Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and UN Secretary General António Guterres during the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK, on November 1, 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính’s working trip to Europe from October 31 to November 5, which included his attendance at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and visits to the UK and France, was of important significance and achieved many practical results, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tô Anh Dũng.
By participating in the conference, Việt Nam has reaffirmed its strong message to all international friends about a responsible and proactive Việt Nam in handling one of the common challenges, also the most concerning issue – climate change, Dũng told the press on the outcome of the PM’s six-day Europe tour.
It reflected the country's external policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, and that Việt Nam is an active and responsible member of the international community, Dũng said.
PM Chính’s commitment related to net zero emissions by 2050, joining the Global Methane Pledge and the Glasgow Declaration on forests and land use showed the country’s determination and political commitment in responding to climate change.
The proposals that PM Chính put forth at COP26 were welcomed and supported by other countries, he said, adding that this opened up many opportunities for Việt Nam to strengthen cooperation with other nations and partners in finance, technology transfer and capacity building to support Việt Nam’s efforts to respond to climate change.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected external activities and international exchanges over the past two years, the fact that the PM and the Vietnamese delegation had more than 20 meetings with senior leaders of countries around the world, including strategic partners and leaders of international financial institutions and environmental organisations, helped promote cooperation between Việt Nam and other countries, the deputy minister said.
“It contributed to consolidating solid external relations, creating favourable conditions for the maintenance of peace, stability and development of the country,” Dũng stressed.
He went on to say that: “This is also an opportunity for us to deploy vaccine and health diplomacy, mobilise resources, including finance and technology, actively contribute to COVID-19 prevention and control and socio-economic recovery towards sustainable, green and inclusive growth.”
As both the UK and France are big countries in the world, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, members of the G7 Group, and strategic partners of Việt Nam, the PM’s visits to the two countries achieved many important targets, practical results and strategic significance, the deputy minister said.
During their meetings and talks, leaders of the two countries said they treasured Việt Nam’s role and position. They agreed on major orientations, and assigned ministries and sectors to implement specific cooperation measures to deepen cooperation with Việt Nam in all fields in a more substantive and effective manner.
The Vietnamese PM and leaders of the UK and France pledged to soon promote high-level visits, soon resume cooperation mechanisms between ministries and localities as well as trade and travel between the two countries.
At the same time, they agreed to make efforts to strengthen cooperation in economic recovery and development, create favourable conditions for goods to access each other's markets, and take advantage of free trade agreements between Việt Nam and the European Union and the UK, focusing on promoting clean energy projects, organic agriculture, digital economy and innovation.
Leaders of the UK and France shared and supported Việt Nam on international issues such as response to climate change; security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation based on compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Vietnamese diplomat said.
The deputy FM said PM Chính’s visits also obtained impressive results in trade and investment promotion activities with the signing of nearly 60 Memorandums of Understanding on cooperation with total pledged investment of over US$30 billion.
The cooperation focuses on the sectors of renewable energy, digital economy, digital transformation, environment, infrastructure development, planning, aerospace industry, prevention and control of diseases, agriculture and tourism.
Business forums held in the UK and France attracted the participation of nearly 450 big European companies. Leaders of these companies expressed their joy with the PM’s message that Việt Nam has moved into a phase of safe and flexible adaptation, effective control of COVID-19, accompanying and creating favourable conditions so that companies can feel confident about investing and doing long-term business in the country.
According to Dũng, health cooperation and vaccine diplomacy, the mobilisation of partners to support Việt Nam in pandemic control are at the centre of the PM’s visits.
France announced an additional aid of nearly 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine through the bilateral channel and the COVAX Facility, bringing its total donation to over 2 million doses, while the UK said it will help Việt Nam to improve its medical capacity, technology transfer for the production of COVID-19 vaccine.
In general, the six-day Europe tour of PM Chính and the high-ranking delegation was very successful, achieving comprehensive and specific results, realising the foreign policy of the 13th National Party Congress of independence and self-reliance for peace, friendship, cooperation and development, helping to realise the aspiration for the development of a prosperous and happy country, he said. — VNS