VNAH Promotes Development of Local Non-governmental Organizations
A delegation of six people representing the Office of the National Assembly, other government agencies and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) visited China in March to meet their Chinese counterparts and discuss issues related to NGOs and the legal framework governing them. Participating delegates are officials involved in the drafting of the Law on Associations and in charge of the NGO sector in Vietnam. The delegates said that the experience gained from the exchange trip will be useful in ongoing efforts regarding the development of local NGOs in Vietnam.
The exchange trip was sponsored by VNAH under a project funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) of Japan. Under this project, VNAH has also organized a number of thematic research operations and public consultative workshops to assist in drafting the Law on Associations. The project also provides training in legal drafting skills for concerned government staff and a networking opportunity for researchers, professionals and policy makers. The project is the continuation of VNAH efforts, dating back to 2000, aimed at promoting the development of NGOs in Vietnam.
In China, the delegation met with representatives from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Bureau of NGO Administration, the People's Congress and a number of NGO institutions and networks, as well as universities. Discussions with government officials focused primarily on technical matters surrounding the legal framework and state management of NGOs. The discussions with NGO representatives and academics illustrated for the delegates some of the constraints and difficulties of the system from the perspectives of NGOs. The study tour was an excellent opportunity for both sides to discuss best practices and lessons learned, not only on issues regarding NGOs but also on laws such as the law on referendum, law on residence and general issues on the legislative process.