It is an honour and great responsibility for Vietnam when the country assumes the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) this month, the second time during its tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC (2020-2021).
An honour and great responsibility
Director-general of the International Organisations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet said the assumption of UNSC presidency twice in a tenure provides Vietnam with a significant opportunity to promote the orientations and policies for external relations adopted by the 13th Communist Party of Vietnam.
It is also an opportunity for Vietnam to demonstrate its commitment to making further efforts to promote dialogue and contribute to common efforts of the UNSC in maintaining international peace and security, seeking suitable solutions to issues of common concern of the international community in line with international law and the UN Charter while meeting the legitimate interests of member states.
The diplomat underscored that with its experience from the past 2008-2009 tenure as a UNSC non-permanent member and from the first year of the ongoing tenure on the same post, Vietnam is ready for the role of Presidency this month.
According to him, to promote its priorities during the month, Vietnam will organise a series of events in the form of video conference. These events include a high-level open discussion on strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional organisations in promoting trust building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution; a ministerial meeting on overcoming the consequences of bombs and mines and maintaining sustainable peace chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, and a briefing on protecting essential facilities for people's lives in armed conflict.
In addition, Vietnam will also chair UNSC meetings on issues that are attracting great attention from the international community such as the situation of Israel-Palestine, Syria, and Libya.
Viet affirmed that Vietnam will perform its presidency on a balanced, objective, constructive and consensus basis and actively propose initiatives to join Security Council member countries in dealing with important international peace and security issues. Throughout the remainder of the term, the nation will continue to integrate its concerns and priorities into the council’s discussions, negotiations and resolutions.
In April, the UNSC will have 30 official meetings, and deal with 12 issues in its agenda on all regions from Africa, the Middle-East to Europe, America, among others.
The Foreign Ministry and Vietnamese mission will show active, positive and responsible engagement in performing this role in order to ensure the objectiveness, transparency and flexibility in settling differences that may arise among member countries, Viet said.
Three priorities of Vietnam in April
Promoting the role of regional organisations in settling disputes is one of the three priorities that Vietnam has set for April.
According to Viet, regional organisations are important partners in addressing regional issues, because they have good understanding of the relations between countries in the region as well as regional history and culture. Therefore, they could make specific and practical contributions to the search for solutions to regional problems.
Vietnam plans to organise a meeting with UNSC member countries in both in-person and online formats, chaired by senior Vietnamese leaders from Hanoi on April 19. The UN Secretary-General has confirmed attendance, while leaders of leading regional organisations: ASEAN, the European Union (EU), and the African Union (AU) have been invited. Vietnam will work for building a UNSC document which is expected to be adopted at the event.
The second priority is the settlement of bomb and mine consequences, which is both a global issue and a matter of significance to Vietnam.
As the issue occurs in many countries in the world, it is expected to draw attention of the UN and the international community, he said, adding that Vietnam plans to organise a ministerial-level meeting chaired by the Foreign Ministry on April 8.
The third priority that Vietnam will focus on is the protection of necessary infrastructure that is crucial for people’s life amid armed conflicts, including health care facilities, power, water supply systems, food security, sanitation, and schools.
Experiencing years of war in the past, Vietnam hopes to promote the issue to draw greater attention from the UNSC, the UN and other countries.
For this issue, a ministerial meeting is scheduled to be held on April 27 with the participation of the Deputy Secretary General for humanitarian affairs, leaders of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Organisations, he added.
When serving as chair of the UNSC for the first time during the tenure in January 2020, Vietnam had skillfully and effectively handled the differences among countries, following its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, according to Viet.
He added that Vietnam has good relations with many countries worldwide, including the UNSC permanent members. This is a favourable condition for the nation to carry out missions of a UNSC president.