|Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chaired an open discussion of the UN Security Council, the first big event of Vietnam’s UNSC presidency in January, which is also the first month of its Council membership.
75 years ago, the founders of the United Nations wrote into the Charter their hope and aspiration to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. They enshrined in the Charter the principles of sovereign equality, respect for the political independence and territorial integrity of all states, restraint from the threat or use of force, non-interference into the internal affairs of other states, and settlement of disputes by peaceful means.
These fundamental principles have become the foundation of contemporary international law guiding the friendly relations and cooperation among nations, and spurred the development of a comprehensive body of international law governing all areas, from non-proliferation and disarmament to promotion and protection of human rights, trade, and the environment.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the history of the United Nations is living proof of the real value of the Charter. Respect for the UN Charter has been pivotal in preventing another world war, promoting peaceful solutions to conflicts all over the world, and maintaining international peace and security.
Mr. Minh said disrespect for the Charter and international law, on the other hand, has posed serious threats to global and regional peace and security and challenged the very relevance and legitimacy of the United Nations.
Minh said emerging global challenges are impossible for single nations to cope with. In such context, the UN Charter is more relevant and essential than ever. It’s necessary to act to ensure that the United Nations and its actions reflect the common interests of all member states.
"We must promote multilateralism and equitable relations amongst states in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. This is the only way to maintain international peace and security, promote sustainable development, address climate change and facilitate post-conflict reconstruction, for a better, more peaceful and just world", Minh added.
Vietnam believes that every country has a responsibility to promote and safeguard adherence to the UN Charter and international law at all levels. Vietnam also believes that as the organ charged by the Charter with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council must be at the forefront of ensuring respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter. The Deputy Prime Minister put special emphasis on three points:
First, it’s necessary to reinforce a commitment to multilateralism, with the United Nations at its heart. States should make maximum use of the tools available to them under the Charter, especially in conflict prevention and peaceful settlement of international disputes.
Second, it’s important to enhance the role of regional organizations, and expand their collaboration with the UN and the Security Council in the maintenance of peace and security in their respective regions and beyond.
In Southeast Asia, the UN Charter was the source of inspiration for the ASEAN Charter, which has become the legal framework of a stronger, more cohesive ASEAN Community. ASEAN today has affirmed its central, indispensable role in the regional security architecture and in addressing regional challenges, maintaining regional and international peace and security.
And third, there must be adherence by all states, big and small, to the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter in the planning and implementation of all development, security and defense strategies, as well as foreign policies. It’s important to cultivate a culture and a mindset of adherence, which as history suggests, is the only way for peace to be sustained.
Bearing in mind the monumental values of the Charter, since the very early days of its independence, Vietnam many times expressed its wish to be a member of the United Nations and its willingness and commitment to uphold and adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter.
As a nation heavily scarred by wars and now on the path of reform, development and international integration, Vietnam has profound understanding of the utmost importance of upholding the Charter to ensure lasting peace and prosperity for human being, build an international order based on international law, and promote friendly and equal relations among states.
As a non-permanent member of the Security Council and an active, responsible member of the United Nations, Vietnam is strongly committed to honoring the UN Charter. In the spirit of “Partnership for Sustainable Peace”, Vietnam will spare no effort to contribute to efforts by the UN and the international community to ensure effective adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, for the ultimate aim of global peace, security and sustainable development.