Vietnamese war veterans who are "faithful, solidary, exemplary, and innovative" make a worthy contribution to the cause of national construction and defense
Communist Review - Upholding the quality of "Uncle Ho's soldiers" and the tradition of "Loyalty - Solidarity - Exemplary - Innovation", the Veterans Association of Vietnam (VAVN) continues to overcome challenges, proactively and creatively promote the emulation movement of "exemplary veterans", striving to successfully realize the goals and tasks set out in the Resolution of the 7th National Congress of VAVN (term 2022 - 2027), making a worthy contribution to building and firmly defending the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.
VAVN successfully implemented its Resolution of the 6th National Congress for the term 2017 – 2022
From 2017 to 2022, under the leadership of the Party, directly the Secretariat, and the coordination and assistance of the Government, the People's Committees of provinces, municipalities, Ministries, authorities, and mass organizations from the central to local levels, VAVN with a staff of veterans who are solidary, innovative and responsible has successfully achieved the goals set out by the 6th National Congress of VAVN. It continues to affirm its role as a prestigious socio-political organization, an active member of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and a reliable organization for the Party, State, and people(1).
Being well aware of its functions and tasks, VAVN at all levels has effectively participated in the construction and defense of the Party and State, the people, the socialist regime, and the great national unity, contributing to maintaining socio-political stability. In recent years, by thoroughly grasping Resolution No. 09-NQ/TW, dated January 8, 2002, of the 9th Politburo on "Strengthening the Party's leadership over the affairs of Vietnam veterans in the new revolutionary period" and Conclusion No. 66-KL/TW, dated March 4, 2010, of the Secretariat of the 10th term on "Continuing to implement Resolution No. 09-NQ/TW of the Politburo (9th term) on strengthening the Party's leadership over the affairs of Vietnam veterans in the new revolutionary period", associations of veterans at all levels have paid due attention to educating their members to remain steadfast in the goals of national independence and socialism, Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh's thought, to thoroughly grasp and strictly implement the guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the State, and the Party's directives on organizing Party congresses at all levels and the 13th National Party Congress. They have elected members of People's Councils at all levels for the term 2021 - 2026 and deputies to the 15th National Assembly. They uphold political responsibility, select and introduce qualified and capable cadres and members to leading bodies in the political system at all levels(2). VAVN has actively and effectively protected the Party's ideology and fought against misinformation and hostile views, providing supervision, social feedback, and frank advice to build the Party and government. It is highly appreciated by the Party committees, local authorities, and functional agencies.
With the wisdom and bravery of "Uncle Ho's soldiers" and appropriate methods and forms, veteran associations at all levels have promoted the movement of "exemplary veterans" in an attempt to help members reduce poverty and improve their living standards(3). Besides, they have actively participated in movements, programs, and campaigns, such as "All people join hands to build new countryside", "All people unite to build cultural life", and "All people join hands to build new countryside and civilized cities", "The whole country joins hands for the poor"; "Improving road traffic safety and building a traffic safety culture", campaigns of gratitude to veterans and helping members' families in difficulties under various and creative forms. These activities have achieved substantial results(4). In particular, members of VAVN at all levels have upheld their responsibilities and worked shoulder to shoulder with the entire population to prevent and combat the COVID-19 pandemic, collected over VND 800 from associations, enterprises, and members to fight against the epidemic, established 6,000 groups of nearly 600,000 members for COVID-19 prevention and control at the grassroots level. Activities of searching, gathering, and identifying martyrs' remains, law dissemination, education, and training of young generations have been carried out regularly and effectively by associations at all levels. VAVN at all levels has advised the Party committees and authorities to establish more than 30,000 local clubs, and mobilize the active participation of nearly 1.1 million veterans in order to maintain and promote the quality of "Uncle Ho's soldiers". VAVN has maintained professional people-to-people diplomacy by strengthening relations with the World Veterans Federation (WVF), and Veterans Confederation of ASEAN countries (VECONAC), accomplishing the role of President of VECONAC in 2020 and 2021, contributing to enhancing the standing of the country and VAVN in the international community.
