Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security with the Vietnamese Counterparts
|Story by Mutafela Sitali
A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam under the leadership of H.E Nguyen Hai Ninh yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security.
Namibia and Vietnam established diplomatic relations soon after independence in 1990.
The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security is tasked to conduct parliamentary oversight of the programmes and activities of the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Safety and security, ministry of Home Affairs and immigration, Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs and also the activities of the Namibian Central Intelligence Services.
During the meeting, the Committee and the Vietnamese delegation engaged on areas of cooperation in the sectors of Information and Technology, Agriculture and Tourism while agreeing on strengthening and enhancing the long standing friendly relations.
“Namibia always supported the Vietnamese people in their struggle for independence, freedom and national unification, as well as in the current cause of national reconstruction and defence,” stressed Leevi Katoma, Chairperson of the Committee. Likewise, Vietnam rendered support and assistance to the Namibian people through SWAPO during their struggle for freedom and independence.
In March 2015, the 132nd IPU Assembly was conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam, at that Assembly, parliaments around the world adopted the Hanoi Declaration of Sustainable Development Goals. The Assembly also discussed and adopted other international agenda items such as Cyber Warfare.
Namibia and Vietnam lastly signed some agreements between October 2002 and November 2003 respectively, but in 2007 the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources approached Vietnam with respect to aquaculture development in Namibia. This culminated into negotiations at official level and together with the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the Ministry began formulating an action plan to develop aquaculture in cooperation with Vietnam.
The Vietnamese expressed interest in possibly exporting Namibian beef, praising it to be one of the best in the world. “Apart from your tasty beef, we do believe Namibia has favourable trade conditions and we look forward to exporting your beef to Vietnam in the near future.
The Committee has the responsibility and duty to exercise an overall oversight function with regard to Namibia’s foreign policy and its relations with other state on matters of defence and security and establish bilateral and friendly relations between the two Parliament.