Vietnamese State President's Activities in New York during His Attendance at UNGA’s High-level General Debate

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a high-level general debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)’s 76th session opening in New York on September 21 and has implemented activities during his work in the United States.
September 22, 2021 | 10:45

UNGA 76: President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends general debate’s opening session

Heads of State and Government and high-ranking representatives of 193 United Nations member states are attending the 76th session of the UN General Assembly getting underway in New York, the US. (Photo: UN)
Heads of State and Government and high-ranking representatives of 193 United Nations member states are attending the 76th session of the UN General Assembly getting underway in New York, the US. (Photo: UN)

Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a high-level general debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)’s 76th session opening in New York on September 21.

The opening ceremony was attended by heads of State and Government and high-ranking representatives of 193 United Nations member states. The President of the UN General Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and many leaders of international and regional organizations, and international financial institutions were also on hand.

The theme for this year’s UNGA is “Building resilience through hope – to recovery from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.”

During the high-level general debate week, delegates are due to discuss and seek multilateral actions to address current global issues of most concern such as the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery and sustainable development, hot spots in regions, and non-traditional security challenges, including climate change and food security, according to the VOV.

In his opening speech, Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th UNGA vowed to promote international cooperation in the COVID-19 response, post pandemic economic recovery and development towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He also emphasized the need to accelerate global climate change response efforts, eliminate poverty, promote and protect human rights.

President of UNGA 76 Abdulla Shahid. (Photo: AFP)
President of UNGA 76 Abdulla Shahid. (Photo: AFP)

Addressing the event, President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla pledged to boost international cooperation in order to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, toward the sustainability. He stressed the need to increase global efforts to respond to climate change, reduce poverty, promote and protect human rights, ensuring no one is left behind.

He emphasized that priority should be given to accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and post-pandemic recovery, reducing inequality, promoting fair and equal access to COVID-19 vaccines, narrowing the digital divide, ensuring gender equality, as well as reforming and improving the operational efficiency of the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutuerres called for the international community’s prompt actions and cooperation to seek solutions to a series of crises such as COVID-19 and climate change. He emphasised priority to speeding up the implementation of sustainable development goals, and promoting equal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The annual high-level general debate will last till September 27.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets the President and Secretary-General of the United Nations

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc is scheduled to delivered a speech on September 22 afternoon (New York time), in which he proposes comprehensive, long-term solutions to urgent international issues, contributing to maintaining global peace and security and promoting sustainable and inclusive development in the globe.

On the occasion, President Phuc will have meetings with senior leaders of countries, international organisations, and join summits within the framework of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session.

Phuc was speaking while separately meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Abdulla Shahi on the sidelines of the 76th UNGA in New York on September 21.

He said Vietnam is making every effort to contain the complicated COVID-19 outbreak, with top priority given to people’s health.

He thanked the COVAX Facility and other UN organizations for providing the country with vaccines, medical supplies and policy advice on pandemic prevention and post-pandemic recovery, and suggested the UN give additional assistance to help the country complete an extensive vaccination campaign.

President Phuc stressed that adopting an open foreign policy, Vietnam has been and will make effective contributions to the common work of the United Nations.

The country, he said, is assuming the role of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, participating in UN peacekeeping missions, and implementing Sustainable Development Goals.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with the Secretary-General of the United Nations
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: VOV

Exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two sides emphasized the need to continue strengthening multilateralism with the UN playing a central role, and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Vietnamese State President's Activities in New York during His Attendance at UNGA’s High-level General Debate
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with the President of the United Nations UNGA 76 Abdulla Shahid. Photo: Nhandan

They agreed to increase cooperation between the UN and ASEAN, promote ASEAN’s central role in solving regional issues, and support the efforts of ASEAN and its partners in maintaining peace, stability in the region, and upholding respect for international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Both UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahi spoke highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements, and its increasing role and position regionally and internationally.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives US friends in New York

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc received left-wing friends from the US in New York on September 21 afternoon (local time), as part of his trip to the country to attend the high-level general debate of the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th session (UNGA 76).

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives a delegation of US friends, led by Merle Ratner, Coordinator of the US-based Vietnam Agent Orange (AO) Relief and Responsibility Campaign (Photo: VNA)
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives a delegation of US friends, led by Merle Ratner, Coordinator of the US-based Vietnam Agent Orange (AO) Relief and Responsibility Campaign (Photo: VNA)

Earlier, President Phuc had a meeting with a delegation of US friends, led by Merle Ratner, Coordinator of the US-based Vietnam Agent Orange (AO) Relief and Responsibility Campaign, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary in commemoration of the Agent Orange disaster in Vietnam.

He affirmed that after more than 25 years of normalisation, the bilateral Vietnam-US relationship has developed effectively, sustainably and mutually beneficially, based on the principle of respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions. He spoke highly of the US’s commitment to and support for addressing post-war consequences in Vietnam, thus contributing to the process of building trust with tireless efforts from both sides

He thanked the US friends for practical activities they have carried out over the years to assist victims of Agent Orange/dioxin and landmines left over from the Vietnam War, reported the Vietnamplus.

The President noted that after more than 25 years of diplomatic normalization, the Vietnam – US relations have developed substantially on the principle of respecting national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity as well as political institutions of each other.

President Phuc affirmed that the Party and State of Vietnam pay special attention to overcoming war consequences, including alleviating the victims’ sufferings, considering this as both a long-term, important and urgent issue at present.

He highly appreciated the US’s commitment and support in dealing with war consequences, actively contributing to tireless trust building efforts from both sides.

US Congress has allocated part of its budget to assist the victims, including implementing dioxin remediation projects at Da Nang and Bien Hoa airports. The US Agency for International Development has granted US$92.5 million to support people with disabilities in dioxin affected areas.

President Phuc expressed his hope that the US friends would continue to support the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, especially in dealing with the consequences of Agent Orange/dioxin.

For her part, Merle Ratner said that she has worked hard for many years to lobby the US Government to fulfill its responsibility toward Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam, by assisting the victims in all aspects, from health care and vocational training to dioxin remediation. She assured Phuc that she would continue to do all she can to support Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims in the future, said the VOV.

Merle Ratner is an American citizen born in New York. She used to take to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War when she was 13. She is currently the Coordinator of the US-based Vietnam Agent Orange (AO) Relief and Responsibility Campaign.

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