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Viet Nam's UNSC Presidency: Building Trust and Dialogue, Intensifying ASEAN’s Role

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

April 20, 2021 | 06:25

As President of the United Nations Security Council in April 2021, Viet Nam will organize a high-level open debate on the role of regional organizations in promoting confidence-building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution on April 19 via both in-person and online forms.

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Viet Nam's UNSC Presidency: Building Trust and Dialogue, Intensifying ASEAN’s Role

Antonio Guterres (L), the U.N. Secretary General, speaks as Vietnam's Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh looks on at a U.N. Security Council meeting chaired by Vietnam in January, 2020. Photo by Vietnam News Agency.

The event will be presided over by State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, marking the first time a high-ranking leader of Viet Nam has chaired an event within the framework of the UN Security Council. This is also the first important multilateral diplomatic event of the Vietnamese President since the 13th National Party Congress.

Building trust and dialogue

Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang said that Viet Nam has presided over the making of, and actively consulted to pass the Statement of the UN Security Council President.

The Statement will affirm the importance of cooperation between the United Nations, its Security Council and regional organizations in conflict prevention and settlement through peaceful measures, on the basis of respecting basic principles of international law and the UN Charter and underlined confidence-building and dialogue measures as essential elements to contribute to conflict prevention and settlement.

The Statement will call for efforts to strengthen cooperation between the UN, its Security Council and regional organizations as well as between regional organizations in conflict prevention and settlement towards the building of sustainable peace, while encouraging the UN and the international community to support the improvement of the capacity of regional organizations in conflict prevention and settlement, post-conflict reconstruction, and peace maintenance.

“The role of regional organizations in promoting trust-building and dialogue in conflict prevention” is the most important and inclusive theme of the UN Security Council which is the UN’s main body in the prevention of wars and conflicts and maintenance of international peace and security, Giang said, adding that as a member of many important regional mechanisms, especially ASEAN, Viet Nam wants regional organizations to further promote their roles, improve their images and share responsibility with the UN in preventing and solving conflicts in the region, for the stability and prosperity of the region and the world.

Do Hung Viet, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Organizations, emphasized that when building priorities for the working term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, Viet Nam determined to promote the role of regional organizations in cooperation with the UN Security Council in particular and the UN in general.

The upcoming high-level open debate will elevate Viet Nam’s initiatives to contribute to maintaining international peace and security. Through this event, Viet Nam wants to affirm its commitment and efforts to address global challenges facing the international community, Viet added.

In particular, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s presiding over the event is the affirmation at the highest level about Viet Nam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateralism, and proactive and active international integration during its new stage of development.

Intensifying ASEAN’s role

According to Viet, as a member of ASEAN, Viet Nam wants ASEAN to have an increasing voice, position and role in matters directly related to the region as well as enhancing the bloc's presence as a regional organization at the UN.

Through this event, Viet Nam will contribute to drawing the attention of the international community and the United Nations to cooperation with ASEAN, and strengthening the bloc’s role at international forums and institutions in the coming time.

The open debate will be also an opportunity for leaders of the UN and regional organizations such as ASEAN, the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), as well as the UN Security Council member states to assert the important role of regional organizations, share experience of each regional organization in dealing with difficulties and challenges in their respective regions.

Viet Nam expects this to be the start of a longer process at the UN Security Council on issues related to regional organizations and their role in promoting trust building and dialogue in conflict prevention, thus contributing to the UN’s joint efforts to maintain peace, security and development in the world, according to VGP.

Earlier on April 1, Vietnam vows to best fulfil role as UNSC Presidency, strive to outstandingly perform its role as the UNSC President in April, significantly contributing to realising the foreign policy set by the 13th National Party Congress.

The affirmation was made by Politburo member, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in his recent article published on the occasion of Vietnam assuming the rotating UNSC Presidency for the second time in the 2020-2021 tenure.

“This is the first multilateral mission the country has taken on following the 13th National Party Congress, which has drawn up vision and major orientations and policies for national development, including the foreign policy in the new period,” Minh wrote at the beginning of the article.

"As president, Vietnam will focus on finding satisfactory and sustainable solutions to solve conflicts, promote dialogue, resolve disputes by peaceful means, strengthen the role of regional organizations, put the people at the center, and boost humanitarian policies that aim at vulnerable groups," he said.

Viet Nam's UNSC Presidency: Building Trust and Dialogue, Intensifying ASEAN’s Role
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam started a two-year UNSC non-permanent membership term on Jan. 3 last year along with five other non-permanent members – Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

For this term, Vietnam assumed the UNSC's rotating presidency for the first time in January, the second time it has done so.

As scheduled, the nation will chair around 30 meetings and events and represent the UNSC in working with non-member nations, other U.N. organizations and international institutions and the media during April.

One of the most important upcoming events is the UNSC open debate slated for April 19 with the theme "strengthen cooperation between the United Nations (U.N.) and regional organizations in promoting trust and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution."

Another ministerial meeting on April 27 to discuss what needs to be done in protecting civilians during armed conflicts, with focus on guaranteeing access to clean water, power, and hospitals.

"Given Vietnam's increasing potential, position and prestige, we have a strong belief that Vietnam would successfully complete the role of UNSC president."

The UNSC, one of the six principal organs of the U.N., is charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the U.N. and approving any changes to its charter.

Vietnam was a non-permanent member for the 2008-2009 term, and acted as the council’s president in July 2008 and October 2009.

Last January, Vietnam had for the second time in history become a non-permanent member of the UNSC after securing 192 out of a total of 193 votes, a record high number of votes. A candidate must secure at least two-thirds of all votes for a non-permanent seat in the council, VNE reported.

For the presidency, 15 member and non-member nations of the UNSC typically take turns to assume the post.

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Jasmine Le