A century of accompanying the nation

Tuesday, 2019-06-18 17:46:29
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The Association of Vietnamese People in France receives the Independence Medal, first class.
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NDO – A century ago, on June 18, 1919, Nguyen Ai Quoc (later President Ho Chi Minh), on behalf of the Group of Annamite Patriots, sent a document with eight requests to the Versailles Conference. This event marked the start of the movement of Overseas Vietnamese in France, which later resulted in the formation of patriotic organisations of Vietnamese in France, including the Association of Vietnamese People in France (AVPF).

On July 15, 1946, more than 2,000 overseas Vietnamese delegates attended a meeting at the Maison de Mutualité in Paris to welcome President Ho Chi Minh on the occasion of his visit to France. At the event, he pointed out the spirit and focus for activities of the patriotic movement in France.

Later, on September 12, 1946, in a letter sent to overseas Vietnamese in France before leaving his country, President Ho Chi Minh advised his compatriots to unite in solidarity; make efforts to support the Fatherland by all means; implement “diligence, thrift, integrity”; and proficiency in their jobs to help the country to continue building when they return the homeland.

The advice of President Ho Chi Minh is of important encouragement and orientation for the Vietnamese community in France to always turn to the country, gradually forming a unique movement with consistent ideals, full of patriotic enthusiasm.

During the two resistance wars against the French and the Americans, the AVPF continued to be a large prestigious organisation and has made great contributions, both materially and spiritually contributions, to the cause of national liberation.

During the five-year negotiation of the Paris Peace Accords (1968 - 1973) on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam, the overseas Vietnamese in France welcomed and supported the two delegations to complete the mission. This is one of the events that contributed to the heritage, the unique history of the Vietnamese community and the AVPF. For the overseas Vietnamese movement in France, the time was the peak development period, with the operating conditions that are also more and more favorable.

During the struggle for independence, freedom of the homeland, the overseas Vietnamese movement in France actively mobilised support and assistance from peace-loving progressive forces in France and around the world. In addition to participating directly and indirectly in patriotic activities, the overseas Vietnamese movement in France also proactively expanded cooperation to enlist the support of politicians and international friends.

Meanwhile, they also proposed and implemented projects towards Vietnam, especially in the field of science and technology. Many famous patriotic personalities and intellectuals responded to Uncle Ho's call on returning to the country to join the resistance and build the country, such as Professor and Academician Tran Dai Nghia; Engineer Vo Quy Huan; Professor and Doctor Tran Huu Tuoc; and Professor and Doctor Nguyen Van Huyen.

After the reunification of Vietnam was complete, the overseas Vietnamese movement in France was gathered under a common “roof”, officially named the Association of Vietnamese People in France (AVPF). Along with other associations, the AVPF continues to engage in activities supporting Vietnam, such as donating and helping localities with difficulties in Vietnam, promoting scientific development projects, investing, and granting scholarships to students. These are practical contributions to the cause of national reconstruction, development and protection.

Over a century, at any time and any situation; when the country was still at war as well as peace; when the country was still divided or united, the AVPF has always been filled with solitude, gathering overseas Vietnamese in France, and always feeling attached to the Fatherland.

Recently, the Association's activities have been strengthened and renewed to match the current development stage, featuring the participation of young people. The association has also cooperated with many Vietnamese and French associations to promote the country’s day-to-day innovation and extensive international integration.

With important contributions in many periods of the country's history, the movement of Overseas Vietnamese in France has twice been awarded the Independence Medal, first class by the State of Vietnam (in 1996 and 2019).

During the meeting with the overseas Vietnamese community on March 31, 2019 during the official visit to France, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presented the Independence Medal, first class, to the AVPF on the occasion of the the 100th anniversary of the movement of Overseas Vietnamese in France.

After a century of accompanying the nation, generations of Vietnamese people who took part in the movement of Overseas Vietnamese in France and the AVPF are always proud of the contributions to the revolutionary movement of the country and wish younger generations deserve the patriotic tradition as President Ho Chi Minh’s beautifully stands for.