21/02/2005 02:40:24 PM
RESOLUTION No 36 - NQ/TW , MARCH 26, 2004 BY THE POLITBUREAU ON THE OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE AFFAIRS

I. BACKGROUND AND OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE AFFAIRS IN RECENT YEARS

1- At present, there are approximately 2.7 million overseas Vietnamese in around 90 countries and territories with 80% residing in developed nations. The majority of them have settled down and integrated into the local community with certain economic and political positions and influence to different extents on relations between Vietnam and their countries of residence. Besides, in recent years, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese have gone abroad to work, study or reunite with their families, leading to the formation of more Vietnamese communities in these countries.

Vietnamese communities overseas have certain economic potentials. They also have connections with both foreign businesses and international organizations, and could help seek partners for Vietnamese enterprises and organizations.  Many of them have a high level of education and expertise. Some hold important positions in research or educational institutions, businesses, and international organizations, and therefore can have strong connections with economic and scientific establishments in the host countries.

Though living far away from their fatherland, overseas Vietnamese have always nurtured patriotism and national esteem, preserved cultural traditions, turned towards to their ancestors and origins, and kept close relationship with their families and homeland. Many have made spiritual and financial contribution or even sacrificed their own life for the cause of national liberalization and reunification. The national pride and patriotism of overseas Vietnamese have also been deepened alongside with Vietnam’s great achievements during the Doi Moi process in promoting economic, cultural and social development, maintaining social and political stability and improving its position in the international arena. The Doi Moi process and the policy for great national unity of the Party, State and Government have been applauded by the majority of overseas Vietnamese. Wishing for their homeland to prosper and stand on par with other nations in the region and the world, many people have returned to Vietnam to make investment, do business, promote cooperation in science, technology, culture, art, sport or participate in charity activities. This is the prevailing trend in the life of Vietnamese communities abroad.

However, overseas Vietnamese in a number of countries are still faced with difficulties in stabilizing their life and getting an official status. In some cases, they are even subject to discrimination. A number of overseas Vietnamese have not been able to come back to their homeland to see with their own eyes achievements of the Doi Moi process. Others may not fully understand the situation in Vietnam due to their prejudices or sense of inferiority. A small number still have attempts to carry out acts against the country, national interests and undermine the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and their country of residence. The cohesiveness and spirit of mutual assistance within each community are not strongly established. Measures to preserve and promote national identities and traditions are not taken, leading to difficulties in maintaining the Vietnamese language and culture among the younger generation. There is a high and critical need for overseas Vietnamese communities to conduct cultural exchanges with their homeland and maintain the Vietnamese language. However, this need has not been met. Their contributions to the national construction, especially their brainpower, are not commensurate with their potentials.

2- The Party, State and Government, considering overseas Vietnamese an inseparable part of the community of Vietnamese nationalities, have adopted open policies and measures to facilitate their return for visiting family, doing business and developing cooperation in science, technology, art and culture. The policy on the overseas Vietnamese has been reformed, bringing about positive outcomes both in and outside the country. Communication and cultural activities at community, especially through broadcasting and Internet, have been gradually improved. Progress has also been made in the coordination between competent agencies, namely the Vietnam Fatherland Front, local authorities and Vietnamese representative missions overseas.

However, guidelines and policies of the Party and State on overseas Vietnamese have not been fully understood and implemented. Policy studies and recommendations have not met the new requirements. Protection of the overseas Vietnamese’s legitimate rights has not been given due attention. Policies adopted are not synchronous and fully reflective of great national unity, failing to encourage overseas Vietnamese to turn towards the homeland and contribute to the national development. Ways and means to meet the need of overseas Vietnamese for information on latest developments of the country and the policy of the Party and State have not been developed. Community mobilization has not been renewed and diversified to involve overseas Vietnamese in activities beneficial to the community and homeland. Less attention has been given to discovering and encouraging active elements as well as to rewarding those who have made contributions.

The major cause to these above-mentioned shortcomings is derived from insufficient awareness of different levels, branches and mass organizations about the Party’s policy on overseas Vietnamese. On the other hand, party committees and administrations at different levels have not given due attention to this undertaking and the implementation supervision. Coordination among relevant ministries and agencies as well as between central and local levels, between domestic and overseas agencies and mostly among agencies directly in charge of overseas Vietnamese affairs has not been consolidated. Besides, funding sources are still limited.

