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Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

China appoints senior diplomat as ASEAN envoy

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Beijing (VNA) – China has appointed Xue Hanqin, a senior female diplomat and international law expert, as its first envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Ambassador Xue’s appointment as the Chinese ambassador to ASEAN will play an important role in promoting friendly exchanges and cooperation in extensive fields,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang was quoted as saying on December 30.

Xue was formerly ambassador to the Netherlands and she had also served as the international law director-general in the Foreign Ministry.

Ties between China and ASEAN had grown rapidly in recent years. The two way trade between them had been reach 199.1 billion USD in the year’s first ten months, up 21.8 percent as compared with the same period of last year.

ASEAN comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-

Thailand approves documents for ASEAN summit consideration

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai government on December 30 approved 11 documents which will be proposed at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, local media reported.

There are a total of 33 documents issued by Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they are expected to be submitted to the Thai Parliament for approval on January 7, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Veerasak Footrakul was quoted by the Thai news agency (TNA) as saying.

Among the 33 documents requiring parliamentary approval are agreements under the ASEAN framework and proposed community, a draft agreement on regional trade, ASEAN’s draft framework on relaxed formalities in cross-border transport, and a draft ASEAN multilateral agreement on liberalisation of air cargo transport, and related documents.

The 14 th ASEAN summit is scheduled to be held in February in Bangkok, according to TNA. –

Denmark helps Vietnam cope with climate change

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Danish Government will provide a non-refundable aid worth 40 million USD for Vietnam to carry out a programme on adaptation to and mitigation of impacts of climate change in the 2009-2013 period.

The aid is the ever largest so far and makes Denmark the first foreign donor for Vietnam in the field, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).

Under an agreement signed in Hanoi on Dec. 30 between MNRE and the Danish Embassy, the MNRE will develop climate change scenarios, as well as solutions and plans of action to cope with climate change and raise public awareness of the situation.

As part of the agreement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MIT) will take charge of assisting the national programme on thrifty and efficient use of energy, which targets enterprises for sustainable economic development and restriction of the use of substances causing greenhouse effect.

To this end, a training programme on energy consultation and management at university level will be launched, said MIT deputy minister Nguyen Huu Hao.

An energy audit will be held and defining opportunities for investment and development of energy projects following the Clean Development Mechanism will be offered for businesses and power plants Hao said.

The programme will also cover assistance for the southern province of Ben Tre and the central province of Quang Nam , which are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, to carry out some pilot projects.

Addressing the agreement signing ceremony, MNRE Minister Pham Khoi Nguyen asserted that the Danish Government’s aid would strongly help Vietnam achieve its sustainable economic development and poverty reduction targets.

For his part, Danish Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen stressed that Vietnam ’s newly approved National Target Programme on Climate Change proved the country’s strong commitment to environmental protection. Vietnam should also raise a stronger voice on this issue at international forum, he said.

With its long coastline and position lower than the sea level, Vietnam is forecast to be one of the countries most affected by climate change.-

Poorly trained health workers risk exposure to hepatitis

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm

– Health workers in the country are at serious risk of contracting the hepatitis B virus due to exposure to blood and body fluids and lack of knowledge on safety measures.

A seminar focusing on hepatitis B and liver cancer prevention in HCM City this week highlighted the problem for health workers.

About 17.6 percent of them may be exposed to the hepatitis B virus, the disease that can cause a host of effects, including possible complications of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, warns Doctor Huynh Tan Tien, director of the Labour Health and Environmental Protection Centre.

Seminar participants learned about factors that could cause skin injuries allowing the transmission of the virus which include hypodermic injection, a piece of glass, a stitch, an injection needle and taking blood samples.

The health ministry has recognized hepatitis B disease as a possible occupational infection along with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Health workers are exposed to blood and other body fluids in their work, so they are at increased risk of infection with blood borne viruses, including hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The hepatitis virus could five a long time in a dried blood stain, so the infectious ability of this virus is 50-100 times higher than HIV, warned the health expert.

