USAID pays working visit to VAST

On October 9th, 2014, at VAST, Prof. Nguyen Dinh Cong, Vice President of VAST, had a working session with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) led by its director by Joakim Parker.

The reception drew the participation of leaders from the Department of International Cooperation and the Institute of Biotechnology under VAST.

At the working session, Mr. JoaKim Parker said that USAID was an international support agency of the US government. One of its activities is to help Vietnam implement activities supporting national development. Over the past time, USAID has  participated in many projects and programs in  support of science and technology activities in Vietnam in order to help scientists in the two countries conduct research together and cooperate to solve issues in climate changes or support tertiary education. He emphasized cooperation in science and technology was also a way to support the activities of USAID more effectively in Vietnam.

The overview of the working session

Through working sessions with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, USAID established priorities to implement cooperation projects in science and technology and saw that VAST was a potential partner in its cooperation programme.

Specifically, at the working session, Mr. Joakim Parker exchanged the possibility of USAID’s support to the Institute of Biotechnology in improving the capacity of forensic examination and remains’ ADN examination for Vietnamese people who died during wars and lacked of information, as well as expanding activities to search and help families whose relatives have disappeared.

These priorities will contribute to improving overall capacity and increase the organisations  ability to successfully carry out activities in Project 150 for the Vietnamese Government. The Institute of Biotechnology is one of three units, which has been invested into, for the improvement of facilities to conduct remains’ ADN examination for those deceased who lack any information. To implement the USD1 million supporting project, the two sides will organize workshops between experts from the US and Vietnam, training courses for Vietnamese staff in Vietnam and the US.

At the reception, Prof. Nguyen Dinh Cong said that VAST is an agency of the government. It holds a leading position in national science and technology. It has established cooperative relationship with many countries, including the U.S, in different fields such as space technology and marine research. However, he also said that VAST and USAID hadn’t had any specific cooperation. At the same time, he said that the examination of martyr’s remains is a great historical artifact for the history of the country. To solve this matter, there time, money, contributions and the application of advanced knowledge of science and technology. Over the past time, the Vietnamese government has made great efforts to gradually solve this matter. Being a member of Project 150, VAST has also made great contribution to gradually solve the matter, in which the Institute of Biotechnology participated directly in activities.

With concerns for both sides, VAST expects the USAID’s cooperation and support for the project. Prof. Cong said that he believed in the new approach of USAID which will bring results soons, opening more cooperation opportunities between VAST and USAID in different fields in the future.

The working session is considered as one of specific activities to formalize and start cooperation between USAID and VAST. The two sides agreed a plan for the preparation of an MoU of cooperation signing .ceremony, scheduled in November.

Taking a photo after the working session

Translated by Tuyet Nhung
Link to Vietnamese Version 

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