President Trần Đại Quang has granted the media an interview on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Việt Nam’s accession to the United Nations (UN) (September 20, 1977-2017). The following is the content of the interview:
2017 marks 40 years of Việt Nam’s UN membership. How do you evaluate the development of Việt Nam-UN relations over the past years?
Việt Nam becoming an official member of the UN on September 20, 1977 marked the recognition of the world’s largest global organisation, and the international community, towards a peaceful, unified, independent, free and democratic Việt Nam. This was a significant event for our country. Over the past four decades, Việt Nam and the UN have always strived to nurture and build an increasingly better cooperative relationship, boasting positive results and huge potential for development.
The State and people of Việt Nam always respect the support and co-operation of the UN in the cause of national construction and development, especially the organisation’s precious and practical support in terms of finance, technology and experience for the country during the tough years following the war, as well as the period in which the country was under siege and sanctions.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, in addition to receiving aid from socialist countries, the UN assistance accounted for 60 per cent of the total aid offered to Việt Nam. During the country’s reform process as well as its acceleration of industrialisation, modernisation and international integration, the UN continues to actively support Việt Nam, providing hundreds of millions of US dollars annually. This is one of the most important resources for Việt Nam to successfully realise the socio-economic development goals and contribute to making Việt Nam one of the countries that fulfill the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
As an active, responsible member of the international community, Việt Nam has always considered co-operation with the UN as one of the top priorities in its foreign policy. Since its earliest days of joining the UN, Việt Nam has been proactively and actively participating in many operational areas of the organisation. International friends have acknowledged and highly appreciated Việt Nam’s leading role in promoting the struggle for national independence, sovereignty and self-determination, fighting the arms race and supporting the comprehensive and radical disarmament, in addition to our active contribution to the process of formulating and implementing UN treaties and conventions, and building a fair, transparent and effective global multilateral institution, meeting the common aspirations of mankind.
Highlighting the fundamental principles of international laws and the UN Charter in tackling international conflicts and disputes through peaceful means, Việt Nam always attaches great importance to the UN’s central role in maintaining international peace and security.
Việt Nam also takes the lead in implementing the UN’s “Delivering as One (DaO)” initiative, whilst proposing many initiatives in regards to Việt Nam’s priority areas which are also in the common interest of the community. In addition, Việt Nam has been striving to successfully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN initiative on El Niño and La Niña response and the UN peacekeeping operations.
With great efforts and contributions made to the activities and development of the UN, Việt Nam has been trusted and highly appreciated by the international community, which is most clearly manifested through the country being elected to many bodies of the UN, receiving a high number of votes, especially the UN Security Council (2008-09 term), the UN Economic and Social Council (1998-2000 and 2016-18 tenures), the UN Human Rights Council (2014-16 term), the UNESCO Executive Council (2015-19 tenure) and the International Law Commission (2017-21 term).
What are the directions for Việt Nam-UN co-operation in the time ahead?
On the basis of the fine bilateral relationship over the past 40 years, we are very optimistic about the future of Việt Nam-UN relations. Thoroughly comprehending and implementing the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, “Actively participate and promote the role at multilateral mechanisms, especially ASEAN and the UN,” Việt Nam will strengthen ties with the UN in an extensive, effective and substantive fashion, thus contributing actively to maintaining peace, stability and sustainable development in the region and around the world.
As a responsible and active member in the UN’s activities, Việt Nam will stand side by side with the member countries in upholding the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and international laws, promoting fair and equal international relationships, friendship and cooperation between nations and ensuring the legitimate interests of all countries, especially developing nations. Việt Nam will also enhance its participation in the UN peacekeeping operations at a higher level; exert efforts to successfully implement the 2030 Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change; and support the reform efforts of the UN, towards improving efficiency, transparency and democratisation in all activities.
Việt Nam will focus on fulfilling its membership role in the UN’s mechanisms and taking the lead in the priority areas by deploying many specific initiatives. Specifically, the country will actively lobby for its bid for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the 2020-21 term. If elected to this position, Việt Nam will surely make active and substantial contributions to the UN’s efforts in preserving international peace and security, thereby enhancing the country’s status and prestige and contributing to the cause of peace, national independence, democracy and social progress in the world.
Việt Nam and the UN will focus on implementing the Joint Strategic Plan for the period of 2017-21 signed between the two sides in July. With four priority areas, including investing in people; ensuring adaptation to climate change and sustainable environmental development; promoting prosperity and partnership; and facilitating justice, peace and comprehensive governance, this Plan will support Việt Nam in implementing the 2011-20 Strategy for Sustainable Development, the Socio-economic Development Plan for the 2016-20 period and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is an important premise for the deployment of specific co-operation activities between Việt Nam and the UN in the coming years. — VNS