IGE president Bob Roberts (left) and Vietnam-USA Society president Pham Vinh (right)
IGE and Vietnam Government Sign New Agreement to Build Religious Freedom
From November 9-11, 2023, the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) made an official delegation visit to Vietnam to reaffirm its commitment to promoting religious freedom. The delegation, led by IGE president Bob Roberts, signed a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Vietnamese government. In addition to promoting religious freedom, the MOU also aims to foster people-to-people relations between the United States and Vietnam. This marks the third renewal of the partnership between IGE and the Vietnam-USA Society at the Vietnam Union for Friendship Organizations (VUS-VUFO) since 2006.
The signing ceremony was attended by representatives from various Vietnamese government agencies and academic institutions including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Governmental Committee on Religious Affairs, Fatherland Front, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, National Assembly, and Vietnam National University-Hanoi. Representatives from the Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist communities along with U.S. embassy officials also observed the signing.
During the delegation visit, Bob Roberts, IGE board chair Nadine Maenza, and Vietnam Program Manager Hien Vu also met with government officials and faith groups to gain a deeper understanding of the religious landscape in the country.
IGE’s delegation visit was reported on by several Vietnamese institutions:
- Vietnam Union for Friendship Union for Friendship Organization: https://vufo.org.vn/Hoi-Viet—My-va-Vien-Lien-ket-Toan-cau-ky-ban-ghi-nho-giai-doan-2023—2028-11-102018.html?page=2&lang=vn
- Vietnam Buddhist Sangha: https://bchannel.vn/vien-lien-ket-toan-cau-tham-va-lam-viec-cung-giao-hoi-phat-giao-viet-nam/
- Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics:https://hcma.vn/tin-tuc-su-kien/vien-lien-ket-toan-cau-hoa-ky-ige-tham-va-la-m-vie-c-ta-i-ho-c-vie-n-35746.html
- Governmental Committee on Religious Affairs: https://btgcp.gov.vn/tin-hoat-dong-cua-ban-ton-giao-chinh-phu/pho-truong-ban-ban-ton-giao-chinh-phu-nguyen-tien-trong-tiep-doan-vien-lien-ket-toan-cau-ige-poste3nNloKaBl.html
Since 2006, IGE, along with its partners in Vietnam, has co-conducted religious freedom training programs, reaching more than 6,000 government officials and faith leaders. For more information about IGE’s mission and impact in Vietnam, please visit: https://globalengage.org/programs/vietnam/
MOU signing ceremony group photo with representatives from Vietnam-USA Society and the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics
IGE president Bob Roberts meets with Vietnam's Governmental Committee on Religious Affairs deputy chairman Nguyen Tien Trong