Tran Van Thao, Deputy Director of HCM City ’s Children Hospital 2, said the medical institute has coordinated with the Labour Health and Environmental Protection Centre to administer hepatitis B vaccinations to the hospital’s health workers.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), among the 35 million healthcare workers worldwide, about 3 million experience percutaneous exposures to blood borne pathogens each year, two million of those to Hepatitits B, 0.9 million to Hepatitis C, and 170,000 to HIV.

WHO suggests most blood exposures in health settings are preventable. Protective measures include immunisation against hepatitis B, provision of personal protection and the management of exposures.

Elimination of unnecessary blood draws and injections also minimises the potential for exposure.

In Vietnam , according to Doctor Nguyen Chan Hung, director of HCM City ’s Tumor Association, liver cancer (a complication of hepatitis B) among males ranks as the third most contracted cancer, after lung cancer and stomach cancer.

The number of people infected by hepatitis B accounts for from 10 to 15 percent of the country’s population, according to the Ministry of Health.-

Youth urged to help develop IT sector

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm

– Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has called on young professionals working in the field of information technology to strive more in studies and research to contribute to the development of the sector.

Nhan, who doubles as Minister of Education and Training, made the call at a ceremony in Hanoi on Dec. 30 to award the Golden Globe prizes to 10 recipients and recognize 40 outstanding female IT students around the country.

He praised their achievements in IT and hailed the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union for its initiative in organising the Golden Globe award.

In behalf of the recipients, Nguyen Minh Bao, an IT expert from Dong Thap province, pledged that they would continue striving to study and do research to help boost the country’s IT development.

The annual Golden Globe award and the IT award for outstanding female students have been held since 2003.-

DPRK warns no more dismantlement

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s government may stop dismantling its nuclear facilities unless Japan provides the DPRK with energy assistance under a six-party deal, Kyodo news agency said.

The statement was made by a Beijing-based senior DPRK diplomat on December 29, Kyodo quoted Japanese parliamentarian Yoshihiro Kawakami, who earlier met with the diplomat in the Chinese capital, as saying.

He also strongly criticised Japan’s policy of refusing to provide energy aid until there is progress in resolving a bilateral dispute involving the abduction of Japanese nationals, parliamentarian Kawakami added.

Under last year’s six-party deal, the DPRK was promised energy aid equivalent to a total of 1 million tonnes of heavy fuel oil in exchange for the dismantlement and for submitting a list of its nuclear programmes.

Japan’s backing away from its obligation constitutes a ”violation of the agreement,” the diplomat was quoted as saying. –

Indonesia to send medical aid to Palestine

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian government will send a 200,000-USD package of medicines to Palestine, Antara news agency reported.

The statement was made by Head of the Centre for Crisis Control Rustam S Pakaya through an SMS message to Antara on December 29 following an Israeli air strike on Gaza Strip, the news agency said.

“The health ministry will send the package of medicines under the coordination of the foreign ministry,” the official added. –

Land documents needed ASAP

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Urban Environment Company workers fish out waste from the Nhieu Loc Canal under the Kieu Bridge in HCM City. The City releases more than 6,000 tonnes of waste into streams each day. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HA NOI — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai wants the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to complete its compiling of land-use and management documents as quickly as possible.

The papers were necessary for the completion of a decree to guide implementation of the Land Law 2003, he told a conference to review the ministry’s work of this year and set its tasks for next year in Ha Noi yesterday.

The minister, who said complaints and denunciations stemming from land disputes had fallen 30 per cent this year compared with 2007, asked the ministry to continue its co-ordination with other ministries and sectors to ensure decentralisation and avoid the duplication of management.

The ministry should consider the environment even with major economic projects, he said.

The official said the Government had attended to investment for personnel training in both hydrometeorology and forecasting the possible consequences of climate change.

Ministry works hard

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen said his ministry would continue to complete natural resources and environment laws.

