Vice President Chu Hoang Ha led the delegation to visit and work with the International Committee on Missing Persons in the Netherlands

From February 12-18, 2023, Prof. Dr. Chu Hoang Ha, Vice President of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), led a working delegation from Vietnam, including researchers and experts in forensics, DNA examination, and martyrs' grave identification from Vietnam government’s ministries and departments, visited and worked in the Netherlands in order to access the most advanced DNA technology and evaluate its effectiveness in the long standing issue of identifying martyrs' remains.

The delegation participated in a series of multi-day events to bring up the obstacles in Vietnam, and to receive a new DNA technology called MPS (massively parallel sequencing) that allows both uniqueness of identification and short DNA fragments (results of badly degraded samples).

 At the main conference on February 14, Vice President Chu Hoang Ha shared: “The sheer number of war remains to be identified, up to hundreds of thousands, while the sample quality is low due to degradation over long period of time and unfavorable burial environments, which requires state of the art DNA technology.” This project shows the remarkable cooperation progress between the two sides of the gruesome US - Vietnam war.

Kathryne Bomberger, Director General of ICMP, also said: “The various components of the Implementation Plan and the series of events to be held in The Hague will help establish a strong foundation for the use of solving technologies." ICMP has been working with VAST for many years and signed an implementation plan in October 2022 to enhance Vietnam’s capabilities to identify war remains.

Also during the trip, Vice President Chu Hoang Ha and the delegation had a working session with the Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands. Ambassador Pham Viet Anh shared that the visit of the delegation marked the first of many cooperation events in 2023 on the 50th anniversary of Netherlands – Vietnam relation.

Translated by Dr. Nguyen Hoang Duong, Vice Director of International Co-operation Department, VAST

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