Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, a diplomat of heritages

(VOVWORLD) - “If you want to do something extraordinary, you must have extraordinary aspiration”, says Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Vietnam on UNESCO Affairs. Chau has always nurtured ideas that promote Vietnamese culture to the world.
Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, a diplomat  of heritages  - ảnh 1Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau. 

Pham Sanh Chau was trained as a professional diplomat in Vietnam and abroad. He can speak a number of foreign languages, including English and French. In18 years working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Chau has helped Vietnamese heritages recognized worldwide. For these efforts he has been called “the diplomat of heritages”: “I started involving in cultural activities in 1999. Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam appointed me Vietnamese Ambassador to UNESCO and France. Since then, my work has been closely associated with cultural events. This was the destiny and I am thankful to the Deputy Prime Minister”.

Chau said it is through culture that people touch the essence of another country. He has persistently sought ways to revive Vietnamese heritages: “My friends often say that people can now do anything - except create cultural and natural heritages. Vietnam is very lucky to be endowed with many natural and cultural heritages. It is essential that we foster national pride, promote Vietnam’s potential to attract tourists, and contribute to socio-economic development. Heritages should be well preserved”.

Recently, Pham Sanh Chau has worked with researchers to introduce Vietnamese culture to international friends. Thanks to his efforts, Can Gio, Cat Ba, Cham Island, Pu Mat, Ca Mau, NhaTrang, and Lang Co beach have been listed by UNESCO as world biosphere reserves. Chau contributed to making PhongNha-Ke Bang a world natural heritage. He says he intends to do more to get more Vietnamese heritages recognized by the world: “I am very interested in Phu Quoc fish sauce. I’m thinking of promoting it as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Recently, several countries worked together to propose Lunar New Year celebration to be recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Vietnam has other cultural heritages, too. We should consider which of them are most influential”.

Ambassador Chau, who has held various positions in Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is nominated a candidate of UNESCO’s director-general for the 2017-2021 tenure. This will be the first time a Vietnamese diplomat has run for an important position at UNESCO. Chau excelled at a 90-minute interview in UNESCO headquarters in Paris on April 27.

According to UNESCO regulations, the new director-general will be chosen by secret ballot at the Executive Board's 202nd session in October. The Chairperson of the Executive Board will inform the General Conference, at its 39th session in November, which candidate has been selected by the Board.