Vietnam Time

7/6/2018 7:59:46 AM

A glance back at the 20-year-journey of COMINGO Vietnam

(VNF) – A conference to review the working outcomes in the 1996-2017 period of the Committee for Foreign NGOs Affairs (COMINGO) was held on July 5 in Hanoi. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the event and gave directives to COMINGO on the next phase of operation.

Conference overview. (photo: Thuy Linh)

The conference was held to evaluate the activities of COMINGO, its organization system, functions, duties in assisting PM in managing the works of foreign NGOs and proposed policies, measures to improve the effectiveness of foreign NGOs affairs.

The conference brought together 200 delegates who are former and current leaders and members of COMINGO, leaders of relevant Ministries, Central civil organizations, provinces, cities and representatives of COMINGO’s supporting agencies, authorities specializing in foreign NGOs affairs of ministries, sectors and localitites.

Speaking at the opening address of the conference, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of COMINGO, Bui Thanh Son said: In the last 20 years, COMINGO has closely followed the Party's vision, the State’s regulation, and exerted efforts on accomplishing its missions including making timely proposal and consultation for the PM in terms of policies and taking part in issuing legal documents regarding INGOs affairs; synchronizing information, giving guidance and issuing/renewing 1,500 working certification for foreign NGOs in Vietnam.

Furthermore, COMINGO has been effectively mobilizing foreign NGOs’ aid for Vietnam and lending valuable supports to sponsored localites, playing a crucial role in the cause of socio-economic development.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the conference (photo: Thuy Linh)

Speaking at the conference, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke highly of the achievements COMINGO, relevant ministries, sectors and localities have achieved in the past 20 years. He stated that what COMINGO has played a vital part in the country’s cause of development in general and in the country’s foreign affairs in particular.

In his speech, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized that the Party and State define the work of foreign NGOs as an indispensable part of the people-to-people diplomacy and praised the role of NGOs in promoting Vietnam’s achievements, and making contributions to preventing and rebutting misleading information and allegations against the country.

Furthermore, the PM affirmed the significance of foreign NGOs affairs, and requested COMINGO, ministries and sectors to create favorable conditions for the operation of foreign NGOs in Vietnam, facilitating effective activities in line with Vietnam’s priorities and in compliance with the laws.

PM also requested COMINGO to streamline the authorities and the public's understanding about foreign NGOs affairs, continuing to lift up the effectiveness of COMINGO’s activities, reducing administrative procedures, refining cross-sector legal documents and fostering the mobilization of supports and cooperation with INGOs.

Foreign NGOs affairs is considered a vital part in people-to-people diplomacy, which is closely connected to the country’s foreign affairs policies throughout various stages of development of Vietnam.

At the moment, Vietnam is having the relationship with over 1,000 foreign NGOs, of which 500 are working actively across the country.

Every year, foreign NGOs conducts around 3,000 projects, programmes, and provide aid for needy communities in the country, with total non-refund aid disembursement value of USD 4.3 billion. 

Foreign NGOs’ projects in Vietnam covers a wide range of fields, including health care, education, economic development, environment protection, disaster management, gender equality. which has helped solve some urgent problems of people living in disadvantaged areas and improve the capacity of cadres and people in project beneficiary areas.

In over the last 20 years, many foreign NGOs in Vietnam have been benefited largely from the supports of COMINGO.

According to Director of Save the Children (SC) in Vietnam, Dragana Strinic, the organization has received tremendous  support from COMINGO/VUFO. 

In addition to guidance in complying with the laws and regulations in Vietnam, COMINGO also links up SC with provinces across the country, help the organization hear directly from the needs of the most deprived children, facilitating better targeted programming.

"As a result, we are able to better support children in need. I am happy to say that Save the Children in partnership with government and civil society of Vietnam reached over 8,000,000 children last year with health and nutrition, education, child protection, livelihoods, child rights and disaster risk reduction programs," she emphasized./.

About COMINGO:

COMINGO was chartered on May 24, 1996 as a helping hand of the government in managing issues regarding foreign NGOs affairs. COMINGO works to propose guidelines and policies related to foreign NGOs in Vietnam, coordinate with relevant agencies to provide guidance, monitoring, and oversight for the implementation of laws and policies relating to the operations of foreign NGOs.

At the same time, COMINGO also works to take the lead in the appraisal, via its member agencies, of foreign NGOs in order to forward documentation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the purpose of granting, extension, supplement, amendment and revocation of the Certificates of Revocation of foreign NGOs in Vietnam.

Furthermore, COMINGO carries out tasks related to foreign NGOs in Vietnam as assigned by the Prime Minister and makes periodic reports to the Prime Minister on the operations of foreign NGOs in Vietnam.

  ( Translated by Phi Yen )
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