To foster, preserve, reinvigorate, and promote our national culture, we need to perform well the following core tasks:
First, further rouse the spirit of patriotism, resilience, and solidarity, and the aspiration for prosperity and happiness of the entire nation; and fully harness the Vietnamese people’s cultural values, strength and devotion to foster internal strength and create a driver for breakthrough, in order to fulfill the national development targets by 2025 and 2030, with a vision towards 2045, which were put forth at the 13th National Party Congress.
Second, develop the Vietnamese people in the course of Doi Moi, development and integration. It should be grounded in suitable norms, in connection with preserving and upholding the values of the Vietnamese family, and those of our culture and nation. It should also harmoniously combine traditional values with the values of the times, namely: patriotism, solidarity, resilience, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, discipline, and innovation. Such values, with affluence, happiness, progress, and civilization at the core, have long been cultivated by Vietnamese families, and bolstered by the progressive Vietnamese culture enriched with the national characteristics of nationhood, democracy, humanity, and science. They were also built upon on the foundation of national values - the highest goal of our people: Peace, unity, independence, prosperous people, strong nation, democracy, fairness civilization, and happiness.
Third, promote comprehensive and holistic development in cultural domains, foster a cultural environment, and enrich the cultural life of the people. To this end, it is necessary to preserve and uphold traditional cultural values, and take in the cultural quintessence of mankind, while effectively cultivating new cultural values. It is also important to foster a healthy and civilized cultural environment in connection with keeping up the uncompromising fight against the evil, the uncultured and anti-culture and upholding the values of Truth - Goodness - Beauty. In addition, we need to ensure that the people can enjoy a joyous, healthy and happy cultural life, and address the gap in development level and cultural enjoyment among regions in Viet Nam.
Fourth, ensure the people’s role as the subject of innovation and beneficiary of culture. To this end, we need to respect and protect the cultural diversity of the people, including that of ethnic groups and regions, and launch extensive and substantive cultural movements. It is also necessary to improve the conditions for people’s cultural enjoyment in ways that ensure equality, while upholding and encouraging the pioneering role of intellectuals, artists, writers, and those working in cultural domains.
Fifth, give priority to cultural and moral values in building the Party and the political system, and staunchly combat corruption, negative phenomena and wrongdoings so that our Party and political system would remain a beacon of morality, civilization, conscience and dignity of the Vietnamese people. In this connection, we need to take into consideration cultural values in leadership and management, and encourage officials and Party members, particularly strategiclevel officials and leaders, to serve as models for emulation in line with the Ho Chi Minh Thoughts, morals and lifestyle. It is also critical that we strengthen the Party’s leadership capacity and the efficiency of State management, promote active participation of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and other socio-political organizations in cultural development.
Sixth, build a digital cultural environment compatible with the digital economy, digital society, and digital citizenship. This should enable culture to regulate the sustainable development of our country amid the 4th Industrial Revolution. It is necessary to quickly develop the cultural industry and create a healthy cultural market. To reinvigorate and step up cultural development, and cultivate the Vietnamese people based on the above directions, in the time to come, we need to take bold and effective actions in the following areas:
First, we should improve the Party’s awareness and leadership, and the State’s governance in cultural affairs, so as to meet the people’s aspiration for cultural and human development in building socialist-oriented market economy, accelerating modernization and industrialization, and increasing engagement in far-reaching international integration. We need to continue to come up with new measures in carrying out the Party’s leadership and the State’s governance, in order to reach a consensus in both mindset and action in promoting cultural development from the central to grass-root level. Party Committees and authorities at all levels need to thoroughly understand and strictly adhere to the guiding principles of the Party in terms of culture, and build upon such foundation to outline programs and plans to best harness resources for cultural development. It is critical that we move away from an “economic-oriented” approach, which focuses primarily on economic interests, rather than cultural values. We also need to uphold the view that “culture needs to be on equal ground with economic, political, and social matters.” The 13th National Party Congress determined that Viet Nam’s overall development strategy in the time to come is to promote reforms, as well as rapid and sustainable development, in a comprehensive and synchronized manner. All relevant tasks need to be holistically implemented. And in such endeavors, economic development is the core, Party building is a key factor, cultural development is the spiritual foundation, and safeguarding of defense and security is a constant and critical mandate. These are fundamental guiding principles that need to be strictly and vigorously implemented by all sectors and at all levels.
