Vietnam held a grand ceremony at Hanoi on October 1 to mark the beginning of the 10-day celebrations observing the 1,000th anniversary of the establishment of the country's capital city of Hanoi.

Pham Quang Nghi, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee said in a speech that Thanglong, an old name of present day Hanoi, was chosen as Vietnam's capital city 1,000 years ago. It has since grown substantially in the past 25 years in the country's reform and innovation processes, said Nghi.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) attended the ceremony and applauded the socio-economic accomplishments of Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular in the past few decades. The celebrations will give Vietnamese and foreigners a chance to know more about the history and charm of Hanoi. “This opportunity will help advertise the image and attraction of Vietnam and Hanoi to the international community,” said Bokova. During the opening ceremony, Bokova said the UNESCO was very pleased to have the Thanglong Imperial Citadel recognised as a UNESCO cultural heritage.

The UNESCO would like to strengthen ties with Vietnam and especially with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Thousands of officials and people from the Vietnamese party, government, army, diplomatic corps in Hanoi, and other walks of life were present. — Xinhua

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