|Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vũ Hồng Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh is on a working visit to Japan from May 25-28. A Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Japan spoke to Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vũ Hồng Nam about this event.
What will be the content of Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh’s working visit to Japan?
At the invitation of Nikkei Group, the Deputy Prime Minister will attend the International Conference on the Future of Asia (FOA) and pay a working visit to Japan.
FOA is a prestigious annual international conference in Asia, attracting the participation of politicians, academics and business people from many Asian countries. Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh's attendance at FOA 2022 not only shows Việt Nam's deep interest in the conference, but also shows the importance of the FOA in general in Việt Nam's foreign policy.
Besides, by attending FOA 2022, we also want to send the message that Việt Nam is a reliable partner and an active and responsible member of the international community, ready to work with other countries to discuss and find solutions to today's urgent global challenges, contributing to peace, stability and development in the region and in the world.
While in Japan, Minh will hold meetings with leaders of Japan’s Government, National Diet, ministries, localities and agencies, during which they will compare notes on measures to materialise commitments made by the two countries’ senior leaders, thus bringing the Việt Nam-Japan strategic partnership to a new period.
Since the first time attending FOA in 2009, Việt Nam has actively participated in and made many contributions to the success of this conference. Can you tell us about Việt Nam's contributions to the FOA?
Việt Nam started attending FOA in 2009. Since then, we have continuously sent high-level delegations to this conference. Out of a total of 13 attendances, including FOA 2022, Việt Nam has three times attended at the Prime Minister level, for the rest, we always sent participants at Vice President or Deputy Prime Minister level.
The high-level participation of the Vietnamese delegation at the Asian FOA in the past 13 years was highly appreciated by the organising committee and participants as well as the Japanese side. Việt Nam not only participates in contributing to the conference's content with assessments and comments on the world and regional situation, analysis of opportunities as well as urgent challenges that countries need to focus on solving. Leaders of the Government and State of Việt Nam also affirmed the country's commitment to contribute to building a world of peace, prosperity and sustainable development, promoting dialogue and cooperation.
The theme of FOA 2022 is "Reshaping Asia's Role in a Divided World". What do you think of this theme?
I think this is a very practical topic, in line with reality and will receive a lot of attention. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine crisis, the rise of Asian countries and regions, the strategic shift of major countries outside the region are creating great transformations of the world and regional situation due to the impact of geo-political and geo-economic trends.
Asia is a region with diverse values and has for many years been a driving force for world economic growth and recovery. However, the pandemic has shaken Asia, broken supply chains, and caused economic recession. It means that Asia's foundations are solid but still quite fragile.
There was a time when Asia was considered the engine of the global economy. And now, FOA 2022 boldly sets forth a broader goal of Asia having to play a large role in global security and politics. That is an ambitious but well-founded goal when Asian countries have realised the strategic importance of the region and the objective requirement of action, solidarity, and common efforts to achieve the goal to rebuild Asia after the pandemic and respond to new challenges.
As the world is facing many challenges and changes today, can you tell us how Việt Nam has been contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, and in the world?
Settlement of disagreements and disputes by peaceful means, on the basis of basic principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, is a cross-cutting policy in Việt Nam's peaceful foreign policy.
Việt Nam has been actively participating in and promoting its role in multilateral mechanisms, especially ASEAN, the United Nations, regional and inter-regional cooperation mechanisms and the Mekong Sub-region, in line with our country’s development requirements, capabilities and specific conditions.
Together with ASEAN countries, Việt Nam has been striving to strengthen the bloc's central role in maintaining peace, security and prosperity in Southeast Asia as well as in the Asia-Pacific. Regarding the settlement of disputes in the East Sea, Việt Nam always affirms its clear and consistent stance, supporting the settlement of disputes by peaceful solutions and measures, through diplomatic processes and law, not to use or threaten to use force, to comply with the United Nations Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom maritime and aviation and order in the area based on international law.
In particular, Việt Nam have actively participated in multilateral mechanisms such as promoting its role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (in the 2020-21 term), making active and responsible contributions to the UN Security Council on common issues for peace, stability, cooperation and development of the region and the world.
Since 2014, Việt Nam has joined the United Nations peacekeeping force in the field of military medicine and engineering. Although later than other countries, Việt Nam is highly appreciated by the United Nations and other countries for its strong political commitment and active contribution to the common mission. The presence of Vietnamese People's Army officers at United Nations peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, Central African Republic is a vivid evidence of our commitment to participate and make long-term contributions.
In addition, Việt Nam has also actively contributed to the international community's efforts to respond to global challenges, and contributed to humanitarian activities. In 2021, Việt Nam contributed a total of US$1 million to the COVAX Programme, strongly demonstrating the international solidarity and responsible efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính announced humanitarian assistance of $500,000 to Ukraine through international organisations.
As a country that has experienced many wars, the Vietnamese people understand very well the value of peace. Việt Nam has been trying its best with the international community to strive for peace, stability, prosperity and development of each country around the world. — VNS