Regarding state governance, it is necessary to expeditiously improve the slow transformation of the Party’s guidelines, positions, and principles into concrete and feasible legal instruments and policies on cultural and human development. The restructuring of the cultural management apparatus needs to be accelerated from the central to grass-root levels. Suitable arrangements and policies need to be made in ways that take into account the unique characteristics of cultural and artistic activities. It is also essential that we make increased investment in cultural development by utilizing the state budget in an appropriate
manner and mobilizing social resources, both at home and abroad. In diversifying cultural activities, the State needs to give priority to making investment in the mainstream of revolutionary culture, for it serves as the core, the guiding principle, and the primary inspiration of cultivating individuals that are strongwilled, pure of heart, and sincere in affection, thereby fostering the underlying spiritual foundation of the society.
Second, we need to enhance capacity building for cadres in charge of cultural affairs, so that they can fulfill the demand for and mandate of cultural development of Viet Nam in this new phase. We also need to prevent unsystematic and arbitrary assignment of officials in cultural affairs both at the central and grass-root level. This is because the Party has constantly reiterated that “Cadres constitute the root of all work.” Governance and management work pertaining to cultural affairs requires not only political qualities, but also relevant expertise, an extensive understanding of intellectuals and artists, a long-term and in-depth vision, and the capability to call upon all strata of the society to participate in cultural formulation and development. Special attention should be paid to training and nurturing the growth of intellectuals and artists working in cultural, literary and artistic domains. This group plays a vital role in our cultural development endeavors in particular, and in our revolutionary cause in general. President Ho Chi Minh once said “In order to fulfill their noble duties, writers and artists must uphold revolutionary morals, elevate their spirit of service to the people, and maintain an attitude of humility. They must also truly mingle with the masses, and strive to acquire political knowledge and improve their professional capabilities”. (Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, volume 10, page 647). Incentive policy reform for writers, artists and cultural workers should also be conducted, and their talents and dedication to the development of the country’s culture should be honored. In addition to improving the cultural life at the grassroots level, it is necessary to focus on fostering and developing cultural quintessence, nurture great talents in diverse forms of culture and arts, and encourage the penning of masterpieces. This shall in turn fully reflect the country’s great innovation and reforms, and play a positive role in cultivating the current Vietnamese culture and enriching our people’s life.
Third, more attention should be paid to the preservation, enrichment and promotion of national cultural values, tangible and intangible cultural values of regions, localities and ethnic minorities, in line with absorbing the cultural quintessence of the times. The “soft power” of the Vietnamese culture should be further developed, contributing to elevating the national synergy. To date, our country has 166 museums, including 4 national museums with more than 3 million artifacts, 3,486 total national-ranked relics, including 1,626 historical relics, 105 special national sites, 288 national intangible cultural heritages (in Hanoi alone there are 21 festivals), 27 tangible and intangible cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO (2 of which are in Bac Ninh province: Quan ho folk songs and Ca Tru). It is an invaluable asset passed on to us by our ancestors and our forefathers for thousands of years, a unique legacy of our nation. Therefore, we bear the responsibility to preserve, treasure and foster this legacy. Otherwise, it will be a dishonor to our history, and ingratitude to our ancestors and forefathers. President Ho Chi Minh, prior to his passing, reminded us: “If you wish to honor your Fatherland, you must love our folk songs!" (Composer Tran Hoan, in his moving songs: “The words of Uncle Ho before his passing” and “In Moscow I heard the Vi-Giam folk singing”).
