Tuesday - 26/03/2024 22:30
The Festival for Peace, which promises unique and special features with many unique highlights, will take place in Quang Tri Province this July. The festival is the first of its kind to be held in Quang Tri Province and the country in general. It aims to honour the value of peace and convey the message of peace of the people of Quang Tri, the Vietnamese people, and peace-loving peoples around the world. Quang Tri province is making preparations for the festival. On the occasion, Nguyen Dang Quang, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the People's Council of Quang Tri Province, granted an interview to Nhan Dan Newspaper to talk more about the festival.
Located right on the 17th parallel and crossing Ben Hai River, Hien Luong Bridge is the symbol of the aspiration for peace and national reunification.

Question: Can you please tell us about the reasons for Quang Tri Province’s proposal for the Government to host the Festival for Peace?
Answer: During his lifetime, President Ho Chi Minh paid great care to the independence and peace of the Vietnamese people. Therefore, the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which was proclaimed by President Ho Chi Minh at the historic Ba Dinh Square on September 2, 1945, cited the US Declaration of Independence 1776, which clearly stated that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. During the nation's two resistance wars against foreign invaders and during the cause of national construction and defence, Vietnam always raised the spirit of independence and peace, which was nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh. 
Today, although most of humanity lives in peace, the world situation always has a potential risk of war with many unpredictable uncertainties. The peace of Vietnam is more or less affected by the global situation. Therefore, Quang Tri Province wants to organise the 2024 Festival For Peace in accordance with President Ho Chi Minh's ideology and the Party's diplomatic policy. The festival aims to honour the values of peace and convey the message of peace of the people of Quang Tri, the Vietnamese people, and peace-loving peoples around the world, thus contributing to building lasting peace towards sustainable development. 
The province's proposal to organise a festival conveying a message of peace was highly agreed upon by the Government, ministries, and sectors, and received attention, support, and encouragement from leaders of Party and Government. The festival was initiated in 2019. On May 29, 2020, the Government Office issued an official dispatch announcing the Government leader’s approval on the organisation of a festival with a message of peace in Quang Tri Province. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also issued a similar approval document on June 12, 2020. The Standing Committee of the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee held many meetings and issued many guiding documents to organise a truly meaningful Festival for Peace in Quang Tri.


US tourists visit the special national relic site of Quang Tri Ancient Citadel.
Vietnam is a country that has suffered the severe consequences of fierce wars with much pain and loss, so it understands more deeply the value of peace and is determined to protect peace. Quang Tri is a typical miniature image of Vietnam because the province experienced the severity of war and endured many sacrifices and losses, so peace is always a burning desire. Based on the classification of criteria by peace educator and historian Dr. Peter Vanden Dungen from the University of Bradford, UK, a city/locality needs to meet one of ten criteria to be considered and recognised as a city/locality for peace. In this regard, Quang Tri meets at least four out of ten criteria.
Quang Tri was the capital of Thuan Hoa, then Thuan Quang (1558-1626), when the first Lord Nguyen went south to open the territory; the temporary resistance capital of the Nguyen Dynasty with Tan So Citadel (1885-1888). The province has Ben Hai River – the 17th Parallel, which became a temporary military boundary line between the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the government of the Republic of Vietnam in July 1954 and then acted as the dividing line for the country for 20 years. The locality has Thach Han River as a heroic testament of the return of prisoners of war by the two parties after the Paris Agreement ending the war and restoring peace to Vietnam in 1973. Quang Tri was also chosen to locate the headquarters of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (1973-1975), where 43 ambassadors from five continents presented their credentials. Quang Tri was the focus of war and loss associated with the nation's endless suffering. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese people of all generations fell in this land for peace and national independence.
Today, there are 72 martyrs' cemeteries around Quang Tri Province, including two national cemeteries which are the eternal resting places of tens of thousands of people who heroically sacrificed for peace and independence of the nation. This land is also dedicated to great historical characters of the nation such as Lord Nguyen Hoang, Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, King Ham Nghi, and General Secretary Le Duan, who served their whole lives in the cause of fighting against invasion, gaining national independence, and protecting peace. Quang Tri has been cultivating a flower garden of peace as a passionate call of humanity, and infinitely more passionate for the Vietnamese people and for Quang Tri’s people. 
Therefore, based on many criteria, Quang Tri deserves to be honoured as a land of peace. No other province in Vietnam is more deserving than Quang Tri for hosting the Festival For Peace. Peace is like a flower garden full of scents and beauty.

