From the City for Peace to the Country for Peace

On July 16, 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assigned the title “City for Peace” to Hanoi. The city met the following criteria:

  1. Action against exclusion and in support of the dialogue between communities.
  2. Urban action.
  3. Environmental action.
  4. Action to promote culture.
  5. Action in the field of education and especially civic education.

Hanoi, the City for Peace

Until 2019, no other city in Asia-Pacific besides Hanoi has been granted this title.

Earlier this year, Hanoi authorities have carried out numerous activities to mark the occasion, including major cultural events involving many countries worldwide. A highlight of these was the Open Hanoi Dragon Boat Racing Festival 2019 earlier this month, attracting many foreign athletes.

The Open Hanoi Dragon Boat Racing Festival 2019

“We’ve taken a series of solutions to make Hanoi cleaner and greener. The city has also issued two codes of conduct for Hanoi city dwellers to preserve and promote their beautiful manners,” said Hanoi Mayor Nguyen Duc Chung.

Hanoi currently maintains friendly cooperation with more than 100 capitals and cities worldwide. The city has been raising its prestige and proven to be a globally responsible member at a number of important international forums.

Hanoi’s celebrations of its 20th anniversary of receiving the title “City for Peace” coincides with the 2nd DPRK-US summit, scheduled for 27th and 28th of February 2019. The summit was considered a great opportunity for Hanoi to promote its image to the world as an active city rich in history that favours peace.

“Decorations for all routes connecting Noi Bai airport with the city centre, major roads, and hotels in downtown Hanoi are remarkable. This includes 4,000 welcoming gates, 500,000 vases of flowers and 4,000 poles displaying flags of Vietnam, the US, and the DPRK,” said Chung.

The Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi did not result in any agreement, unfortunately. However, it was still a remarkable breakthrough for peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula.

Vietnam is a country that suffered from a long history of war but has been flourishing both socially and economically. These achievements have proven that Vietnam has always been a country that seeks for peace and contributes to international peace-building.

One of the safest places on Earth

There are only a few places in the world which saw what Vietnam saw. In 2006, the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard did a morning jog around Hoan Kiem lake, when he came for 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2006. Former president of the French Republic, Francois Hollande also visited several cultural sites in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Prince William shaking hands in Hanoi, Vietnam
Prince William shaking hands in Hanoi, Vietnam – Nguyen Khanh
Former president of the French Republic, Francois Hollande at the Hanoi Old Quarter - city for peace
Former president of the French Republic, Francois Hollande at the Hanoi Old Quarter – Nguyen Khanh

In 2016, US President Barack Obama enjoyed a dish “bun cha” at a local restaurant, in a company of the Vietnamese. And the Prince of Great Britain, William, Duke of Cambridge had a cup of coffee in a coffeeshop with the locals. Rarely can you see these scenes happen in other countries. All of these acts have been showing Vietnam as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world.  

Vietnam, the Country for Peace

Hanoi, as a capital, has a strong influence on the entire country. This allows us to consider not only Hanoi but also the whole of Vietnam as the country for peace.

The first thing you will easily notice about Vietnamese people is that they are very friendly. Vietnamese always welcome visitors from everywhere in the world with the wide smiles on their faces. Do not let the language barrier frustrate you. You will not feel isolated, as the people are open for interaction regardless.

Children from the north of Vietnam

Although a considerably small percentage of Vietnamese people speak English, they will try to communicate and be friends with you. If you are lost in the city, try asking around someone will kindly show you the way. On the other hand, if your motorcycle breaks and you have to stop on the road, someone will surely stop as well to help you. If you are a tired and hungry traveller, someone will generously share food and water with you.

In 2015 Vietnam joined the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, further proving Vietnam’s contribution to international peace-building projects.

As a country with long and tragic war history, Vietnam has a deep understanding of the precious value of peace and tries to maintain it in its every corner. When travelling to Vietnam, you can enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the country and also its peaceful life. This combination will make your trip unforgettable.

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