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‘We will fulfil responsibility’

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh believes that once elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Vietnam is definitely able to fulfil this important task and meet the expectations of the international community.

What is the significance of Vietnam’s candidacy to the non-permanent membership of the UNSC and her possible selection to the post on her external affairs in particular and overall development in general?

The United Nations is the largest global organisation with 192 member states. Its activities cover all important fields of the international life. The Security Council is one of six key organs of the organisation entrusted by member states with the primary responsibilities of maintaining international peace and security through the application of peaceful measures for the settlement of disputes, coping with threats to the peace, acts of aggression and providing humanitarian supports to minimise the adverse impacts of international conflicts and crises.

Vietnam became an full member of the UN in 1977. Since then, the relationship between Vietnam and the UN has been continuously developed. Vietnam has participated more and more actively in UN activities in areas of peace, international security, disarmament, socio-economic and cultural development and environment, etc. Vietnam was also elected to leading positions in different organs of the UN.

The candidature to the non-permanent membership of the UNSC for 2008-2009 is an important landmark in the relationship between Vietnam and the UN and is one of Vietnamese top measures for the implementation of her foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification of external relations, proactively contributing to international affairs. Apart from the promotion of bilateral relations, our multilateral diplomatic activities have shown a new level of maturity, thus enhancing Vietnam’s role and prestige at international organisations such as the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN, APEC, ASEM, Francophone, etc. and creating the favourable conditions for Vietnam to expand her foreign relations, ensure further socio-economic development and raise her  position and profile in the international arena while at the same time contributing to the world’s common struggle to protect peace and the fundamental principles of international laws. We decided to run for the non-permanent membership of the UNSC as early as 1997 along with our implementation of other major policies on our participation in multilateral forums and international economic integration like joining ASEAN in 1995 and APEC in 1998; hosting the 7th Francophone Summit in 1997, the 6th ASEAN Summit in 1998, the 5th ASEM Summit in 2004 and the 14th APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in 2006.

Vietnam’s candidature to the non-permanent membership of the UNSC shows our commitment and responsibility as a member state. As a UNSC non-permanent member, Vietnam will be able to work with other UNSC members and UN members to settle the ‘hot spots’, preventing regional conflicts in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter, thus further contributing to common cause of the world people for peace. Meanwhile, positive outcomes of this job will help us meet our top foreign affairs requirement of maintaining peace for national construction and protection, creating favourable international conditions for reform and socio-economic development, industrialisation and modernisation.

As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, through the cooperation to carry out the UNSC agenda, we will be able to show our policy of peace, cooperation, goodwill as well as our capability in international affairs, thus enhancing the image of a actively integrating, stable and reforming Vietnam in the spirit of ‘Vietnam is ready to be a friend and reliable partner of all countries in the international community, striving for peace, independence and development’, hence Vietnam’s higher posture on the global stage.

How do you assess Vietnam’s campaigns for its non-permanent membership of the UNSC for 2008-2009 and its responsibilities once elected?

Being a member of the UNSC is both an honour and responsibility and great challenge that require the nominated candidates to be qualified for the position and to gain the support of two-thirds of UN members. Since our decision to run for the post in 1977, we have actively presented with other members at all levels, including the highest level, on Vietnam’s aspiration and capability to contribute to UN works as a UNSC member. We always affirm to international friends on Vietnam’s strong commitments for international peace and security as well as our actual contributions in this area to the Southeast Asian region and UN activities. With Vietnam’s efforts for peace, independence, national self-determination as well as our consistent foreign policy and the achievements made in more than 20 years of reform, Vietnam’s candidature is gathering strong support from many other countries across the world. ASEAN countries have shown their support to Vietnam since 2002. In October 2006, the Asian Group in the UN decided to nominate Vietnam as the sole candidate of the group to the post. Countries from other continents have also expressed their support. Next September, the Vietnam’s delegation led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung will participate in the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly to demonstrate Vietnam’s commitments of undertaking the heavy responsibility of a UNSC non-permanent member as well as our desire to have the wide support of all UN members.

If elected, Vietnam will definitely do its best to contribute to the settlement of global issues in the UNSC agenda as a true representative of Asia and a responsible UN member. These issues include, among others, the prevention of regional conflicts in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter so as to help the UNSC perform effectively its functions in the legitimate interests of all member states.

With Vietnam’s new position brought about by our enormous achievements in domestic and foreign affairs in the 20 years of reform and in the tradition of our foreign policy of ‘being ready to be a friend and reliable partner’, I believe that once elected to the UNSC non-permanent seat, we will be able to fulfil well this important task and meet the expectations of the international community.

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