Introduction

In accordance with Decision 75/2014/QD-TTg dated 24 December 2014, in the organisational structure of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, there are two major entities mandated with research, synthesis and forecasts: they are the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies (IFPSS) and the Institute for the East Sea Studies.

The Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies was founded in confirmity with Decision 82/2008/QD signed by the Prime Minister on 23 June 2008 and Decision 2742 signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs on 29 September 2015. The IFPSS has 3 research centers: the Center for Political and Security Studies, the Center for Development and Economic Integration, and the Center for Regional and Foreign Policy Studies.

The IFPSS serves as the focal point for undertaking strategic research and performing tasks of foreign relations for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, teaching and disseminating knowledge on international relations and conducting academic exchanges both at home and abroad.

Scientific research of the IFPSS is increasingly connected to and efficiently serves policy making process of MOFA. The IFPSS has been actively and effectively conducting ad-hoc research projects at the request of MOFA. Furthermore, the IFPSS is proactive in coordinating with other departments of MOFA such as Department of ASEAN, Department of Foreign Policy, Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation, etc. in hosting seminars and workshops, dialogues, formulation of political schemes, consultation, etc. Highly seasoned experts of the IFPSS are actively involved in various councils evaluating outlines and finalising annual research projects. The IFPSS regularly assigns its young researchers to be involved in conducting research projects with relevant Departments of MOFA.

The IFPSS continues to play a key role in the Track 2 activities, participating in international symposiums on the East Sea, NEAT, NEAS, issues and models of development in Asia, various cooperation frameworks in Asia, energy security, etc. The IFPSS also hosts international workshops and dialogues with foreign partners and stakeholders such as bilateral dialogues with Marine Research Institute of China, JIIA of Japan, IFANS of South Korea, Track 2 dialogues between New Zealand and Vietnam, dialogues on Cambodia and neighbouring countries; Workshop on cooperation prospect between Vietnam and the US, other Track 2 activities and exchanges in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Key staff of the IFPSS serve as focal points for organising and partaking in networks of Track 2 conferences and workshops, including the framework of workshops on security in the Asia-Pacific, ASEAN-ISIS, APISA, research into Vietnam and the region, bilateral relations, cooperation in East Asia, lectures on East Asia, socio-economic issues, civil society-democratization and human security. Young researchers of the IFPSS are actively involved in a wide array of research projects that attract participation of foreign institutions.

Leaders and researchers of the IFPSS regularly chair and partake in academic exchanges with scholars and researchers on global issues and bilateral ties between Vietnam and other countries, gradually improving their expertise and linguitic command. In general, these exchanges are positively received by foreign partners. With a view to turning the IFPSS into a world-class research institution, building capable and highly qualified staff is one of the focal tasks of the IFPSS and therefore, importance is attached to recruitment and training. Most of young staff at the IFPSS are mobilised to partake in research projects and all have proven to be dynamic, innovative and dedicated research fellows. Leadership of the IFPSS also pays adequate attention to aspirations of young staff, creating enabling environment so that they can optimise their working capacity and best nurture their devotion and enthusiasm.

Leveraging the existing advantages of the former Institute for International Relations and conducting organisational reshuffle and renovating working patterns, the IFPSS is gradually confirming its position as the leading think-tank of the entire nation, raising prestigious voice on various forums both at home and abroad, well performing the functions of strategic research and daily operations of MOFA as well as teaching subjects of international relations at the DAV and elsewhere.

The Institute of the East Sea Studies was founded in accordance with Decision 29/2012/QD-TTg signed by Prime Minister on 12 July 2012 and Decision 2743 signed by Foreign Minister on 29 September 2015. The Institute has 4 centers: the Center for Policy Research, the Center for Legal Research, the Center for International Cooperation, and the Center for Information and Documentation.

The Institute is a think-tank for policy making, in-depth and comprehensive scientific research on the East Sea, focusing on political-security and legal aspects. It is the leading entity in synthesizing, archiving and analysing data and information on various issues of the East Sea. Staff of the Institute have published and co-published numerous scientific volumes both at home and abroad to disseminate research results on the current situation of the East Sea, strategic analysis and policies of various nations on the East Sea and recommendations and solutions on preserving peace, stability and development in the East Sea.

As the focal point for formal and non-formal (Track 2) diplomatic activities on the issues of the East Sea, the Institute has hosted a wide array of national and international dialogues, seminars and workshops on the East Sea. The series of the Annual East Sea Symposium jointly organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the Vietnam Lawyers Association and the Foundation for East Sea Studies since 2009 has become a pretigious academic forum on relevant issues both at home and abroad. Furthermore, the Institute regularly maintains academic exchanges, formulating and connecting international scholar communities who take keen interest in the East Sea, enabling the communities to be updated with and have more profound understanding of the East Sea-related issues. By making their utmost efforts, the Institute has gradually asserted its position as Vietnam’s leading research institution on the East Sea from the political-security and legal perspective, possessing a highly pretigious voice in forums both at home and abroad./.

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