Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh delivers a speech at the UN General Assembly’s 74th session in New York on Saturday. VNA/VNS Photo Hoài Thanh
NEW YORK Promoting the vitality of multilateralism was an urgent requirement for the international community amid challenges caused by power politics, populism, declining political commitments and a shortage of resources, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh said.
Minh made the statement while to leaders and representatives of 193 member countries at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly’s 74th session in New York on Saturday.
He said: “Multilateral co-operation has a special place in Việt Nam’s foreign policy.
“Our history of reform, development and international integration are closely associated with our participation into global and regional multilateral institutions.”
Việt Nam has proved its role as an active and responsible partner in multilateral processes by contributing to the UN’s peacekeeping operations and sustainable development goals, he noted, adding that the country was recently elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020–21 tenure.
Stressing that international law is the foundation of equal relations among states, he said: “Việt Nam believes that respect for international law is the most effective measure to prevent conflicts and to seek sustainable solutions for disputes.
“We support all efforts to settle disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law, including negotiation, conciliation and judicial settlement.”
Mentioning his concerns over the recent complicated developments in the East Sea, including serious incidents that infringed upon Việt Nam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the country’s maritime zones as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Minh stressed the countries involved needed to exercise self-restraint and refrain from conducting unilateral acts which could complicate or escalate tensions at sea, and settle disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
The official said that as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020–21 tenure and Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Việt Nam would prioritise boosting co-operation between the UN and regional organisations, particularly in preventing conflicts and promoting peace and sustainability.
“Multilateral efforts need to put people at heart. Lasting peace is the prerequisite for sustainable development and can only be achieved when the basic safety and living conditions of the people are ensured,” he said.
The deputy PM also attended the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMM) on Saturday, and joined other ASEAN foreign ministers at a series of meetings with the Gulf Co-operation Council, Pacific Alliance, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
At the IAMM where participating countries discussed preparations for the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in November, Minh spoke about Việt Nam’s preparations for its ASEAN chairmanship next year.
He also voiced Việt Nam’s concerns over the East Sea issue after the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok in August 2018 and the country’s stance on the matter.
During a meeting with President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande on Saturday, Minh said Việt Nam attached importance to co-operating with the UN and would make active contributions to the UN’s central role in the multilateral system.
He emphasised Việt Nam’s commitments to the UN’s 2030 agenda on sustainable development and the Paris Climate Agreement while meeting with UN Secretary-General Guterres, and spoke about the country’s plans for its upcoming participation in the UN Security Council and ASEAN chairmanship. VNS