II. FUTURE GUIDELINES AND POLICIES ON OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE

1- The policy on overseas Vietnamese must fully reflect the tradition of national unity, which is built on nationalism, patriotism, national pride and common goals of every Vietnamese people to secure national independence and territorial integrity, build Viet Nam into a strong country with wealthy people, just, democratic and advanced society. On the one hand, all sense of inferiority, prejudice and discrimination due to their past or division of social classes will be eliminated in the spirit of openness, mutual respect and understanding as well as future outlook. All Vietnamese, regardless of their nationalities, religions and origins, social status and reasons of departure, who wish to contribute to the fulfillment of the above-said goals are welcomed to join the great national unity.

2- The overseas Vietnamese community is an integral part and resource of the Vietnamese nation, acting as an important factor to strengthen Viet Nam’s friendship and cooperation with other countries. The State is responsible for negotiating with countries concerned to set up legal framework for overseas Vietnamese to settle down and have their legitimate rights protected in accordance with the residing countries’ laws and international conventions and practice as well.

The Party and State wish to encourage overseas Vietnamese to integrate into the local societies, strictly follow residing countries’ laws and settle down, build a happy life, succeed in business and hold high the national self-respect and pride, maintain the Vietnamese language, cultural identities and national traditions as well. Overseas Vietnamese are also encouraged to promote their unity, mutual assistance, maintain links with family and homeland, thus helping expand friendship and cooperation between the residing countries and Viet Nam. Moreover, overseas Vietnamese, depending on their conditions, could also make contributions to the national construction, and actively participate in the struggle against attempts that run counter to the common interests of the nation.                 

3- Overseas Vietnamese affairs must be synchronous.  Policy should be coupled with its dissemination and domestic and overseas activities should be closely linked to each other. These undertakings should be carried out through appropriate forms and methods suitable for different groups of people and locations on a voluntary basis and not conflicting with the laws, customs and traditions of host countries.

4- Overseas Vietnamese affairs are the responsibility of the entire political system and people. Party, State and fatherland front’s institutions as well as mass organizations at different levels from central to local, domestic and overseas, and the entire population should view this as an important task to bring into full play the strength of the great national unity in the national construction and defense.

III. MAJOR TASKS

1- The State will create every favourable condition and give support for the overseas Vietnamese to stabilize their life, integrate into the society of residing countries and maintain close links with the homeland.

Seek local governments’ support, through active diplomatic activities, for overseas Vietnamese to lead a normal life; take steps to negotiate and sign necessary agreements with other countries, including consular and judicial agreements, to protect legitimate interests of overseas Vietnamese and prevent discrimination and other acts against the Vietnamese people abroad; address quickly and satisfactorily their requirements related to the citizenship issue.

Facilitate their return to visit their homeland, relatives and pay tribute to their ancestors; further streamline regulations on immigration, residence and travel of overseas Vietnamese in Viet Nam; Quickly process applications for repatriation or return for business or stay on definite terms in Vietnam; Continue to solve outstanding issues that involve overseas Vietnamese such as house purchase in Vietnam, inheritance, marriage and family, adoption and so on; introduce a single price system for all Vietnamese, domestic and overseas alike.

Put in place an appropriate mechanism for consultations with overseas Vietnamese before the promulgation of legal documents and policies concerned.

2- Improve existing and issue new policies on talents attraction to maximize overseas Vietnamese brainpower to the cause of national development; build a satisfactory mechanism of incentives and rewards for overseas Vietnamese experts and intellectuals who have good command of knowledge and skills and can advise the Government on management, transfer of technology and national arts and cultural development.

Introduce and improve policies to encourage and create favourable conditions for domestic agencies and institutions in science and technology, arts and culture, education and training, health, sports, production and services etc. to cooperate with or use overseas Vietnamese experts and intellectuals in implementing bilateral and multilateral programmes and projects between Vietnam and other countries or encourage them to work for international organizations that reserve quota for Vietnamese staff and advise the Vietnamese side in promoting relations with foreign partners.

Seek collaboration such as legal advice of overseas Vietnamese for lobbying activities in countries where they reside.

3- Improve the existing and introduce new policies to encourage overseas Vietnamese to invest and do business in Vietnam; attach importance to small and medium sized projects managed by overseas Vietnamese or through their relatives in Vietnam; further liberalize policies on remittance; make use of overseas Vietnamese’ ability and skills in the service sector to establish and expand distribution channels for Vietnamese products and to build new business and investment relations with foreign partners.

