Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh. – VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI – While the world saw profound global instability in 2019, the Pacific – Asia area proved to be the leading region in terms of economic integration, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh has said.
Writing on the achievements of Việt Nam’s diplomacy sector in 2019 as the year ended, Minh said while the global economy has slowed and conflict between globalisation and protectionism has become more fierce, the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) has stayed united and proved its important role in the policies of many major countries.
For Việt Nam, 2019 was a year with many achievements of the diplomatic sector in implementing the Party’s policies on international integration and economic diplomacy.
The country effectively implemented the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). After just a year in operation, the first new generation FTA in the world has helped Việt Nam's export turnover to members such as Japan, Canada and Mexico increase significantly compared to 2018.
Việt Nam signed the Việt Nam - European Union Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) with the European Union and the Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and completed negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).
The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2019, issued on October 9 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), revealed Việt Nam had jumped 10 places from last year to 67, making it the most improved country of 2019.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) pledged to Việt Nam surpassed US$38 billion this year, marking a 10-year high and representing a year-on-year increase of 7.2 per cent. Việt Nam also welcomed more than 18 million international tourists in 2019.
Besides economic integration, integration in politics - diplomacy, defence - security and culture - society was also strongly promoted.
Việt Nam participated in joint maritime exercises for the first time with the US in the framework of ASEAN, signed a Framework Participation Agreement with the European Union that will facilitate Việt Nam’s contribution to the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations, and ratified Convention No 98 of the International Labour Organisation.
The country sent the second level-2 field hospital to join the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan after the first field hospital successfully completed its mission.
Achieving second position at the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines recently and other outstanding achievements also confirmed Việt Nam's new position in the regional and international sports map.
The country's achievements in multilateral relations in 2019 also boosted its growing international status.
Early this year, Việt Nam hosted the second summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the US, a move highly praised by the international community for efforts to contribute to peace in the world.
Winning 192 out of 193 votes on June 7, Việt Nam became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-21 term. This will be the second time that the country has held this post, demonstrating its wish to contribute to world security and peace and proving Việt Nam is a responsible member of the UN.
In terms of bilateral relations, Việt Nam maintained stable and positive relations with all countries. Leaders of Party, State, Government and National Assembly made 17 official visits abroad and received 22 high-ranking delegations paying a visit to Việt Nam, which helped gain important outcomes with partners.
To date, Việt Nam has established a network of 30 strategic partners and comprehensive partners.
The diplomatic sector contributed effectively to the defence of the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity, both on land and at sea. Việt Nam and Cambodia have signed and ratified two legal documents recognising 84 per cent of demarcation results, creating an important foundation to build a border of peace and development.
In the most complicated and serious situation in the East Sea in the past five years, Việt Nam properly assessed the situation, gave prompt reactions and dealt with the situation strongly to defend the country’s legitimate rights and interests.
At the same time, Việt Nam has also been working with ASEAN members and partners to build the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law.
The year 2020 has a very important meaning, when Việt Nam prepares for the Socio-Economic Development Strategy from 2021 to 2030 and celebrates 90 years of the establishment of the Việt Nam Communist Party, 75 years of the country’s establishment and 130 years of late President Hồ Chí Minh’s birthday, Minh said.
It is also important because Việt Nam will take on Chair of ASEAN 2020 and non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 term, holding the two responsibilities together for the first time.
This will be an opportunity for Việt Nam to take advantage of bilateral relations with other countries, creating new impetus for enhancing the role and position of the country.
With the theme 'Cohesive and Responsive' for the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020, and 'Việt Nam: Trusted Partnership for Peace and Sustainability' as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Việt Nam will work with international friends and partners to foster multilateralism, the rule of law and enhance ASEAN’s centrality role in the regional structure, and further enhance co-operation between ASEAN and the UN.
With that spirit in mind, Việt Nam will work to affirm its important bridging role between ASEAN and the UN, contributing to the cause of promoting peace, co-operation and development in the region and in the world. – VNS