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Asian-African people’s solidarity lauded

The Vietnamese people highly value Asian-African people’s solidarity, emphasized VPDF President Mme Nguyễn Thị Bình, who is also Vice-President of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO), in a recent article in VPDF’s News Bulletin.
Below, the article is reproduced grosso modo in honor of AAPSO’s Eighth Congress, held in Hyderabad, India, on December 14-16:

Over half a century has elapsed since AAPSO was founded.
It’s over half a century of initiating and mobilizing international solidarity with and among the peoples of Asia and Africa in their arduous struggle for national independence and freedom. It’s over half a century of enhancing the awareness of Asian and African peoples about ways and means to win back political and economic freedom, and of upholding and promoting the noble objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the context of a fast changing world. It’s also over half a century of helping motivate and shape like-minded solidarity organizations in the two continents and elsewhere.

Born at a time of decolonization, when the Vietnamese people’s triumph at Điện Biên Phủ had put an end to French rule over Indochina and the Algerian people’s armed struggle was heralding the disintegration of the French empire in Northern Africa, AAPSO has grown in membership and influence along with the vigorous development of the national liberation movements in Asia and Africa. In the course of its over half-century existence, AAPSO has witnessed one victory after another of once colonized nations in the two continents, to whose hard-won independence it had brought valuable contributions. AAPSO and its national organizations can take pride in the role it has played, not only in Asia, Africa and the Non-Aligned Movement but also on the international arena as a whole.

For us Vietnamese, AAPSO has always been a reliable companion to whom we owe a profound debt of gratitude. For long decades, AAPSO has made Vietnam a focus of its solidarity initiatives, from disseminating information about US war atrocities and forging international support for the Vietnamese people’s struggle, to mobilizing material assistance to Vietnamese war victims. In May 1965, at its Fourth Congress in Winneba, Ghana, AAPSO attached great importance to solidarity with Vietnam. In September 1968, it hosted in Cairo a special conference in support of Vietnam, where a plan of action for political and material support for Vietnam was adopted and put into operation. After 1975, AAPSO sponsored or co-sponsored international collection campaigns to help Vietnam heal the wounds of war and rebuild the country, a vivid example of which was the construction of a secondary school west of Hanoi. In 1990, it organized various activities in honor of the 100th birth anniversary of President Hồ Chí Minh.

AAPSO has moreover reserved for its Vietnamese member organizations an important position in its governing bodies. It elected Vietnam to its Executive Committee at Conakry, Guinea, in 1960; its Permanent Secretariat at Moshi, Tanganyika (now Tanzania), in 1963; and its Presidium at Baghdad, Iraq, in 1974.

My own involvement with AAPSO started in 1963 when, less than three years after the founding of the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation (NFL), the NFL sent a delegation to the AAPSO Executive Committee meeting in Moshi, Tanganyika, and I was made head of the delegation. One of the tasks assigned us then by the NFL leadership was to secure for the NFL a seat on the AAPSO Permanent Secretariat. That particular task of ours was not simple, but its implementation was facilitated by many AAPSO EC members, who understood the root cause of the war in Vietnam and gave us a valuable helping hand. I still remember what one of them, the late Ben Barka from Morocco, told me: “I fully support the struggle of the Vietnamese people, and I will mobilize support for Vietnam’s election to the Permanent Secretariat, which you deserve.” With his personal lobbying and similar efforts from representatives of other countries, the NFL was elected to the Permanent Secretariat, a position Vietnam has retained ever since.
Ben Barka and many other pioneers of Afro-Asian people’s solidarity are no longer with us, but their examples and the fruits of their devoted endeavors remain alive. Developments following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and socialist Eastern Europe, while dealing a hard blow to the international movement for Afro-Asian people’s solidarity, have failed to invalidate its spirit.  Now that Asian and African nations are faced with serious threats of war and intervention, and enormous challenges from market-driven economic globalization, Afro-Asian people’s solidarity initiatives should be further promoted and AAPSO is to continue playing a major role.

Finally, allow me to take advantage of this happy opportunity to express to AAPSO, its member organizations in Asia, Africa and elsewhere, and its Cairo-based Secretariat in particular, the Vietnamese people’s profound gratitude for their solidarity and support throughout the past over half-century, especially during the hard years of our struggle for national independence and reunification./.







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