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Apr 26, 2024 / 14:56

Hanoi, UNESCO pledge further cooperation

The UNESCO representative highlighted Vietnam's exemplary harmony between heritage conservation and promotion with sustainable tourism development, economic growth, and improved livelihoods for its people.

Hanoi hopes to receive further assistance from UNESCO in restoring and preserving the heritage of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, said Dinh Tien Dung, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, on April 25.

 Hanoi Party Secretary Dinh Tien Dung presents a gift to Simona-Mirela Miculesco, the President of the 42nd General Conference of UNESCO. Photo: Thanh Hai/The Hanoi Times

Speaking at a meeting with Simona-Mirela Miculesco, President of the 42nd General Conference of UNESCO, Dung said the relic has great significance for the Vietnamese.

"The complex epitomizes Hanoi's 1,000-year history and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010. It is the pride of Hanoi and Vietnam in general," he said.

The capital's Party Chief highlighted the smooth cooperation between Hanoi's authorities and experts from UNESCO's specialized agencies to expand excavations at the site, study the artifacts and promote the intangible values of the heritage.

In 2022, Hanoi and UNESCO made a statement regarding preserving the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. It is the basis for both sides to take further actions to study, safeguard and disseminate heritage values, he added.

Hanoi has prepared a report on the current condition of the central sector of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel relic and submitted it to UNESCO in January 2024, he said.

"The report highlights the global values of the heritage and the work of the city government in preserving it, thus responding to the great will and pride of the entire nation," he said.

"We look forward to receiving feedback on the report from the UNESCO World Heritage Center and the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). Their opinions will be valuable as we refine the report before submitting it to the 46th Annual Meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in July".

The Party Secretary of Hanoi also pledged that the capital would strive to fulfill its responsibilities under the World Heritage Convention, preserve heritage values, and promote them for the sake of sustainable development.

"We hope that UNESCO and the Conference President will continue to be Hanoi's partners in the pursuit of future actions, in particular in supporting Hanoi's report on the heritage of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel at the upcoming 46th Annual Meeting of the World Heritage Committee in July."

According to Hanoi's Party Secretary, the capital plans to restore the Kinh Thien Palace, an important part of the citadel. The site will host ritual ceremonies and pay tribute to Vietnam's ancient kings.

"It is a meaningful project for the people of Hanoi because the palace embodies traditional Vietnamese culture," he said, adding that "Hanoi sees culture as a source of power to drive growth".

For her part, the UNESCO official congratulated Hanoi and Vietnam for their achievements over the past 20 years. She also spoke highly of the partnership between UNESCO and Vietnam, especially as Vietnam is an active member holding important positions in UNESCO bodies.

Simona-Mirela pledged to strengthen cooperation and partnership with Vietnam and Hanoi as bilateral relations are at their best.

Commenting on the activities to restore and preserve the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, the UNESCO President said she was impressed with the work and outcomes.

During her visit to the Citadel heritage site, the UNESCO President was amazed to see hundreds of students studying and exploring the values of the site.

“UNESCO leaders and experts fully understand the importance of the heritage to Hanoi and Vietnam,” she said.

She also promised that UNESCO would continue to support Hanoi in future heritage conservation projects and that the world organization would hold Vietnam and Hanoi in high esteem for their great achievements.

Hanoi prioritizes heritage conservation

In a meeting with the President of the 42nd General Conference of UNESCO on the same day, Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee Tran Sy Thanh said preserving and promoting heritage values is one of Hanoi's important goals, nurturing traditional values, promoting heritage values, and passing on the spirit of patriotism to future generations.

 Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Tran Sy Thanh and President of the 42nd General Conference of UNESCO Simona-Mirela Miculescu. Photos: The Hanoi Times

Welcoming the UNESCO chief's visit, Thanh stated that Vietnam is an active member of the United Nations, including UNESCO. The organization's activities in Vietnam are comprehensive and effective, particularly in the preservation and promotion of heritage, he said.

According to Thanh, Vietnam has experienced many wars, resulting in the damage and destruction of numerous cultural and historical relics. With UNESCO's support, cultural and historical monuments, and relics have been successfully restored and preserved, Thanh said.

He shared that Thang Long-Hanoi bears many historical traces. As the country evolves, there is a tendency to seek traditional values, reminisce about the past, and express gratitude to previous generations for preserving and nurturing an independent and developed Vietnam.

“This is why preserving and promoting heritage values is one of Hanoi's important goals, which is to nurture traditional values and pass on the spirit of patriotism to future generations,” Thanh added.

Regarding immediate goals, Thanh stated that Hanoi's mission is to build a peaceful, safe, green, clean, and beautiful city. The air and water environment are focal points for Hanoi's future development. To achieve this, he emphasized that, in addition to the efforts of the government and people of the city, international support, including from UNESCO, is crucial.

Hanoi’s Mayor stressed that the conservation, restoration, and promotion of the values of the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi is one of the key projects in the city’s preservation plan.

"We highly values the input, suggestions, and recommendations of experts in the field, especially from UNESCO and the World Heritage Center," Thanh said.

He also thanked UNESCO for accompanying and supporting Hanoi through various contributions and cooperation in the restoration and revitalization of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. He also hoped that UNESCO would continue to accompany, support, and cooperate more effectively with Vietnam and Hanoi Capital in particular in preserving and promoting cultural and intellectual heritage.

Simona-Mirela Miculescu echoed the remarks of the Chairman of the Municipal People's Committee, saying that UNESCO's office in Vietnam has made utmost efforts in heritage conservation and promotion. She also praised Vietnam's active participation in UNESCO's heritage conservation work on the cultural diplomacy front.

She highlighted  Vietnam's exemplary harmony between heritage conservation and promotion with sustainable tourism development, economic growth, and improved livelihood for its people.

Miculescu shared her amazement at Hanoi's remarkable transformation and development over the past 22 years. She stressed that UNESCO looks forward to working with partners like Hanoi and expressed confidence that, with the efforts of both sides, the project to preserve the Heritage of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long would be successful.