Deputy PM addresses UN General Assembly session

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh delivered a statement at the General Debate of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27 (local time).

Following is the full text of the statement. 

“Mr. President, 
Mr. Secretary-General, 
Ladies and gentlemen, 

On behalf of the Government and people of Vietnam , I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Mr. Sam Kutesa on your election as President of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. I am confident that under your able leadership, you will lead this Session to a great success. 

My appreciation also goes to Mr. John William Ashe, President of the 68th Session and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for their important contributions to the work of our Organization over the past year. 

Mr. President, 

This Session of the UN General Assembly takes place as we near the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. It gives us the opportunity to look back on the past nearly 70 years of the UN implementing its mandate to assist nations to build a world of peace, security and sustainable development, a world where fundamental rights and freedoms are respected and promoted. It is also an opportunity for in-depth discussions on the formulation and implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

Mr. President, 

This year’s GA Session is also convened against a backdrop of the world’s landscape that features numerous turning points and contrasts. In the bright part, increasingly, the UN is playing better its central role in the promotion of the system of rules and norms of international law, thus facilitating solutions to global challenges and in the interests of peace and development for all nations. Globalization and multi-layered economic cooperation and linkages continue to evolve strongly. Our efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals have brought about encouraging results in most regions. 

We see also a more somber part, one that paints the many daunting challenges the world is facing. The trend of cooperation contains risks, while global economic recovery is yet to be sustainable. International peace and security are being challenged by the negative aspect of competition and intervention, and especially by potential escalation of territorial and sovereignty disputes. On-going crises and conflicts in the Middle East and a number of African countries have inflicted major human and material losses, and threaten regional and international peace and security. 

Global challenges remain high on the agenda of the international community. Terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear security and safety, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, climate change, natural calamities, epidemics and the lack of food and water security are issues of primary concern of the international community and require the enhancement of joint efforts. 

Mr. President, 

Peace and security are prerequisites for sustainable development. The UN and its Member States must therefore live up to their responsibility to strengthen international peace and security, prevent potential conflicts and find solutions to on-going hostilities. This is an urgent task, but also one that requires long-term engagement. History has taught us that the paths lead to wars and conflicts lie in obsolete doctrines of power politics, of ambitions of domination and imposition, and of the threat of force in settling international disputes, including territorial and sovereignty disputes. 

Vietnam believes that respect for international law is the foundation of peace, security and stability for sustainable development. More than ever, Member States, big or small, rich or poor, must all respect and seriously observe the principles, rules and norms of the UN Charter and international law. All nations must renounce the use of force as an option in their international relations, and instead settlement all disputes by peaceful means. This is a crucial area in which the UN represents a powerful advance from the League of Nations and it commands greater commitment and efforts of Member States. 

In that spirit, Vietnam looks forward to substantive progress in the negotiations for a comprehensive, fair and long-term solution for peace in the Middle East , which ensures the fundamental national rights of the Palestinian people and the legitimate interests of all parties. We are deeply concerned over the escalating violence in Iraq and support efforts by the Iraqi Government and the international community to stabilize the situation. We call for an end to unilateral economic sanctions against developing countries and support UNGA resolutions on ending the economic embargo against Cuba. Vietnam strongly condemns all acts of terror under any forms, especially the targeting of civilians. We support all international efforts and initiatives to combat this menace in accordance with international law and the UN Charter. 

In addition, we all have a stake in economic restructuring, job creation, achieving balanced, inclusive and sustained growth, as well as in maintaining a peaceful and stable environment conducive to development. It is therefore our primary task to complete the MDGs and formulate the Post 2015 Development Agenda to create added momentum for sustainable development in each country and for international economic linkages. In this process, the UN should focus more actions and resources on addressing social injustices and inequalities and provide stronger support to regional and sub-regional programs on connectivity, poverty reduction, narrowing the development gap and building the green economy. This will lay the firm and long-term foundation for peace, security and development. 

In so doing and to adapt itself to a constantly changing world, the UN must accelerate its reform process in a comprehensive, balanced, transparent and equal manner in the interests of all Member States. The Security Council must be reformed in both membership and working methods to better respond to global challenges to peace and security. 

Mr. President, 

In its national socio-economic development and international integration, Vietnam always attaches importance to the roles of multilateral institutions and forums, especially that of the UN, in the areas of international and regional security and development. Vietnam is proud to be an active and responsible member of important regional and global organizations, such as ASEAN , NAM , APEC, ASEM. 

Vietnam is doubling its efforts to achieve all MDGs and actively participating in the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda. 

It is our consistent principled position to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, and to settle international disputes and conflicts, including the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, by peaceful means, in accordance with international law, 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Vietnam abides by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and works to secure an early adoption of the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. 

We support efforts to strengthen the multilateral trade system to create fresh momentum for the world economy to regain sustained growth. Vietnam is willing to joins global efforts to enhance economic linkages and reform the global economic and trade governance towards greater equality, democracy, transparency and efficiency. 

Vietnam and other ASEAN Member States are working hard to establish an ASEAN Community in 2015 with three pillars, namely political-security, economic and social-cultural cooperation. This, we believe, will help build a Southeast Asian region of peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity and form a regional architecture, with ASEAN at the centre, founded upon international law and aim to develop common rules and norms for the region. 

To contribute to international efforts to enhance principles and norms for peace, sustainable development and human rights, Vietnam is playing an active and constructive role as member of the Human Rights Council. For the very first time, Vietnam has dispatched its military officers to the UN Peace-keeping Mission in South Sudan . Looking forward, Vietnam has presented its candidatures to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2016-2018 and the Security Council for 2020-2021. We count on your valuable support. 

Mr. President, 

Peace and development are inseparable companions. They complement each other on the path towards a prosperous world. We are confident that with political will, mutual trust and equality based on international law, and responsible joint actions, we can build stronger partnerships for peace, cooperation and sustainable development for all. 

Thank you./.”