In Vietnam this weekend, Secreatry Kerry toured an area of the Mekong River Delta.
|—||Secretary Kerry on climate change while in Vietnam, December 15, 2013|
Cyclo riders in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, pause as Secretary Kerry crosses the street earlier today.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks at a photo of himself and the future Foreign Minister of Vietnam, Pham Binh Minh, after Minh presented him with a picture of the two taken over 20 years ago at Tufts University in Massachusetts. They were reunited for a bilateral meeting between their countries in Bandar Seri Begawa, Brunei, on July 2, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
About the Author: Timothy Neely serves as Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
Do you know which country’s constitution promises that a minimum of 60 percent its land area will be maintained as forest for all time? Which country’s government pledges to protect, conserve, and improve the pristine environment and safeguard the biodiversity of the country; prevent pollution and ecological degradation; secure ecologically balanced sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development; and ensure a safe and healthy environment? The answer is the Kingdom of Bhutan, a small Himalayan country located between China and India. Bhutan’s use of a “Gross National Happiness” index to measure progress, rather than GDP, is well-known, but fewer people know of the importance that Bhutan attaches to conserving its natural environment and biodiversity.
The Second Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation held in Thimphu, Bhutan… more »
About the Author: David Shear serves as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam.
Just like many other places around the world, here in Vietnam, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) team is commemorating World AIDS Day on December 1. As a tradition over the past several years, PEPFAR’s public diplomacy outreach takes place through multiple events across Vietnam, ranging from HIV/AIDS awareness concerts, photo exhibits and television shows, to drama performances and movie screenings.
PEPFAR continues to be the cornerstone of the U.S. Mission’s health diplomacy effort to strengthen diplomatic relations with the host government and the Vietnamese people since formal relations resumed in 1995. In Vietnam, people living with HIV/AIDS routinely face significant stigma and discrimination. Injecting drug use is the leading… more »
About the Author: Alison Bauerlein serves as an editor for DipNote and a Foreign Service Officer in the Office of Digital Engagement.
This week’s “Photo of the Week” comes to us from USAID/Vietnam's Richard Nyberg, who took this photo in the central highlands of Vietnam on October 9, 2010. The young girl pictured is one of the many ethnic minority girls benefiting from the support of USAID, the East Meets West Foundation, and the people and authorities in Kon Tum, Vietnam.
On Thursday, October 11, 2012, the world marked the first-ever celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child. As USAID noted on its web page devoted to the day, the occasion provides an opportunity for “reaching out… more »
Office of the Spokesperson
September 24, 2012
We are deeply troubled by the convictions of three Vietnamese bloggers who appear to have done nothing more than exercise their right to freedom of expression. Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay) was sentenced to twelve years, Ta Phong Tan received ten years, and Phan Thanh Hai, four years. All face house arrest following completion of their sentences.
Punishing activists for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression is inconsistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These convictions are the latest in a series of moves by Vietnamese authorities to restrict freedom of expression. The Vietnamese government should release these three bloggers, all prisoners of conscience, and adhere to its international obligations immediately.
A free media is essential to an open and just society. As Secretary Clinton has noted, protection of human rights is a necessary step in developing a closer, more mature bilateral relationship.
About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.
On the Fourth of July, I wrote an entry celebrating the “American Brand.” I feel even more strongly about the importance and value of the “American Brand” after a recent trip to South East Asia and the Middle East.
I traveled throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma with businessmen and women from over 50 of America’s best companies seeking opportunities to increase trade and investment in the region. The delegations — which were organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council — met with Secretary Clinton and senior foreign business leaders and government officials, including several heads of state.
Our delegations were enthusiastically greeted in every country we visited. Business and government leaders there recognized… more »