Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh has called on countries to work together to “promote multilateralism and adherence to international law, for peace, cooperation and sustainable development” at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo
NEW YORK – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh has called on countries to work together to “promote multilateralism and adherence to international law, for peace, cooperation and sustainable development”.
The Deputy PM spoke at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday.
As multilateral co-operation has a growing role to play in international relations, Việt Nam believes multilateralism must be strengthened and the operation of multilateral institutions, particularly the United Nations, must be improved, he said.
“The UN has an indispensable role co-ordinating international responses to global challenges and enabling development cooperation. No other organisation can better foster partnerships and assist countries to successfully implement the SDGs,” he stressed, referring to Sustainable Development Goals.
Minh added that international law remains the linchpin of a stable international security architecture and a strong multilateral system. Unfortunately, the role of the fundamental norms and principles of international law is underestimated. Imposition, unilateralism, power politics and use of force to address international security and political issues have been creating tension and confrontation, hindering efforts to peacefully settle disputes and conflicts, he said.
The United Nations must take the lead in promoting adherence to international law and the UN Charter, as the foundation for international peace and security. No country, big or small, can be exempt from the law.
According to the Deputy PM, multilateralism, international law, peace, co-operation and development are also the key elements to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.
There are regional risks of conflict, especially in the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea (South China Sea), which can threaten regional and international peace, security and prosperity, Minh warned.
With regard to recent developments in the East Sea, Minh called upon all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and solve disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, implement the Declaration on the Conduct of parties on the East Sea (DOC) and expedite the completion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
He affirmed that Việt Nam is strongly committed to the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The country has developed a plan of action for SDG implementation and is working with UN agencies to craft the One Strategic Plan 2017-2021.
As one of the countries forecast to be hardest hit by climate change and sea-level rise, the Southeast Asian nation is expediting procedures for the early ratification of the Paris Agreement, and is planning its implementation, he said.
“We strive to be a friend, reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community. Our commitment to multilateralism and international law is unwavering, and we will spare no effort to contribute to peace, cooperation and development in the world,” he stated.
Việt Nam has decided to present its candidacy for non-permanent membership of the Security Council for the term 2020-2021, and will continue to increase its participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations, he added.
ASEAN ministerial meetings
At the ASEAN-US meeting one day earlier, the ministers underscored the importance of the ASEAN-US strategic partnership and the continued development of bilateral ties.
They agreed to push ahead with implementation of signed agreements, especially the positive outcomes of the fourth ASEAN-US Summit held on September 8 in Vientiane and the ASEAN-US Plan of Action for 2016-2020.
US Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed the long-term US commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and the importance it attaches to relations with ASEAN.
On September 22, ASEAN foreign ministers had meetings with the President of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary General, who expressed their wish to enhance ties between the UN and ASEAN across the board, especially in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and coping with current global challenges.
Speaking at the events, Deputy PM Minh stressed that ASEAN continually treasures comprehensive co-operation with important partners, including the US and the UN.
He urged the US to support the bloc in priority fields of small and medium-sized enterprises, start-up and innovation, science-technology, education-training, climate change and Greater Mekong Sub-region development. – VNS