
world, is like having a symbol that identified a vision, a safe port for the
country. And more than that, such a leader also shows the way to control the
wind through the spirit of pride, hard work, and peaceful relations.
I now join the Vietnamese nation in commemorating the anniversary of a great personality who
left an imprint on the development of humanity and in the history of this
country. I wish you all a prosperous and peaceful future