Friday, March 5 2021


Multilateralism faces greater challenges: Norwegian FM

Update: October, 16/2020 - 10:59


Phạm Quang Hiệu, assistant to the foreign minister, speaks at a talk themed “Multilateralism amid rising geopolitical tension and pressure on the multilateral system”.  Photo Hoàng Trung Hiếu

HÀ NỘI — The longstanding principles of multilateralism were being challenged by unilateralism, conflicts, climate change, and growing inequality, said Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide.

She made the statement at a talk themed “Multilateralism amid rising geopolitical tension and pressure on the multilateral system”.

The event was held online and offline on Wednesday in Hà Nội and Oslo by the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam (DAV) and the Norwegian Embassy in Việt Nam.

These challenges were being exacerbated as the world was experiencing an unprecedented health and social crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

She said only international co-operation and solidarity could aid recovery and development.

“COVID-19 has heightened our interdependence as a global community,” she said, adding that the need to strengthen multilateral cooperation was therefore more and more urgent.

The Foreign Minister said the world was facing many geopolitical tension, turmoil, and emergency situations. In this context, the United Nations, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, was an important foundation for joint efforts to overcome uncertainty caused by the situation, based on the principles of upholding international law, human rights and dignity.

Søreide thanked Việt Nam for organising an open debate on upholding the UN Charter as Presidency of the Security Council in January.

She also appreciated the country for choosing a “cohesive and responsive” theme as ASEAN Chair for 2020.

Việt Nam’s commitments to ASEAN were of significance to strengthening internal solidarity and the bloc’s role in the world.

She said that both Norway and Việt Nam strongly believed in multilateralism and rules-based international co-operation.

Last year, Norway unveiled a White Paper on Multilateralism, which set out multilateral foreign directions based on a practical and constructive approach. Its foreign policy prioritised promoting the reform of international institutions that were vital to Norway, particularly the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, she said.

Søreide said the country also focused on close co-operation with countries that supported rule-based order, including Việt Nam.

During its tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for 2021-2022, Norway has said it will focus on peace-building diplomacy, strengthening women’s role in building sustainable peace, protecting people amid conflicts, and coping with security risks related to climate.

In order to effectively address challenges in the near future, the UN needed to develop partnerships with regional mechanisms such as ASEAN and the EU, she said.

Addressing the event, Phạm Quang Hiệu, assistant to the foreign minister, spoke of the challenges the world was currently facing.

“The greater challenges we face, the more we need multilateral tools to resolve global issues,” Hiệu said.

He affirmed that multilateral diplomacy was an important strategic part of Việt Nam’s foreign policy.

This year, as ASEAN Chair, Việt Nam has worked with other countries to promote community building and maintaining ASEAN’s neutrality in preserving regional peace, security and prosperity.

Hiệu said with a long-standing relationship as well as shared interests and concerns, the two countries’ commitment to supporting multilateralism would lay a solid foundation for them to boost collaboration not only via bilateral channels but also at international forums, especially the United Nations with Norway as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2021-2022 tenure.

He said he hoped that Norway would continue bolstering co-operation with ASEAN and supporting its central role in Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Participants at the event also discussed fields which held potential for co-operation between the two nations and highlighted their determination to reinforce multilateralism for the benefit of the two countries, regions and the world. — VNS


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