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Presidency of UNSC in April marks a new milestone in Vietnam's diplomacy

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

May 10, 2021 | 10:44

The country has successfully played a leading role at the UNSC - the UN’s most important body responsible for maintaining world peace and security.

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Presidency of UNSC in April marks a new milestone in Vietnam's diplomacy
Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh delivers a message online at the session (Photo: VNA)

As the final minutes of the meeting concluding Vietnam’s Month of Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) clocked in, the country could be proud of reaching a new milestone in its diplomacy by successfully assuming the role of UNSC Chair for the second time, as part of its stint as a non-permanent member of the council in 2020-2021.

Vietnam’s achievements were fulfilled amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising conflicts, and a serious political crisis in Myanmar, which like Vietnam is a member of ASEAN, said Vietnamnet.

Presidency of UNSC in April marks a new milestone in Vietnam's diplomacy
Participants at a UNSC discussion (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam picks right highlights during month of its UNSC presidency

In a recent interview granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in New York, head of the Swedish mission at the United Nations Olof Skoog said Vietnam is in an “excellent” position to become a member of the UNSC, as there is a huge support for the country in this bid. “The chances for Vietnam are very very good,” the diplomat said.

The diplomat further said running for the seat this time, Vietnam has a “very interesting” history of having gone through difficult conflicts and found a way to heal the wounds and to find peace. “Vietnam understands the need to find political-diplomatic solutions to disputes… Vietnam is well suited to serve in the UNSC,” TG&VN quoted the Ambassador.

Skoog hailed the major topics that Vietnam picked for April as the UNSC President, especially those related to cooperation between the UN and regional organizations, reconciliation diplomacy, and confidence-building measures.

Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN, also spoke highly of the key topics selected by Vietnam. According to her, regional organizations are of great importance in promoting dialogue and reconciliation diplomacy in conflict prevention, as well as in finding solutions to solve conflicts. She appreciated Vietnam's promotion of discussions on strengthening dialogue and conflict settlement through peaceful means, putting people at the center, prioritizing humanitarian policies, and intensifying relationships with regional organizations. She stressed that all of these contents are very consistent with the priorities of the AU, an alliance that always wants to tighten its cooperation with other regional organizations, especially ASEAN.

Presidency of UNSC in April marks a new milestone in Vietnam's diplomacy
An overview of a UNSC session reviewing the activities of the council under the presidency of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Sharing the same view, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland's Permanent Representative to the UN, said that Ireland acknowledges the importance of regional organizations and supports the member states of each regional organization. According to her, the April 27 session on the protection of essential infrastructure in conflicts focused on issues closely related to human life and Vietnam has created its own imprint with the results of this session, Nhan Dan reported.

Ilene Cohn, Officer-in-Charge of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), stressed that Vietnam put forward the issue at the right point in time. She noted that the meeting held great importance since the UNSC is the body responsible for resolving issues to maintain the world’s peace and security, adding that when bombs and landmines remain a major threat to people around the globe, the UNSC should continue to give priority to this issue in its agenda.

Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti, head of the India Mission to the UN, and Ambassador Anouparb Vongnorkeo, head of the Laos Mission to the UN, also highly valued Vietnam’s active and increasingly important role in the UN Security Council during the month it chaired the council.

Three high-level discussions initiated and chaired by Vietnam - the High-level Open Debate on "Cooperation between the UN and regional organizations in enhancing confidence-building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution”, the open debate on “Mine action and sustaining peace: Stronger partnerships for better delivery”, and the in-person and online debate on “Protection of Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population” - have been hailed by the international community.

The UN Secretary-General hailed Vietnam’s initiative to lift ties between the UN and regional organizations to new heights and to further uphold a spirit of multilateralism. He also committed to supporting Vietnam’s proposal to trust-building and dialogue on conflict prevention, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Presidency of UNSC in April marks a new milestone in Vietnam's diplomacy
An overview of a UNSC session. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam’s contributions highly valued by international friends

Heads of permanent delegations to the UN and international organizations all expressed their support achievements made by Vietnam, affirming that the country’s contributions left positive impressions on the UNSC in particular and the international community in general.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders of UNSC member countries highly evaluated Vietnam’s initiative to organize the High-level Open Debate on “"Cooperation between the UN and regional organizations in enhancing confidence-building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution" - the most important highlight in April chaired by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Many comments said that Vietnam's proposal to host this important event was timely and practical, in the context that protracted conflicts around the world could not be resolved because one of the leading reasons is the lack of trust among parties and the inability to establish dialogues.

Ambassador Olof Skoog, head of the EU Delegation to the UN, said “it was a very good debate.” The EU side is “very strong supporter of the UN,” the Ambassador told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondents in New York.

Presidency of UNSC in April marks a new milestone in Vietnam's diplomacy
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (C) chair UNSC's open debate on mine action (Photo: VNA)

According to the Lao Ambassador, the matters proposed by Vietnam in the debate are significant as they look towards promoting cooperation within the UN as well as between the UN, notably the UNSC, with regional and sub-regional organizations. Hailing the smooth and effective collaboration between the UN and regional organizations, he said the two sides have made efforts and carried out activities to enhance the cooperation, according to VOV.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Observer of the African Union (AU) to the UN, appreciated Vietnam's promotion of discussions on strengthening dialogue and conflict settlement through peaceful means, putting people at the center, prioritizing humanitarian policies, and intensifying relationships with regional organizations. She stressed that all of these contents are very consistent with the priorities of the AU, an alliance that always wants to tighten its cooperation with other regional organizations, especially ASEAN.

The international community has evaluated what has been done by Vietnam during the month it served as President of the UNSC proves that Vietnam always actively contributed to all activities of the UN. This further affirms that Vietnam confidently promotes its role and successfully fulfills its responsibility as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

Vietnam has contributed to improving its position and ASEAN’s prestige in the international arena. Successfully taking over the presidency month of the UNSC is also a more vivid demonstration of the effective implementation of the foreign policy outlined in the resolution of the outgoing 13th Party Congress.

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Valerie Mai