The work included revision of the Land; Water Resources; Minerals; Measurement and Maps; Hydrometeorology and the Protection of Natural Resources and Sea Environment laws.

The ministry would continue to foster administrative reform and simplify administrative procedures, he said.

It would also focus on helping poor provinces and try to settle complaints and denunciations stemming from natural resources and the environment as well as providing the public with information. —

Sporting heroes wait for Annual Awards results

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 2:49 pm

HA NOI — Hundreds of journalists and sports coaches voted for the best athletes and coaches of the year yesterday.

The annual awards were launched 30 years ago and have become an indispensable part of the sporting calendar.

Many of the candidates for honours shone at the Beijing Olympics and other international competitions this year, as well as the recent world and Asian championships.

The annual awards also gave kudos to five outstanding coaches and five disabled athletes of the year.

Powerful performances at the Beijing Olympics came from weightlifter Hoang Anh Tuan, who bagged a silver medal for Viet Nam; Nguyen Hoang Ngan, who won the first ever gold medal at the World Karate Championship; track-and-field athletes sprinter Vu Thi Huong; and tennis player Nguyen Thuy Dung.

Other candidates favoured for honours include men’s footballers Duong Hong Son, Le Cong Vinh and Nguyen Vu Phong, who helped Viet Nam clinch the first-ever ASEAN Football Championship in history after beating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate in a two-leg final.

Others expected to get into the top ten athletes of the year are: women’s weightlifter Nguyen Thi Thiet; Chinese chess player Ngo Thi Lan Huong; world junior taekwondo champion Hoang Ha Giang; swimmer Nguyen Huu Viet; badminton Nguyen Tien Minh; two-time Olympian table tennis Doan Kien Quoc.

Viet Nam’s disabled athletes, who excelled at the Beijing Paralympics, include weightlifter Chau Hoang Tuyet Loan and athletes Dinh Thi Nga and Dao Van Cuong.

The athletes of the year awards are being jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Viet Nam Fund for Young Talent Support and the The Thao Viet Nam (Viet Nam Sports) newspaper.

Results will be announced later this week. —

Students to get three days extra vacation during Tet

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm

HA NOI — Students in the capital city will get an extra three days off over Tet, the lunar New Year, to help them escape the northern winter cold, according to a report issued by the Ha Noi Department of Education and Training last week.

In other northern localities, which often get much colder than Ha Noi, schools themselves can decide the time of vacations to suit the local weather conditions.

Last year, intense cold caused suffering for many children at schools. Many developed severe colds because classroom heating was insufficient, if it existed at all.

Some children even died from the cold. Official discussions at the time centred around lengthening the Tet holidays, which has just happened.

The holiday is expected to run from January 23 to February 1, inclusive, next year. This is the first year Ha Noi and some provinces have extended the Tet holiday.

Another decision has been made to cut short the summer vacation in the central province of Nghe An because the blazing weather has affected some pupils’ health. They will also only take a week’s holiday for Tet.

However, in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces, there was pressure not to extend the Tet holidays.

Deputy Director of the Long An Province’s Department of Edutcation and Training Tran Hoang Nhan said that in some districts, including Tan Thanh, Tan Hung and Moc Hoa, students often had to take leave of three or four weeks due to floods from August to November, so the Tet holiday should not be extended to ensure the students complete their studies.

Also for the Tet holiday, the Ha Noi Department of Education and Training has told schools and officials not to use State funds for making presents to higher authorities.

The department said they should follow the Prime Minister’s guidelines on practising thrift and combating wastes – and that this prohibited them from squandering public money on such things as imported spirits and using public cars for their own purposes, especially during Tet.

An official circular to schools has also asked teachers to pay attention to helping underprivileged families and retired officials celebrate Tet.

Deputy head of the Department of Education and Training’s Office in the central province of Nghe An Nguyen Trong Hoan said students of junior secondary and primary schools would have two weeks off for Tet because they started school two weeks sooner than schedule. —