Establish a coordination mechanism among relevant authorities to solve cases involving overseas Vietnamese businesses in Vietnam to secure their legitimate and lawful rights and interests and deal with their violations in accordance with laws, thus creating a stable legal environment to build confidence among overseas Vietnamese investors.

4- Renew and diversify mobilizing activities aimed at uniting overseas Vietnamese in mutual assistance, encouraging them to turn towards the motherland, especially that of the young generation on the voluntary basis and in accordance with laws, traditions and customs of the local countries; assist overseas Vietnamese’ projects to achieve that goal; take active steps to increase contacts with overseas Vietnamese including those who still have prejudices against or sense of inferiority to our State and regime.

5- Increase investment in the programme of teaching and learning the Vietnamese language for overseas Vietnamese, especially for the younger generation; complete text books on the Vietnamese language for overseas Vietnamese and improve the Vietnamese language learning programmes on TV, radio and through the internet; where it is possible, send teachers to help overseas Vietnamese to learn the language; organize Vietnamese-speaking summer camps for overseas Vietnamese youths.

Organize performances by national art troupes, especially folklore groups, to serve overseas Vietnamese communities; creating favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese artists and athletes to perform and compete in Vietnam and to participate in Vietnamese art and sport delegations taking part in international performances and competitions; organize, on a regular basis, cultural, literature and art exchange programmes as well as exhibitions, workshops and tours on the theme of “towards the origin”.

6- Strongly reform communication and information activities to help overseas Vietnamese better understand the country’s situation and Party and State’s policies; Invest more in radio, television and internet programmes targeting overseas Vietnamese, focus on renewing the contents and forms of these programmes as well as on their equipment; Support the publication of print media and the opening of radios and televisions abroad; Develop online libraries for overseas Vietnamese; Provide financial support for and simplify procedures for shipping books, newspapers and other publications to the Vietnamese community abroad.

7- Develop the rewarding policy for overseas Vietnamese, put in place the award mechanism for overseas Vietnamese individuals and organizations with meritorious contributions to strengthening the Vietnamese community, building the country, and for domestic Vietnamese individuals and organizations with contributions to overseas Vietnamese affairs; Address humanitarian issues left behind by history in a satisfactory way and based on the Vietnamese moral with a view to realizing the policy of great national unity; At the same time, take appropriate measures to prevent any attempt to act against our national interests, jeopardize the relations between Vietnam and countries having a large number of overseas Vietnamese or create division within the Vietnamese community in the host country.

8- Party organizations, State agencies at central and local levels, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations, in accordance with their tasks and functions, take active part in overseas Vietnamese affairs; Develop close coordination between the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese and relevant agencies, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations in Vietnam and abroad; Promote mass organizations involved in overseas Vietnamese affairs like the Liaison Office with Overseas Vietnamese, overseas Vietnamese relatives associations and other legitimate forms of associations that are in line with the desire of the community and conditions of residing countries.

Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad must consider overseas Vietnamese affairs an important political task; step up protection for Vietnamese citizens and safeguard the legitimate interests of overseas Vietnamese; increase contacts with the Vietnamese community and disseminate information on Party and State’s policies.

9- The Committee for Overseas Vietnamese needs to be strengthened in terms of organizational structure, staffing and facilities to meet the new requirements; Increase full-time staff in charge of overseas Vietnamese affairs at Vietnamese diplomatic missions in countries with large Vietnamese communities. Ministries, agencies and cities and provinces having close relationship with overseas Vietnamese should establish a separate unit to assist their leadership in overseas Vietnamese affairs. Funding for this work should be increased.

IV- IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS

1- The Commission for Party Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Commission for Party Affairs Overseas and relevant agencies, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and mass organizations is responsible for introducing widely this Resolution to Party members, public officials and the people of all social strata in the country and the Vietnamese community abroad.

2- The Commission for Party Affairs of the Government is responsible for developing this Resolution into action plans and policies, and provide implementation guidelines for ministries, agencies and local authorities.

3- The Party Committee of the National Assembly and Commission for Party Affairs of the Government, based on the Resolution, are responsible for developing and improving legal documents related to overseas Vietnamese.

4- Provincial and city Party organizations, commissions for party affairs, and Party Central Committee’s Commissions are responsible for elaborating plans for the implementation of the Resolution. The Commission for Party Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Commission for Party Affairs Overseas, assists the Secretary Committee and the Politburo in monitoring the implementation of the Resolution. The Secretary Committee is responsible for conducting regular reviews on the situation of overseas Vietnamese and related activities.

On behalf of the Politburo

Phan Dien

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