Fourth, focus should be put on building a sound code of social conduct, promoting positive values of fine customs and traditions of the family and society, and upholding the spirit of mutual compassion and solidarity, with respect for benevolence, justice and social morality. These are well reflected in our sayings: “As a crimson cloth draped upon a mirror stand, there shall be love among those of the same land”, “Like winter melons and gourds growing on the same trellis, so should humans, different though we may be, love one another”, “Love others as if ourselves”, “Like a cover of leaves, the poor will help out the poorer”, “When a horse falls sick, the whole herd will abandon its grass”, “Respect the elderly and you will achieve longevity”, “Siblings are akin to limbs of the same body”, “Respect the elders, dote on the younger”, “Love your wife who shares your hardships, than other women living the life of luxury”, “When a husband and his wife are of the same mind, there is nothing they cannot achieve; When friends are of the same mind, they can achieve anything”, “A clean fast is better than a dirty breakfast”, “Honesty is the best policy”, “Be deferential to the teachers and respect their discipline”, “A word of greeting is more satisfying than a feast”, “A good name is sooner lost than won”, maintaining the “homeliness” and “rusticity” (“Chan que”, a poem by Nguyen Binh written in 1936), and upholding loyalty, faithfulness and compassion (the poem “Viet Bac” by To Huu written in 1954). Close attention should also be paid to developing codes of conduct in public agencies, in the community, particularly on the cyberspace, and among artists, to name a few.
We must remain steadfast and persevering in combating corruption, negative phenomena and degradation in political ideology, morality, and lifestyle. We should also “eliminate selfishness,” for it is the root of corruption, wrongdoings, and moral degradation in sectors and agencies in charge of cultural affairs. Cadres and Party members should focus on complying with regulations, so as to serve as paragons for the people. It is also necessary to strictly observe the Resolutions of the 4th Plenums of the 11th and 12th Party Central Committee, and the Conclusions and Decisions from the recent 4th Plenum of the 13th Party
Central Committee on the building and rectification of the Party and political system.
Esteemed deputies and comrades,
Today’s National Cultural Conference is an important opportunity for the entire Party, People and Army, particularly those in charge of cultural affairs, as well as intellectuals and artists nationwide, to thoroughly, comprehensively and cohesively review the Ho Chi Minh Thought and our Party’s guidelines, policies and positions, particularly those of the 13th National Party Congress on constructing, preserving and building upon the values of an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with the Vietnamese identity. Together, we should be deeply and fully aware of the particularly important role and position that culture holds in the building and defense of our Fatherland, and in realizing the aspiration for national development, prosperity and happiness, in line with the process of Doi Moi and our nation’s glorious history and culture which has been cultivated over a thousand years.
It is my heartfelt wish that after this Conference, our cultural work will witness new and more vigorous breakthroughs and progress, achieve greater effectiveness, and mark a new milestone in revitalizing and strengthening the Vietnamese culture in the new era. Viet Nam values time-honored culture and talent, and has had a long-standing tradition of patriotism and revolution and an united, industrious, and innovative population. This, coupled with a dedicated and talented group of intellectuals and artists who uphold a high sense of responsibility towards the people, the Party, the Fatherland, and the future of the nation, and the vigorous and holistic engagement of the entire political system, gives me confident that we will overcome all challenges to successfully revitalize and build a progressive Vietnamese culture richly imbued with the Vietnamese identity. Such endeavors would bring greater glory to our nation and people, and foster unrivalled strength to ensure that Viet Nam will continue to thrive, our people ever happier, and our nation ever more prosperous, living up to our thousand-year history of culture and heroism, and making Viet Nam be on a par with powers around the world. Only then can we say that our Conference today is a meaningful, resounding and substantial success.
May I wish all Party and State leaders, esteemed delegates, comrades and all our fellow Vietnamese good health, happiness and greater success!
Thank you very much!