Quang Tri Province wants to organise the 2024 Festival For Peace in accordance with President Ho Chi Minh's ideology and the Party's diplomatic policy. The festival aims to honour the values of peace and convey the message of peace of the people of Quang Tri, the Vietnamese people, and peace-loving peoples around the world, thus contributing to building lasting peace towards sustainable development.
NGUYEN DANG QUANG - Permanent Deputy Secretary of Party Committee and Chairman of People’s Councial of Quang Tri Province.


Q: Could you please give an overview of the goals and significance of the Festival for Peace?
A In late 2023, the provincial People’s Committee already completed a general plan with key contents and programmes to prepare for the organisation of the first Festival for Peace in Quang Tri.
The festival is scheduled to take place in July, which is also the month to pay tribute to heroes and martyrs. The festival will be held every two years throughout the province, with main venues including the Hien Luong-Ben Hai special national historical site, Dong Ha City, Cua Tung, Cua Viet, Quang Tri Ancient Citadel, the Truong Son National Martyr Cemetery and Road 9 Martyr Cemetery.


Head of the Central Commission for Communication and Education Nguyen Trong Nghia and Quang Tri leaders present gifts to policy beneficiary families.
The festival is held on a national and international scale and is included on the list of major national festivals with very rich content. Its goal is to honour the value of peace, overcome the consequences of war, and call on everyone to join hands in safeguarding and building a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable life for their homeland, country and humankind. The festival is also intended to pay tribute to the heroes and martyrs who made heroic sacrifices for the longevity of the motherland, as well as commemorate the victims of war and the losses caused by war, and to nurture and further promote patriotism.

Activities within the framework of the festival must follow the topic of peace, honour the value of peace and bring together the participation of all walks of life, religions and people at home and abroad. The festival also aims to build Quang Tri into a cultural space for peace and a symbol of the strong vitality of humanity right on lands once destroyed by war.

It is a meeting place for friends from all over; a meeting and sharing place for cities and peoples who have suffered the same fate as Quang Tri around the world, such as the city of Rotterdam (Netherlands); Dresden, Cologne, Berlin (Germany); London (UK); Stalingrad (Russia); Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan); Calling for national solidarity and international solidarity for the cause of fighting to protect peace; Integration, cooperation for mutual development, building peace, friendship and prosperity. 

This is a major cultural event. It is necessary to organise this event with rich, unique cultural and artistic activities, diverse in content, and attractive in form; It is necessary to reflect traditional and contemporary cultural features of national and international significance with the unique characteristics of Quang Tri, and it is necessary to create a brand that attracts all classes of people and domestic and foreign tourists. Based on the general operating program framework, on the actual situation and conditions, develop specific plans and scenarios for the festivals accordingly.

Q: Up to now, what has Quang Tri Province prepared for this important festival?
A To prepare for the Festival For Peace, the province organised a working group headed by the Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee to work with ministries, departments, central branches and related units. Based on the Conclusion Notice of the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee on the Plan to organise the 2024 Festival for Peace, the Provincial People's Committee has established the festival organising committee and subcommittees and assigned specific tasks to each unit to coordinate preparations. 
In the near future, the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee will work with the Party Central Committee's Commission for Communication and Education to report and seek opinions on the organisation of this important festival. According to the Plan, the 2024 Festival For Peace will take place with the theme "Joining hands to create a peaceful world". The programme's framework script includes an opening ceremony, with the theme "Connecting the rhythms of time", held on the banks of the special national relic complex Hien Luong - Ben Hai on the evening of July 6, and the Music exchange programme with the message "Melodies of Peace" (cooperating with the family of late musician Trinh Cong Son to organise Trinh Cong Son's music night) in Dong Ha city, on the night of July 8. The festival programme "Culinary culture" at Cua Viet Service-Tourism Area from July 12 to 14. The "Wish for Peace" programme, on the night of July 26, at the Special National Monument of Quang Tri Ancient Citadel and related locations, has a message of remembrance and gratitude. Along with these "key" programmes, before the opening and in between the main events, there will be many other attractive and meaningful programmes. The unique feature of this festival is that there is no closing ceremony because Peace is always the eternal wish and aspiration of humanity.


Cua Viet Beach in Gio Linh District attracts many tourists to Quang Tri Province.
Covering the entire profound content of the festival is an emotional touchpoint containing a noble humanistic spirit. The festival not only aims at good values in life but also contributes to arousing pride for today’s generation to firmly believe in the journey of integration and building a prosperous country, national independence and territorial integrity. The red thread of the festival is the passionate patriotism of Vietnamese people throughout history, affirming their strength, will, and humanity, thereby joining hands to create peace in Vietnam and the world through practical activities.


