by H.E. Mr. Pham Binh Minh,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
at the General Debate of the 66th Session
of the United Nations General Assembly
New York - Tuesday, 27th September 2011
On behalf of the Vietnamese Delegation, I wish to congratulate you on your unanimous election as the President of this Sixty-sixth Session of the General Assembly. I am confident that your diplomatic skills and experience will help bring this session to a great success.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to Mr. Joseph Deiss for his significant contributions to the fruitful outcomes of the Sixty-fifth session.
The Vietnamese Delegation also wishes to congratulate H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon on his re-election as Secretary-General of the United Nations and believes that with the cooperation of member countries, the Secretary General will make greater contributions to the operation of the United Nations (UN) and global peace and development. We welcome most warmly the Republic of South Sudan as the 193rd member of the Organization.
Today, peace, cooperation and development remain the overriding feature of our time. Yet, tension and conflicts persist in most continents and regions as a result of unresolved differences within each nation as well as the threat and use of force. Climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, trans-national crimes, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism are still the challenges demanding effective responses. The world economy’s unstable recovery coupled with economic downturns in many developed nations have exposed developing ones to risks of even further unequal terms of trade, rising protectionism, dwindling financial resources and erosion of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) gains. Multilateral negotiations of issues of common interest such as disarmament and climate change have not yielded results up to our expectations.
The current situation compels nations to promote dialogue and cooperation to surmount common challenges, both man-made and natural. Peace, security and stability remain the intense desire of and prerequisite for all nations. The key to success lies in each nation’s own efforts, enhanced international cooperation and multilateralism on the basis of respect for fundamental principles of international law and the Charter of the UN, while taking into account legitimate interests of all countries, especially developing ones. In this regard, Viet Nam commends the theme that you have proposed for this General Debate, namely “Peaceful settlement of disputes”.
As rightly pointed out by the Secretary General, never has the UN been so relevant, so urgently needed by so many people around the world and it must deliver concrete results that make a real difference in the daily lives of the world’s people. It is without any doubt that with its universal membership, the Organization enjoys a unique legitimacy to be at the fore-front of global governance and multilateral cooperation.
Over the past years, the UN has played a crucial role in ending conflicts and promoting the peace process in various regions. We deeply value the initiatives in putting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable at the centre of the international agenda, mobilizing resources and capacities to fulfill internationally agreed action-plans, including the MDGs, facilitating multilateral negotiations on climate change, disarmament and non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, providing solutions to such pressing issues as desertification, non-communicable diseases, nuclear safety and security and responding to the global financial and economic crisis. We cannot help mentioning the efforts of United Nations funds, programs and specialized agencies to set the norms and agenda in line with their mandates and assist in developing countries development endeavours..
At the same time, the international community looks to the Organization as a source of inspiration and strength, as a universal organization that can act decisively against any tendency that may undermine the Organization’s credibility and run contrary to its fundamental values and founding purposes and principles. The Organization is, therefore, expected to uphold the value of peace and security, of international law and multilateralism. It is also expected to become more responsive and effective on the ground, with the ultimate objective of better serving the needs and interests of Member States, in particular developing countries.
As world peace and security is always our top priority, the UN should continue its concerted and coherent efforts to promote peaceful settlement of civil wars and local conflicts in several regions of the world, especially those in North Africa and the Middle East, while preventing others from erupting. We must work to cultivate the culture of peace and dialogue and promote peaceful settlement of disputes. In this regard, Viet Nam supports efforts to end violence and strengthen national reconstruction and reconciliation in Afghanistan and Iraq. As regards Palestine’s application to be a full member of the United Nations Organization, Viet Nam wishes to underline that we recognized the State of Palestine in 1988 and have always supported the just struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable rights, including the right to establish an independent and sovereign state that co-exists peacefully with Israel with their borderlines set up before June 1967. In this spirit, we affirm our strong support for Palestine’s efforts to soon become a full United Nations member.
We support the UN in translating the outcome of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the newly concluded High-level meeting on nuclear safety and security into concrete results, revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations.
