Statement by Mr. Nguyen Tat Thanh,
Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam,
at the General Debate of the Second Committee
of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, 8 October 2007
Let me congratulate you on your election as Chairperson of the Second Committee of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly. You and the Bureau can rest assured that Viet Nam will work closely with you towards realizing the objectives set forth for the Committee.
My Delegation aligns itself with the statements made earlier respectively by the distinguished representatives of Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and Indonesia on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
This year marks the mid-point between the adoption of the Millennium Declaration and the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At this important point, my Delegation shares the view expressed by the Secretary-General in his Report on the work of the Organization that although remarkable progress has been achieved in the implementation of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals, there remains a bitter reality of global imbalances and inequalities. For example, nearly one billion people are still living today in extreme poverty. At the same time, there have emerged many pressing global issues, of which epidemics, environmental pollution, natural disasters and climate change have proved to be serious threats to human life. Viet Nam holds that, for these issues to be resolved and for the MDGs to be achieved within the originally agreed timeframes, it is high time for concerted international efforts and cooperation in a wide range of areas, including environment, trade, and development finance.
We note with satisfaction that climate change has been recognized as a physical and global reality, and has recently been paid due attention by the United Nations and the international community. The High-level Event entitled ‘the Future in our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change” convened by the Secretary-General, and the Informal Thematic Debate of the General Assembly on “Climate Change as a Global Challange” initiated by the President of the General Assembly are vivid cases in point. On our part, Viet Nam is fully aware of the fundemental connections among the issues of energy security, climate change and sustainable development, and moving on track for achieving our climate change objectives under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. We are committed to developing clear and long-term international and national climate strategies which provide targets, support and incentives for the business community. In this connection, Viet Nam looks forward to the 13th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 3rd Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol, to be held in Bali in December. We hope these meetings will lead to a breakthrough and find out practical, collaborative measures to address the pressing global issue of our time.
As trade is a key driver for long-term economic growth and sustainable development, we have emphasized times and again the need for an international trade system that is transparent, fair and just - the one in which the comparative advantages of developing countries are not undermined by arbitrary and abusive use of non-tariff and other barriers, and special and differential treatment are accorded in full to developing countries, especially low-income developing countries and LDCs. Viet Nam reiterates the call for the elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies; substantial reductions in trade distorting domestic support; enhanced market access for goods and services of developing countries; and facilitation of technology and knowledge transfer to developing countries. For this to be realized, first of all we have to break the impasse of and expeditiously conclude the Doha Development Round negotiations with a real development package.
As of development finance, it is clear that increased capital flows and financing for development are crucial for developing countries as envisaged in the Monterrey Consensus. Commitments have been made by donor countries at various international conferences and Summits to earmark 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to ODA and even double aid. Evidence, however, indicates that the level of ODA and development financing remain limited and, in many cases, are subject to conditionalities. At this critical juncture, Viet Nam is of the view that the United Nations and all Member States should focus on and double our efforts in implementing our own commitments, increasing aid-for-trade resources and creating new mechanisms for innovative financing. We look forward to the upcoming High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development in this regard.
Let me conclude by underscoring the importance of the Second Committee in making collective efforts to place development at the center of the United Nations agenda and moving toward closer partnership as agreed upon in the Outcome Document. We believe that the United Nations continues to have a critical role to play in this endeavor, and that it should become the chief promoter and guarantor of a more open, predictable and equitable multilateral trading system. To this end, Viet Nam attaches great importance to the restructuring and revitalization of the economic and social systems of the United Nations and strongly supports initiatives aimed at strengthening the United Nations and its link to other multinational financial and trade institutions in order to accelerate the implementation of all commitments made by our Leaders, especially those on hunger and poverty eradication, sustainable development and financing for development. We also strongly support the “One UN” initiative, and are determined to work closely with relevant UN partners to make this a reality in Viet Nam in the foreseeable future..
Thank you, Madam Chair.