Special attention has been paid to the organizational structure of VAVN at all levels. Up to now, the vast majority of cadres and members are steadfast with revolutionary and political ideologies. They have good moral qualities, lifestyle, and prestige. They believed in the Party's leadership, and state governance. The organization system of VAVN from the central to the grassroots level is consolidated; no disciplinary violations are detected; contents and modes of operation are renewed, clearly showing the role and nature of a particular socio-political organization; Responsibilities between members and organizations are clearly attributed, creating a high consensus in action. Besides that, associations at all levels regularly perform tasks and activities assigned by central and local authorities. Importance has been attached to grassroots associations, especially in mountainous areas and ethnic minority areas. Associations at all levels have made many innovations in decision-making, attaching importance to leadership, directing policy implementation, supervision, and performance assessment to replicate successful models.
VAVN strives to promote the quality of "Uncle Ho's soldiers" in the new era
In the coming time, the country and VAVN at all levels will face opportunities and challenges. Inheriting the achievements of 33 years of construction and growth and the performance of the last term, in this term 2022 - 2027, VAVN will further promote the quality of "Uncle Ho's soldiers"; the tradition of "Loyalty - Solidarity - Exemplary - Innovation" to build a strong and comprehensive Association, completing all missions.
VAVN places focus on: Actively participating in building and defending the Party, State, people, socialist regime, and the ideological foundation of the Party; fighting against misinformation and hostile thinking; helping each other do business to improve the lives of members; strengthening the role of members in educating patriotism and revolutionary traditions for young generations, contributing to building and consolidating the political foundation, building a pure and strong Party and political system.
Efforts are to be made to realize these goals: 1- 100% of its members are steadfast in political ideologies; 2- Adhering over 85% of eligible candidates to VAVN; 3- More than 90% of members of VAVN are trained; 4- Every year, over 90% of associations and over 80% of members complete their tasks well, in which, 20% achieved excellent results, over 95% achieved the title "exemplary members"; 5- Each year, it is expected to reduce poverty among veteran households by 1 to 1.5% according to multidimensional poverty index (reduction by over 3% amongst ethnic minority households and 4-5% among poor districts); 6- Renovate 70% of degraded houses for the families of members; 7- 95% of veterans of working age receive counseling or vocational training to have opportunities to find jobs.
To successfully accomplish the above main targets, VAVN at all levels must focus on the following solutions:
Firstly, associations at all levels must honor the image of "Uncle Ho's soldiers" in building and protecting the Party, State, people, and the socialist regime; protect the ideological foundation of the Party; fight against misinformation and hostile thinking as well as bureaucracy, corruption, and wastefulness; conduct supervision and social feedback under regulations of the Party and State. At the same time, they need to organize the effective implementation of the Party's guidelines and the State's policies and laws; actively participate in social activities, promptly detect new issues arising to make recommendations to Party Committees and authorities, contribute to maintain political security, social order and safety; step up the fight against the deterioration of political ideology, morality, lifestyle and the manifestations of "self-evolution", "self-transformation" among officials and members; contribute to consolidating ideological unity within the Party and consensus in the whole society. Priorities should be put on performing well the tasks of supervision and social feedback, giving comments to build the Party and government according to Decision No. 217-QD/TW, dated 12-12-2013, of the Politburo on "Promulgating the Regulation on supervision and social feedback of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations" and Decision No. 218-QD/TW, dated December 12, 2013, of the Politburo on "Promulgating regulations on the participation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the socio-political organizations and people to build the Party and the government".