Q: In addition to profound human values, what does Quang Tri Province expect from the “sweet fruit” that the festival will “cultivate” to help the tourism industry make a breakthrough?
A: In addition to the cross-cutting theme and rich connotation as above, the festival is also an opportunity to introduce and promote the land and people of Quang Tri as an attractive destination and gathering place for tourists and international friends, thereby stimulating tourism demand, contributing to promoting economic and social development. 
After two resistance wars for national independence and peace, Quang Tri has nearly 500 historical and cultural relics at all levels that have been planned, preserved and developed with many famous places, such as Road 9, Khe Sanh, Hien Luong, Ben Hai, Vinh Moc, Ta Con, Doc Mieu, Con Tien, Mc Namara electronic fence and Quang Tri Ancient Citadel. 
A special feature of Quang Tri is that it was heavily devastated by the war and left behind long-term consequences. Along with Quang Tri Province proactively overcoming the consequences of war, over the past decades, international organisations have mobilised aid for many projects for the province to overcome the consequences of war for socio-economic development. Currently, Quang Tri Province has cooperative relationships with over 60 international organisations and foreign non-governmental organisations. From 2020-2023, the province and its partners mobilised non-refundable aid worth more than 91 million USD. Over the 25 years of operation in Quang Tri, the MAG Organisation has completed the clearance of nearly 180 million square metres of land and discovered and successfully detonated over 230,000 explosives of all kinds, bringing safety to 700,000 people. Together with other mine action organisations, MAG has made an important contribution to reducing landmine accidents and bringing safety to the land and people of Quang Tri.


International organisations support Quang Tri in clearing landmines and overcoming the consequences
of the war.
Quang Tri, as well as other provinces and cities, want to develop based on economic and cultural pillars. Regarding the economy, with experiences, challenges, and innovations for development, Quang Tri has more clearly identified the breakthrough direction in development as driving projects, such as airports, seaports, border gates, energy quality, exploiting the advantages of the East-West economic corridor, trade, services-tourism, clean agriculture and high technology.

Despite many efforts, Quang Tri has not been able to economically outperform other provinces and cities because the province is not located in the driving force region or development pole of the country.
Quang Tri culture must develop further to create motivation for the acceleration of the economy, contributing to realising the strategic goal of turning Quang Tri into a province with upper-middle development by 2025 and to be in the group of prosperous provinces by 2030, as stated in the Resolution of the 17th Quang Tri Provincial Party Congress. With its long-established land, people and reputation, both at home and abroad, Quang Tri culture has unique and outstanding features.
Recently, Quang Tri province has developed many policies and guidelines for promoting culture and tourism, and the tourism industry has made great contributions to the overall development of the province. However, except for the current tours and routes, Quang Tri tourism still lacks new products with high competitiveness and is worthy of the legacy left by our ancestors.
Therefore, the Festival for Peace 2024 is expected to be a completely new tourism product for Vietnam and a unique tourism product of Quang Tri Province. The funding for the festival will partly be sourced from the budget and partly from social resources. The province will call on the business community, especially in the tourism sector, to conduct investment projects to promote the potential and advantages of Quang Tri Province.
Nowadays, the role of tourism in festivals is increasingly important to economic and social development, so every locality prioritises organising festivals. This creates competition in attracting visitors and also boosts the revenue of destinations. The Festival for Peace is anticipated to be a great opportunity for the development of Quang Tri tourism. Different types of visitors will have different interests in this festival. Domestic and foreign tourists will have more reasons to visit Quang Tri. The province is trying to organise a memorable festival so that tourists will fall in love with Quang Tri for the first time and each time after that.

Dong Ha City, where many events of the 2024 Festival for Peace are
scheduled to take place.

Opportunities always come with challenges. To hold an effective Festival for Peace, Quang Tri is urgently preparing each work carefully and stimulating the participation of the whole society, contributing to spreading the festival in all aspects and fostering Quang Tri’s sustainable development during the integration period.

It is expected that tourists from all over the country will visit Quang Tri with a feeling of admiration for the eternal achievements of peace. The organisation of the Festival for Peace aims to highlight every inch of land, mountain, and river soaked in sweat, tears, and blood and preserved by the entire country to keep peace in Quang Tri, together with humanity to fight for and maintain peace and prosperity.

Thank you very much!

Author: Báo Nhân Dân

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