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NEWS UPDATES 20 August 2010

Reuniting with overseas Vietnamese

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has taken a major step towards reuniting members of the 3.5 million overseas Vietnamese community.

This follows the recent signing of a cooperation agreement between Viet Nam and the International Organisation for Immigration (IOM), a United Nations organisation.

Speaking to IOM director general William Lacy Swing, who has been visiting Viet Nam, Dung said the wish of many people to reunite with their families after years of separation caused by war was a legitimate desire, and that Viet Nam considered IOM an active partner in settling issues relating to immigration.

He said that was why Viet Nam wanted the IOM to support those people to reunite with their loved ones living in Viet Nam - and for those living in Viet Nam who wished to join their families abroad.

Dung also told his guest that with a population of some 87 million people - about two-thirds of them at working age - the demand to go abroad to work as guest workers was high.

He told the IOM director general he hoped his organisation would help Viet Nam with immigration procedures so that more Vietnamese workers could work overseas. "This is in the interests of both workers and host countries," he said.

Dung urged the IOM to co-operate closer with Viet Nam in the fight against woman and child trafficking and to support the One United Nations initiative in which Viet Nam has been selected as a pilot country.

The Prime Minister said he was convinced that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations would soon join the IOM and asked for the IOM director general's support.

William Lacy Swing offered his organisation's total support for the proposals raised by the Prime Minister.

Viet Nam became the organisation's 122nd member in 2007. The organisation posted a representative mission in Ha Noi in 1991 following the agreement.

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