Secondly, all levels of associations and members need to uphold the spirit of patriotism and self-reliance; help each other do business, improve material and spiritual life; strive for sustainable poverty reduction and legal enrichment; participate in socio-economic development, strengthen national defense and security; actively respond to local patriotic movements; thoroughly grasp and implement the Party's resolutions, the Government's socio-economic development programs and plans, especially the National Target Program on sustainable poverty reduction for the 2021-2025 period, the Target Program on building new rural areas and the National Target Program on socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas from 2021 to 2030. There is a need to actively implement Directive No. 05-CT/TW of June 23, 2021, of the Secretariat on “Strengthening Party’s leadership for sustainable poverty reduction toward 2030"; thoroughly understand and disseminate information among members about this Directive and resolutions of the Party committees of the same level on sustainable poverty reduction; formulate action programs and plans; mobilize officials, members, and people to help poor households with appropriate and effective forms and conduct effective supervision of these affairs.
Due consideration should be given to well implementing the Regulation on coordination between VAVN and the Vietnam Association of Entrepreneurs Veterans. A focus is also put on promoting the movement "Veterans help each other to reduce poverty by being successful in business" while accomplishing VAVN’s political tasks. Coordination between the Central Association and the Government, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Vietnam People's Army, ministries, agencies, and mass organizations at the central level, between VAVN and local associations should be further enhanced. Activities and methods should be reformed to improve adaptive policy-making in each locality. Special attention should be paid to effectively controling the COVID-19 pandemic in the new normal.
Thirdly, it is necessary to increase the effectiveness of information dissemination, provide legal training and consultation for veterans, protect the legitimate rights and interests of members and veterans, encourage veterans to join clubs, veterans' liaison committees, and local movements and campaigns, actively participate in the law-making process, closely coordinate with public agencies to develop guiding documents on law enforcement related to veterans and VAVN.
Members of VAVN must thoroughly grasp and strictly implement policies of the Party and the State, and promote gratitude and charity activities among beneficiaries of preferential policies. It is essential to cooperate with mass organizations and social organizations in supporting war invalids, martyrs' families, and people with meritorious service to the revolution in diverse and effective ways. Priorities should also be placed on effectively implementing Conclusion No. 66-KL/TW, dated March 4, 2010, of the Secretariat to create a change in awareness of associations and members to gather veterans at the grassroots level. It is required to encourage ex-soldiers to promote the qualities and traditions of "Uncle Ho's soldiers" and take an active role in grassroots campaigns and movements. It is expected to adhere over 65% of veterans to local clubs or veterans' liaison committees.
Fourthly, VAVN must actively participate in people-to-people diplomacy, contributing to the implementation of the Party and State's foreign policy; coordinate with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and local military agencies to boost patriotism and revolutionary tradition among young generations, contributing to building a pure and strong political system. It is also crucial to maintain and reinforce bilateral and multilateral people-to-people diplomacy and mobilize partners and NGOs in addressing the harmful legacy of Agent Orange, directly with the Vietnam Friendship Village. Efforts need to be made to thoroughly grasp and implement the Party's resolutions on youth affairs, foster outstanding young people and introduce them to the Party; encourage young people to do military service to defend the Fatherland, mobilize entrepreneurs and veterans who run a successful business to share experiences, creating opportunities for Youth Union members and young people to start businesses.
Finally, due consideration should be given to building a strong VAVN. Associations at all levels must strengthen political propaganda and education, and raise awareness among officials and members; Special attention should be paid to training political thinking, and moral qualities and enhancing a steadfast political will in the face of burning and pressing social issues; A focus is also laid on resolutely fighting against the "self-evolution" and "self-transformation" manifestations internally.
They need to continue to effectively implement resolutions, directives, and regulations of the Party(5), promote the role of the Steering Committee 35 at the central level and collaborators in capturing public opinion, especially in "hot" areas, before sensitive events, to timely provide accurate information for officials, members and people in the locality. There is a need to promote the emulation movement of "Exemplary veterans" in association with national campaigns and programs and successfully organize the 7th National Congress of Patriotic Emulation to assess the performance of the movement "Exemplary Veterans" by 2024.
