The visit to Cuba from September 18-21 and working trip to New York, the US, from September 21-24 by President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and a high-ranking delegation bear great significance and met all set targets, Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn told the Vietnam News Agency.
Can you tell us about the meaning and outcome of President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and the high-ranking delegation's visit to Cuba and New York?
Firstly, the trip has contributed to promoting the implementation of the external ties guidelines set by the 13th National Party Congress and delivered a strong message to the world on Việt Nam’s foreign policy of independence, multilateralisation and diversification, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, and that Việt Nam is a reliable friend, as well as an active and responsible member of the international community.
Second, the trip affirmed the loyal solidarity, mutual support and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Cuba. The visit by President Phúc breathed new life and created a new momentum for the special traditional ties between the two countries, as manifested in the release of a joint statement covering all fields and the signing of many cooperative agreements in agriculture, healthcare, justice, communications and information, energy and tourism.
Even when its domestic supply of COVID-19 vaccines is still not sufficient to cover the entire population, Cuba still committed to provide Việt Nam with 10 million doses of its Abdala vaccine, with 1 million doses delivered during President Phúc’s visit.
Việt Nam, while still struggling with various difficulties since the pandemic broke out, has also presented Cuba with 23,000 tonnes of rice, including 6,000 tonnes delivered during President Phúc’s visit, along with medical supplies, maize seeds and computers.
Thirdly, the active participation of President Phúc in the high-level debates of the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and other UN meetings shows that Việt Nam is a peace loving country with aspirations for development, which makes active and constructive contributions to global peace, security and development issues, especially the COVID-19 prevention and control and post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development.
The President’s messages and proposals at UN meetings have received approval, appreciation and a warm response from leaders of many countries and partners.
President Phúc made use of the occasion of the trip to New York for the UN high-level general debate to meet with leaders of many countries, international organisations and businesses, helping strengthen external relations and the favourable environment for national peace, stability and development.
In addition, the President’s trip has won the support of the international community for Việt Nam’s efforts to control the pandemic and restore socio-economic development. FM Sơn noted that besides the 1 million doses of vaccine from Cuba which were brought home on the President’s flight, many partners have pledged to provide and sell vaccines to Việt Nam. The Republic of Korea promised to deliver more than 1 million doses in mid-October and Hungary pledged to immediately deliver 400,000 doses. The Northwestern Medicine group will provide medical equipment worth US$3.8 million, Thermo Fisher, 270,000 test kits worth $2 million and David Duong, an overseas Vietnamese businessman, 1,000 ventilators.
During the trip, many leading groups signed contracts and agreements worth billions of dollars with Vietnamese counterparts. The trip also helped strengthen the international business community’s trust in Việt Nam.
What will be the focus of Việt Nam and Cuba in the two countries' special partnership?
The two sides will concentrate on comprehensively promoting their special traditional friendship through the Party, State and people diplomacy channels across all fields of politics-diplomacy, defence, security as well as socio-economy.
Việt Nam and Cuba will optimise the existing cooperation mechanisms to increase the exchange of theory and practical experience in socialism building and socio-economic development in each country.
Việt Nam and Cuba will further expand and deepen their economic partnership to match their sound political relations, focusing on agriculture, information technology, transport, tourism, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and vaccine production.
The two sides will also continue to unite, coordinate with and support each other at multilateral forums, enhancing the position of each country and making more positive contributions to peace, stability, national independence, democracy and social progress in the world.
How will Việt Nam continue to contribute to the United Nations and the common work of the world?
In the future, Việt Nam will prioritise the strengthening of its involvement in UN activities while promoting its role and unique identity through practical initiatives.
In addition, Việt Nam will increase its participation in UN peacekeeping operations and the implementation of UN top priorities, such as stamping out COVID-19, promoting sustainable and inclusive post-pandemic recovery and development, realising Sustainable Development Goals, delivering on commitments on environmental protection, ensuring and promoting human rights, and promoting the restructuring of the UN.
Việt Nam will continue to make full use of the support from UN agencies in resources, expertise and experience for national development in the following years.
Boosting the practical and effective cooperation with the UN will help Việt Nam deepen ties with countries, partners as well as other multilateral organisations and forums, contributing to maintaining the peaceful and stable environment as well as mobilising international resources for the country’s socio-economic development and enhancing its position in the world arena. — VNS