The ambassador with “heart-to-heart” diplomacy

As the first female Director of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga and this department have left an unforgetable mark pioneering Vietnam’s integration policies. Cornerstone successes are seen as propelling Vietnam to join ASEAN, ASEM, APEC, WTO, TPP and a series of free trade agreements (FTAs).
Ambassador Nga still remembers the image of Nguyen Thi Binh, heading the Paris Agreement negotiating delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. “Intelligent and courageous Nguyen Thi Binh in traditional ao dai at the negotiating table in the historic moment deciding the fate of our country sparked great admiration for her,” Ambassador Nga recalled.
Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga is a veteran diplomat with a career spanning over 30 years. She is considered a “diplomat of negotiation”, experiencing many tough diplomatic “arenas”.

Ambassador Nga said that up to now, in the modern world history of peace negotiations, Nguyen Thi Binh remains the first woman ever to lead a negotiating team. In its assessment of world peace and security, the United Nations has evaluated Vietnam as a leading country in terms of the role of women in resolving war and promoting peace.

“It is a shining example like Nguyen Thi Binh and the professional glory that motivated us to overcome difficulties and challenges to complete the mission of a diplomat,” said Ambassador Nga.

Ambassador Nga took her first step into diplomacy at a troubling time for the country as Vietnam was facing economic crises and surrounded by embargos, but was fortunate to have the guidance of great teachers that made an impact on both her thinking and morality. One of those teachers became her father-in-law, late Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach. “In diplomacy and in life, it is important not to lie,” Ambassador Nguyet Nga recalled his teachings.

It was the opportunity to meet with the prestigious Vietnamese diplomats that helped Ambassador Nga to build  her own professional philosophies from experience.

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga and NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the ASEAN Women Leaders' Summit. Photo: Files

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga at the international seminar: "A Cohesive and Proactive ASEAN Community: Reflecting on 2020
for a Stronger Joint Action" held in Hanoi on December 17, 2020. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan, Ambassador Nguyet Nga and international delegates at an international seminar on diplomacy.

Ambassador Nguyet Nga greets 
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and President Xi Jinping at the Vietnam-China Summit.

Ambassador Nguyet Nga at an online International conference on women, peace and security. 

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga attends 
an interactive discussion on “Women’s
leadership” co-organized by the New Zealand Embassy in Viet Nam and UN Women.

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga with international friends at a diplomatic event organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.

One of the most memorable stories of Vietnam's economic integration journey that Ambassador Nga was fond of was that in 2007 when Vietnam officially joined the WTO. The leaders then had compared that event to Vietnam swimming out to the ocean from a small river. At that time, one of the missions accomplished by the Department of the Multilateral Economic Cooperation was to bring the East Sea and Mekong issue to the ASEM forum, and mobilize support from more than 50 member countries to Vietnam's stance.

In Ambassador Nga's view, to be a good diplomat, first of all one must be a human being with kindness. Diplomacy is you going toward other people and connecting with other people to make them friends and partners. In order to accomplish that, you must approach their hearts with  kindness and sincerity.

According to Ambassador Nga, diplomacy is the pinnacle of social relations. It started with relations between people and went up to relations between countries and nations. In order to make partners and friends, we have to approach them with the heart, because only the heart can touch the heart.


Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga is currently the Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation; Senior Advisor, ASEAN National Secretariat 2020. 

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga with the spouses of ASEAN Foreign Ministers visited Ponagar towers in Nha Trang. 

Ambassador Nguyet Nga and the wife of the U.S. Secretary of State, Susan Pompeo, visited Ngoc Son temple.

Ambassador Nguyet Nga and the wife of 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines visited St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi. 

Vietnam's successful establishment of 14 strategic partners, 11 comprehensive partners and participation in the ASEAN Economic Community, are achievements bearing the efforts of Ambassador Nguyet Nga and the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation.


Story: Thao Vy  -   Photos: Viet Cuong & Files -  Translated by Hong Hanh

A Painter of Paper Masks in Hoi An

A Painter of Paper Masks in Hoi An

Bui Quy Phong, an artisan around 70 years old, devotes all his passion and enthusiasm to the art of paper mache mask painting in the World Heritage Site of Hoi An.