VAVN needs to strengthen its organizational structure under the regulations of competent authorities and focus on building a strong and comprehensive association at all levels. It is recommended to effectively implement Resolution No. 09/NQ-CCB, dated January 11, 2021, of the Central Executive Committee of VAVN on “Human resources planning of VAVN, 7th term (from 2022 to 2027)". Priority should be placed on creating a breakthrough in the construction of associations at the grassroots under Resolution No. 05/NQ-CCB, dated January 9, 2020, of the Central Committee of VAVN on “Building strong grassroots associations to meet task requirements in the new period". It is essential to harmonize annual performance assessment criteria for officials, members, and associations. Managers at all levels must satisfy standards. Moreover, it is needed to propose to the State and authorities at all levels to adopt a support mechanism to run clubs and liaison committees dedicated to ex-soldiers. It is also crucial to thoroughly grasp and promptly implement preferential policies issued by the Party and State for VAVN’s members, promote gratitude activities for beneficiaries and people with meritorious services to the revolution and gratitude activities within the Association, deliver good care to local associations in remote, isolated and extremely difficult areas, raise awareness and responsibility of leaders for inspection and supervision activities. It is targeted to annually inspect 25% of central associations and 25% of local associations, supervise 100% of associations and members according to the decentralization mechanism, check 100% of associations and members who show signs of violations, closely coordinate with competent authorities to inspect the implementation of tasks assigned, strictly and promptly address disciplinary violations by officials and members, and timely settle complaints and denunciations.
VAVN need to focus on reforming its leadership at all levels by adopting specific rules, regulations, and processes, ensuring the principle of democratic centralism through collective leadership and individual responsibility, creating favorable conditions for associations at all levels to promote their proactiveness and creativity, upholding their responsibility, and ensuring the unified leadership of the Central Committee of VAVN, reforming methods and working styles of associations at all levels from the central to grassroots levels to build a scientific, collective, democratic working style and move from words to action.
(1) Currently, there are 110 associations under the Central Association (located in 63 provinces and cities and 47 associations of block 487), 799 associations at the central level; 14,572 associations at the grassroots level; 91,067 branches, 3,014,710 members. Every year, over 96% of associations at central and grassroots levels meet the standards of completing tasks well, and over 80% of members complete tasks well, of which 20% are associations and individuals receive the title “Outstanding accomplishment”.
(2) At the Party congresses at all levels for the term 2020 - 2025,324,602 members of VAVN who are party members are elected to attend congresses at all levels; 129,771 Party members are elected to the party committee (there are 66,844 members appointed as secretary and deputy secretary). 63,682 members of VAVN are introduced to run for positions in the National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels.
(3) Up to now, the poverty rate within members of VAVN has decreased from 4.01% at the beginning of 2018 to 2.31%; near-poor decreased from 3.49% to 2.42%. There are 51.95% of associations in communes, wards, and towns, and 34.42% in districts, towns, and cities. 37/63 associations in provinces and municipalities succeeded in eradicating poverty among veterans; the proportion of wealthy households reached 55.29%; nearly 20,000 dilapidated houses and temporary houses have been removed; 14,000 gratitude houses worth over 500 billion VND have been built.
(4) VAVN has mobilized its members to donate thousands of square meters of land and tens of thousands of working days to build a new countryside, more than VND 426 billion managed by the Vietnam Fatherland Front, carry out charitable activities with the amount of more than 466 billion VND, donate 11,754 houses "Veterans' gratitude" with an amount of nearly 438 billion VND, grant 346,151 scholarships to members' children who overcome difficulties and achieved excellent study performance with the amount of VND 48.3 billion,...
(5) Such as Resolution, Conclusion of the 4th Plenum of the 12th and 13th plenums of the Party Central Committee on Party building and rectification, in association with the implementation of Conclusion No. 01-KL/TW, dated May 18, 2021, of the Politburo on "Continuing to implement Directive No. 05-CT/TW dated May 15, 2016, of the 12th Politburo on promoting the study and following Ho Chi Minh's ideology, morality and style"; Regulation No. 37-QD/TW, dated October 25, 2021, of the Central Executive Committee on “what Party members are not allowed to do”.
This article was published in the Communist Review No. 1001 (November 2022)