Vietnam News Agency

International friends have suggested more practical initiatives to support Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims, said Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, Honorary President of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA), while talking with the press in Paris on Dec. 27 about her working visits to France, Italy and the UK.

Madame Binh said her delegation toured many places in these countries and met with representatives from Spain, Belgium, Germany and Sweden to call for their support to Vietnamese AO victims.

She noted that the movement to support Vietnamese AO victims in foreign countries produced a great echo.

However, she said, international friends suggested raising public awareness in and outside Vietnam of the real consequences suffered by Vietnamese AO victims. They said supporting Vietnamese victims was also preventing the risk of proliferation of mass-destruction weapons, for a peaceful environment and development of human beings.

Madame Binh talked of other initiatives suggested by foreign friends through their meetings with the Vietnamese AO victims’ delegation. Many localities in France initiated a long-term campaign to present 100 euros to each family of Vietnamese AO victims every year.

Foreign friends also proposed building rehabilitation centres for AO victims in Vietnam or launching a campaign to boycott products of US chemical companies which are defendants in the lawsuit filed by Vietnamese AO victims.

Moreover, they stressed the need to increase international coordination of activities for solidarity with and support to Vietnamese AO victims. Madame Binh said in fact a such network of coordination has been formed in Europe, with the key role played by the France-Vietnam and the UK-Vietnam Friendship Associations.

Regarding the lawsuit against US chemical companies, Madame Binh affirmed that VAVA will carry on the lawsuit to the finish because the Vietnamese AO victims’ demand is reasonable and legitimate.

The French press showed their attention to the developments of the lawsuit and the aftermaths caused by Agent Orange and dioxin to Vietnamese people during and after the war.

Jane Weiner, co-director of “The case against Agent Orange” – a 90-minute documentary film being made jointly by France-5, Australia’s SBS, and Canada’s CBS Television, said the first scenes of the film have been shot and it is expected to be on screens in mid-2006.