|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chairs an open debate on UN Charter obedience on January 9, 2020 (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
During its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Council, Vietnam’s priorities will be honoring the UN Charter, preventing conflicts, and protecting civilians, especially women and children.
In January, the UN Security Council conducted dozens of open and closed-door meetings to discuss humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen, and security problems in Mali. Those discussions promoted international law for a more peaceful, fairer, and better world.
Vietnam’s proposal to organize an open debate on UN Charter obedience on January 9 received strong support from all members of the Council. The debate’s topic underlined the importance of the UN Charter and multilateral cooperation in sustaining world peace and security. For the first time in the UN history, a statement on the UN Charter was adopted.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said, “During the first days of chairing the UN Security Council, Vietnam received high praise for its capacity and responsibility. It was heartening and surprising that 110 countries, a record high number, joined the Vietnam-initiated debate. It showed that our initiative was relevant and timely. More than ever before, countries realized the need to enhance the role of the UN Charter. Vietnam is on the right track.”
ASEAN-UN connectivity prioritized
Vietnam worked to make the UNSC meeting on ASEAN-UN cooperation possible by combining its roles as UNSC and ASEAN Chair.
Deputy Prime Minister Minh said, “We are lucky because we are concurrently Chair of the UN Security Council and Chair of ASEAN. Vietnam raised the idea of keeping the Council informed of ASEAN to strengthen the relationship between ASEAN and UN organizations. Vietnam was the first to suggest this idea. For the first time there was a meeting at the UN Security Council to promote ASEAN’s image at the UN.”
Ambassador Ngo Quang Xuan, Vietnam’s Chief Representative to the UN in New York from 1993 to 1999 and to Geneva from 2002 to 2008, said, “What we are doing has helped leverage Vietnam’s reputation and credibility regionally and globally. Vietnam has an opportunity to work with other ASEAN and UN members to affect peace, security, economics, trade, and society.”
Vietnam accomplished its agenda for the first month of chairing the UN Security Council, showing the world that it is an active and responsible member who always abides by the UN Charter and wants to build a world based on order and international law, settle all disputes through peaceful means, promote multilateral cooperation, and increase connectivity between ASEAN and the UN.