UNCTAD 15: Vietnam Calls for Multilateralism, Int'l Coperation to Bring Covid Under Control

Vietnam calls for multilateralism, international cooperation to address global challenges.
October 07, 2021 | 07:47
UNCTAD 15: Vietnam Calls for Multilateralism, Int'l Coperation to Bring Covid Under Control
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son. Source: VNA

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attended virtually the 15th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) quadrennial ministerial conference on Oct. 6.

Virtually held between Barbados and Geneva from Oct. 3 to 7 2021, with pre-conference events running online throughout the year, starting from April 2021, the 15th session of UNCTAD quadrennial ministerial conference comes at a time when there is a need to reignite a spirit of optimism and collaboration globally, not only to solve the twin challenges of inequality and vulnerability but to ensure trade thrives and is a driver of development, according to VGP.

The conference, which is under the theme of “From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All”, aims to make an urgent call for action to avoid global failure. As Covid-19 pandemic has shown more than ever a clear gap between the rich world and developing nations, the conference has also been considered as an important opportunity to change course and move from rhetoric to action.

UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland, and it has offices in New York and Addis Ababa.

UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat, reporting to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council but has its own membership, leadership, and budget. UNCTAD is also part of the United Nations Development Group.

In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underlined that developing countries are facing serious challenges to promoting trade and development amid the post-pandemic recovery. Therefore, the UN needs to bring into play its role in assisting developing countries in these efforts, cited by VNA.

UNCTAD 15: Vietnam Calls for Multilateralism, Int'l Coperation to Bring Covid Under Control
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres At the opening of UNCTAD15. Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Addressing the UNCTAD 15’s plenary session, Minister Son said the year 2021 marks a new chapter for global trade and development. In particular, digitalisation and innovation have profoundly changed the ways countries exchange and cooperate with one another. Inequality has been increasing in not only grasping opportunities of globalisation but also the capacity of post-pandemic recovery; and global challenges, especially climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, have caused unprecedented health, economic, and social crises.

Giving three recommendations, he said firstly, it is necessary to promote multilateralism and international cooperation to bring the pandemic under control, improve the adaptability, accelerate the economic recovery process around the globe, and consolidate the foundations for enhancing the resilience to possible global shocks in the future.

Secondly, future development needs to guarantee the sustainability and inclusiveness in terms of economy, environment, and society, he said, asking for stronger international efforts to help improve the adaptability of the regions highly vulnerable to climate change, including the Sub-Mekong region and the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

Thirdly, UNCTAD should bring into play its role in boosting global cooperation in innovation and digitalisation so as to create new driving forces for sustainable development and technology-based growth, according to Son.

The official affirmed that Vietnam is exerting every effort to control and safely adapt to the pandemic and promote economic recovery.

The country wishes to continue receiving close cooperation from UNCTAD and the international community during the realisation of its development goals. It will also keep joining hands with the international community to ensure a global environment of peace, stability, development, and prosperity, he added.

The UNCTAD 15 is expected to adopt a declaration themed “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all” which will emphasise that the key to resolving challenges to global trade and development is fostering multilateralism and international cooperation.

Apart from the plenary session, the Vietnamese delegation also attended and actively gave opinions at the senior officials’ meeting and the ministerial meeting of G77 and China.

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