Australia supports the recovery of Vietnamese war remains

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The Hon Darren Chester MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

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11 September 2019

As part of the ongoing cooperation between Australia and Vietnam, the Department of Defence has presented the Vietnamese Deputy Minister for Defence, Senior Lieutenant General Le Chiem with a digital database of Missing in Action data.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said Australia understands the importance of honouring those who have died in war.

“The recovery of war remains has been an important area of defence cooperation between Australia and Vietnam,” Mr Chester said.

“The Vietnam War was the longest 20th century conflict in which Australians participated, involving some 60,000 personnel of which 3000 were wounded and 521 were killed.

“However, the scale of Vietnamese losses on both sides of the war was enormous.  Around four million Vietnamese civilians were killed or wounded, about 224,000 South Vietnamese military personnel were killed, more than one million on the North Vietnamese side were killed and more than 300,000 were declared Missing in Action.

“This digital database compiled by the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at the University of New South Wales, will provide the Vietnamese with the tools and information required to continue to search for their Missing in Action.”

As part of the ongoing cooperation, Defence will fund the delivery of a face-to-face training package on the database, to be conducted by the University of New South Wales.

Senior Lieutenant General Chiem’s visit to Canberra, and Australian support of this important initiative, are further examples of the growing strength of the Australia–Vietnam relationship following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Hanoi in August.

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