Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam
at the Plenary of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on
Agenda Item 109 “Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization”
New York, 8 October 2007
Speaking for the first time at this 62 Session of the General Assembly, on behalf of the Vietnamese Delegation, I would like to congratulate you on your election. I am confident that under your able leadership, this session of the General Assembly will be a success.
I thank the Secretary General for his first annual Report on the Work of the Organization dealing with a wide range of important issues from development, peace and security, human rights, the rule of law and humanitarian affairs to UN reform.
Seven years have elapsed since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals; we note with satisfaction that, as the Secretary General reports, progress continues to be made on many areas, especially in poverty reduction. We do, however, share his concern that progress has been uneven and that the ongoing levels of human deprivation remain staggering. It is alarming that at half way, several countries are not even on track to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal. The 2005 World Summit reaffirms that development is a central goal in itself and sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental aspects constitutes a key element of the overarching framework of UN activities. We cannot agree more with the Secretary General when he says that achieving the Millennium Development Goals will benefit all stakeholders, from those caring for and working to improve the livelihood of millions of people living in extreme poverty to those trying to save the lives of millions of children, those joining hands to lower the risk of war and maintain peace in fragile countries and those patiently convincing the world public on the need and the urgency to save our planet. Through our own experience, I totally share the Secretary General’s remark that progress on the Millennium Development Goals is a national priority only where efforts to achieve them are led and managed nationally. National ownership is the key factor determining the success of development activities at the country level. In this connection, we welcome the Secretary General’s assurance that the United Nations prioritizes strengthening of national capacity.
The Secretary General highlights three important dimensions of UN activities in implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, namely HIV/AIDS, the special needs of Africa and climate change. Like fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic and supporting Africa’s development which for years now have always been high on UN agenda, the struggle to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to achieve the MDG of environmental sustainability deserves the Member States’ continued backing, but first of all, their unity. Viet Nam commits to enhance participation in our common endeavors in these domains.
The past year embraces mixed opportunities and challenges for international peace and security. The long-awaiting establishment of African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur is expected to strengthen the local peacemaking process and ultimately end this prolonged crisis. Peacebuilding efforts have also made initial contributions to building sustainable peace in Burundi, Sierra Leone and consolidating the socio-economic reconstruction in Nepal, Timor-Leste. Positive developments in the Korean peninsular should also be mentioned. However, armed conflicts and tensions continue to escalate in the Middle East, South Asia, the Balkans and Africa and leave devastating consequences on the lives of millions of innocent civilians. Peacekeeping operations are placing unprecedented burdens on the United Nations given the Organization’s strained resources. At the same time, we are lacking any substantive progress in implementing the disarmament agenda and the threat of terrorism to international peace, security and development remains a lingering concern. Viet Nam supports the conclusion by the Secretary General that strengthening peace operations must feature prominently in the year ahead, that we must take steps to overcome the deadlock at the major disarmament forums and that we must move expeditiously to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the General Assembly in 2006. The crucial role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security must be reaffirmed and further strengthened. Viet Nam commends and supports the recent steps undertaken by the Secretary-General to improve the management of the Organization in the field of peacekeeping operations and disarmament.
Turning to human rights and humanitarian affairs, if the inauguration of the Human Rights Council in 2006 was an important landmark, the adoption by the Council in July this year of a package of reform gives us hope in our efforts to depoliticize the most important UN human rights body. Much remains to be done in this connection. Viet Nam will continue to join Member States’ efforts tin promoting and protecting human rights keeping in mind the principles of objectivity, non-selectivity and respect for national sovereignty. More than ever, natural disasters are seriously affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people on earth. In fact, while I am speaking here, tens of millions of people in our region, including my country, are suffering from the consequences of worst flooding in decades. The Secretary General does mention that up to 85% of all reported disasters are weather-related and result in the loss of nearly 19 thousand lives and the economic damage worth nearly 30 billion US dollars. We welcome the Secretary General’s commitment that the United Nations and its humanitarian partners will assist Governments in preparing for and responding to the challenges. Viet Nam is ready to extend our utmost cooperation.
In order to fulfil its noble mandate in a vastly changed world, the UN needs to be strengthend. Success of the UN reform process is crucial in bringing about a stronger United Nations with a more authoritative General Assembly and a more effective ECOSOC, a more transparent and expanded Security Council and a more sufficient secretariat. Noting that litttle progress has been achieved in this connection, we pledge to continue to work with the Secretary General and other Member States to ensure success of this reform process. As one of the countries inplementing the “One UN“ pilot program, we hope to continue to receive support from the Secretariat and Member States to ensure success in one of the most courageous experiments in the field of operational activities at the country level. In another dimension, my Delegation is encouraged by the Secretary General’s intention to strengthen cooperation with regional organizations, in which the regional organization that my country is a member, ASEAN, has been very active with the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Association of Southeast Nations and the United Nations on ASEAN-UN Cooperation. In this regard, we are appreciative of the recent decision of the Secretary-General to dispatch his Special Envoy to Myanmar to assist in the process of national reconciliation through dialogue. As a regional country, Viet Nam follows closely with concern the developments in Myanmar and expects concerned parties in the country to exercise restraints and engage in dialogue aimed at resolving peacefully their differences and soon stabilizing the situation through implementation of the 7-point roadmap. We expect the United Nations to continue to cooperate with ASEAN in assisting Myanmar to overcome the present situation and restore stability in the long-term interest of Myanmar and the region.
In conclusion, while we are debating the Secretary General’s first annual report on the work of the Organization, let me assure him that Viet Nam will always be with him in his efforts to uphold the solemn duty of the United Nations to pursue the aims enshrined in its Charter.
I thank you, Mr. President.