Making news

Vietnam reaches new milestone in diplomacy

As the final minutes of the meeting concluding Vietnam’s Month of Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) clocked in, the country could be proud of reaching a new milestone in its diplomacy via successfully assuming the role of UNSC Chair for the second time, as part of its stint as a non-permanent member of the council in 2020-2021.

Vietnam’s achievements at the UNSC - the UN’s most important body responsible for maintaining world peace and security - were fulfilled amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising conflicts, and a serious political crisis in Myanmar, which like Vietnam is a member of ASEAN.

Three high-level discussions initiated and chaired by Vietnam - the High-level Open Debate on "Cooperation between the UN and regional organisations in enhancing confidence-building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution”, the open debate on “Mine action and sustaining peace: Stronger partnerships for better delivery”, and the in-person and online debate on “Protection of Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population” - have been hailed by the international community.

At the first one, chaired by State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 19, Vietnam expressed its strong commitment as a country that always strives to build trust and dialogue, act as a bridge to seek peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world via the UN Charter, international law, and closer joint work between the UN, organisations and multilateral mechanisms.

As the only ASEAN representative at the UNSC, Vietnam upheld the spirit of the bloc, prompting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to recognise the importance of Southeast Asia in reconciliation diplomacy, conflict prevention, and the building of international peace. He also affirmed ASEAN’s important role when the region faces a crisis such as that being seen in Myanmar.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency following the meeting, head of the EU Delegation to the UN Olof Skoog said the topics selected by Vietnam for discussion came at the right moment amid complex developments around the world.

Achievements in partnerships between the UN and regional organisations can be seen in various areas, he went on, from reconciliation, anti-terrorism, and the maintenance of peace to the protection of human rights, climate change response, and COVID-19 prevention.

The UN Secretary General hailed Vietnam’s initiative to lift ties between the UN and regional organisations to greater heights and to further uphold a spirit of multilateralism.

He also committed to supporting Vietnam’s proposal to trust building and dialogue on conflict prevention, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Vietnam also left positive impressions on the international community when selecting mine action as a discussion topic at a high-level debate on April 8. In 2020, the UN recorded 7,000 deaths and injuries from bombs and mines, including nearly 2,000 children.

Speaking highly of the initiative, Secretary General Guterres expressed his belief that dealing with this issue not only at the national but also at the regional and global levels will be the first solid step towards achieving real stability and peace.

At the debate on “Protection of Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population”, chaired by Vietnam on April 27, a resolution the country drafted was co-sponsored by 15 UNSC members and over 50 UN member states.

This issue was rarely put up for debate at high-level UNSC meetings in the past, showing that many member states have begun to understand the importance of the issue after witnessing humanitarian law violations in many countries, especially war-torn areas such as Yemen, Syria, Tigray (Ethiopia), South Sudan, Ukraine, and Nigeria.

The open debate on “Women, peace and security - Sexual violence in conflict”, held on April 14, was also a highlight among Vietnam’s initiatives in its capacity as UNSC Chair.

According to the UN, there were 2.500 cases of sexual violence in armed conflicts last year, mostly targeting women and girls.

Many called on the international community to make a strong commitment to seeking justice for the victims of sexual violence, protecting them and helping them lead normal lives.

Vietnam successfully promoted its priorities and commitments during its tenure, affirming itself as a partner for sustainable peace that seeks sound and sustainable solutions to disputes and promotes dialogue towards addressing disputes by peaceful means, strengthening the role of regional organisations and creating humanitarian policies for the people.

According to Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnam Mission to the UN, Vietnam’s biggest achievement was affirming its prestige and image in the minds of international friends.

Successfully assuming its role during the Month of UNSC Presidency vividly reflects the effective implementation of the foreign policy set in the resolution adopted by the 13th National Party Congress./.