In parallel with security concerns, the international community with the UN at the center should work for more equal international relations and fairer international economic and financial architecture and institutions. Developing countries must have a greater role and say in international governance. They should be enabled to take part in the globalization process in a more proactive and effective manner. Developed countries, on their part, should deliver on their obligations and commitments, including the maintenance of macroeconomic stability, contribution to the successful conclusion of the Doha round, elimination of unfair trade measures, and increase of development assistance. Given the continued need to draw on thinking and action towards a more stable and healthy global economic environment, we wish to recommend that the UN would convene a meeting in the General Assembly or ECOSOC to follow up the outcome of the Conference on World Financial and Economic Crisis which was held in June, 2009.
In the meantime, the UN should undertake measures to prevent unilateral use of economic means against developing countries. Viet Nam strongly calls for an end to the economic embargo against the Republic of Cuba.
Moreover, to promote inclusive and sustainable development, political commitment and efforts, with the central coordinating role played by the UN, must be doubled for the attainment of equitable and sustainable development for all. Four years away from the agreed target date of 2015, it is essential that global partnership for development be expanded both in breadth and depth, so as to provide countries in need with relevant policy experience, resources, and best practices to achieve the MDGs and maintain the progress thereof. Equally important is to begin developing a vision for a global development platform for the post-2015 period. We must also work much harder together to ensure the fruitful outcomes of the forthcoming COP 17 conference in South Africa and the Rio+20 meeting in Brazil.
Viet Nam is committed to working with other Member States to revitalize the General Assembly as the principal deliberative, policy-making and representative organ, to enhance the over-arching role of ECOSOC in the development sphere, and to enlarge Security Council membership and improve its working methods. We also look forward to more coherent, consistent and effective development activities of the UN system so as to align themselves effectively with national priorities of recipient countries. In an effort to contribute to the efforts of UN reforms, Viet Nam has been active in implementing the “Delivering as One” initiative and has together with the UN and other partners made tangible progress.
Viet Nam welcomes the adoption of resolution A/RES/65/281 on the review of the Human Rights Council. We wish to stress that the operation of the Human Rights Council and other UN human rights mechanisms should continue to be improved to become more effective, consistent and efficient, while focusing more on dialogue and experience-sharing. To make more contribution to that end, we have presented Viet Nam’s candidature for the membership of the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2013-2016.
The year of 2011 is an important year for Viet Nam since we have successfully organized the 11th Party Congress and the elections of State bodies. We have also adopted the Socio-Economic Development Strategy for the next decade. During the last 25 years of a comprehensive renewal, Viet Nam has made significant achievements in many aspects and the country has integrated extensively into international life.
We have managed to establish and strengthen stable and long-term frameworks of relations with major countries and global and regional economic and political centers.
Building upon these achievements, in the coming period, Viet Nam is determined to step up the renewal process in a comprehensive manner with higher quality and effectiveness, step up national industrialisation and modernisation in combination with development of a knowledge-based economy.
In the effort to broaden and deepen our relations with other countries, Viet Nam will continue an independent foreign policy for peace, cooperation and development. Viet Nam is a reliable friend and partner as well as a responsible member of the international community, working for the prosperity of every nation, for national independence, global peace, democracy and social progress. We shall enhance international integration, proactively participate in and make contribution to regional and international multilateral forums like the UN, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC), the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China on solving the global issues of nuclear security, nuclear disarmament, crime prevention, climate change, sustainable development, and Mekong River cooperation. Furthermore, we are always willing to share with other countries our experiences in South-South and tripartite cooperation, financing for development, enhancing aid effectiveness and mainstreaming MDGs into national socio-economic strategies.
We shall be working closely with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other stakeholders for peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast Asia, East Asia and beyond, through ASEAN-led mechanisms and such instruments as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS).
In this regard, Viet Nam welcomes and supports contribution to peace and security in the Eastern Sea. Like other ASEAN members, Viet Nam is strongly committed to dialogue and confidence-building mechanisms, and stands ready to support and participate in any effort to find peaceful settlements to the disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and acceptable to all parties concerned. Pending such a solution, we will, along with parties concerned, strictly observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the Eastern Sea (DOC), and welcomes the stated commitments to working together towards the conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the foreseeable future.
This year’s General Assembly is taking place at a crucial juncture as the world is faced with daunting challenges. It is my firm belief that only by undertaking joint efforts and enhancing multilateral cooperation, could we meet the expectations and aspirations of our peoples and manage to set out the right directions for long-term development of the United Nations. Viet Nam remains strongly committed to this endeavour.
I thank you for your kind attention./.