Speech by H.E. Mr. NGUYEN TAN DZUNG, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, at the General Debate of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly
New York, September 27th, 2007
At the outset, permit me to extend to you my warmest congratulations on your election as President of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I believe that with your immense competence, you will lead this Session to a successful conclusion. I highly commend H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his important contributions in his capacity as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I respectfully convey to all distinguished delegates, and through you, to the people of all UN member countries the greetings of friendship from the Vietnamese people.
When humankind entered the new Millennium, we all wished for a more peaceful world, more friendly international relations and a better life. Nearly a decade has elapsed, but that wish has not come true as we are still living in a world blessed with numerous opportunities and at the same time beset with adversities and challenges. It is a blessing that, since the establishment of the United Nations, humankind has not experienced any more world wars. However, local wars and conflicts, international terrorism and the continued arms race, including the nuclear arms race, remain daunting threats to our world today.
Thanks to the miraculous scientific and technological achievements, the human living conditions have been improved continuously. However, there remains a bitter reality that the gap in living standards between nations and population groups is increasingly widened. Nearly one billion people are still living in extreme poverty. At the same time, there have emerged many pressing global issues of which epidemics, environmental pollution and climate change have proved to be serious threats to human life.
We can note with satisfaction the rapid proliferation of regional and global cooperation arrangements. In the meantime, the world is yet to be free from tense confrontation, acts of unilateral imposition, violations of national independence and sovereignty, inequality and unfair treatment in international relations.
All these require that we together make greater efforts to maintain peace and stability in all parts of the world, promote equal cooperative relations between and among states, and ensure an international environment conducive to the development of each and every nation.
In face of enormous challenges in the new Millennium, world peoples had high expectations in the United Nations and, in this connection, Viet Nam fully associates itself with the orientations charted by the UN Summits in 2000 and 2005 for the work of the Organization in consolidating peace, security, cooperation and development.
We hope that the United Nations will together with member states intensify efforts to establish long-lasting peace in the Middle East, including those aimed at an appropriate solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, put an end to conflicts and violence in a number of African countries, restore stability in Iraq and Afghanistan, and control and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Viet Nam supports the settlement of the Korean Peninsula issues through dialogue, in conformity with international law and shares the Korean people’s desire for peaceful reunification.
The UN’s Millennium Declaration in 2000 and its policy of promoting sustainable development and ensuring the harmonious combination of economic growth with social equity and environmental protection have elicited practical response from member states. Viet Nam hopes that the United Nations plays a more active role in this process to create further opportunities for underdeveloped countries to escape poverty and advance with the mainstream of the world. In that light, Vietnam wishes that the Doha Round will be concluded soon to facilitate a fair international trading system.
Viet Nam strongly supports development cooperation between countries and the establishment of equal international relations in economic, financial and trade areas with special attention paid to the needs of developing and least-developed countries, including the removal of imposed economic blockades and embargoes. We hope that the United Nations will have more resources for development cooperation, with priority given to the implementation of program of actions on poverty reduction, women’s advancement, child care, population planning, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Vietnam strongly supports common efforts, especially the efforts of the UN, to protect the environment and better respond to climate change.
For the United Nations to fulfil its noble mandate in a vastly changed world, the question of United Nations reform has been raised and keenly discussed. Viet Nam holds that the process of reforms should be intensified and goes along with the common understanding that the reforms should ensure the broad participation of all member states and should be carried out in a transparent manner. It should also build upon the past experiences and, at the same, have a comprehensive forward-looking vision.
In 1945, the United Nations was founded right at a time when the Vietnamese people had just gained their independence. Stemming from the belief in the purposes and principles of the United Nations and the desire to contribute to the work of this new international organization, as early as in January 1946, President Ho Chi Minh, the founder of the new Vietnamese State, wrote to the First Session of the UN General Assembly, stating clearly “Our nation has gained independence and earnestly requests that you recognize our independence and admit our nation into the United Nations.”
Regrettably, it was not until 1977 when Viet Nam became a full member of the United Nations.
Over past 30 years, in its capacity as a UN member, Viet Nam has always worked actively for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the world. Viet Nam has made significant contributions to turning South-East Asia from a war-divided and confrontation region into one of peace, friendship and cooperation, which is now moving towards an ASEAN Community based on the three political and security, economic, and cultural and social pillars.
It is our consistent position to support efforts towards peaceful settlement of conflicts, upholding national independence and state sovereignty, promoting development programs, tackling global social issues and establishing equal international political and economic relations for mutual benefits.
Viet Nam will continue with the policy of being a friend and reliable partner of all countries, striving for peace, independence, cooperation and development. We have established diplomatic relations with 174 countries and economic and trade ties with almost all countries and territories in the world. Viet Nam is an active member of many other regional and global organizations and fora. Most recently, Viet Nam has joined the World Trade Organization as the 150th member. Viet Nam has been elected to the governing positions of many UN bodies and is now working closely with UN development organizations to implement the “One UN” Initiative in Viet Nam as a pilot country.
We highly appreciate the assistance and support extended by UN organizations to Viet Nam. Our significant achievements in socio-economic development have enabled Viet Nam to fulfil a number of MDGs ahead of schedule, especially in poverty reduction. This is also attributable to the support of the international community.
We attach importance to the promotion of South-South cooperation. Despite being a poor country, we participated actively in the tri-partite cooperation arrangement between Viet Nam and a UN agency to support African countries in the agricultural sector. So far, this programme has produced encouraging results.
With the desire to make further contributions to the work of the international community, in 1997 Viet Nam decided to run for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for the 2008-2009 term.
I take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Asian group for endorsing Viet Nam as the only one candidate of the continent. We are also grateful to other member states for their broad support.
Viet Nam is fully aware of the great honour and heavy responsibility for being a non-permanent member of the Security Council, a body entrusted with primary mission in maintaining international peace and security. Elected, Viet Nam will fully adhere to the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and we will do our utmost to cooperate with other members to fulfil this important task.
Viet Nam will work closely with other countries to reduce tension, prevent and peacefully settle conflicts in different parts of the world. Viet Nam will fulfil its obligations as a party to all major international conventions and treaties on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We condemn and also undertake to eliminate international terrorism under any forms and in accordance with international law.
Viet Nam welcomes and is willing to participate in mechanisms, both within or outside the Security Council, to increase assistance for national reconstruction and development of conflict-ridden countries. As a nation, which has gone through a reconstruction period after the wars and recorded important achievements on its development path, Viet Nam also wishes to share its experiences with other countries in the world.
Recognizing the active role played by the UN peace keeping operations, Viet Nam has made financial contributions to and participated in a number of UN activities in restoring peace in some countries. Viet Nam is completing the preparatory process for its effective participation in UN peace keeping operations in accordance with our conditions and capacity.
For the UN Security Council to work more effectively, we share the views that this body should be further reformed on the basis of broader representativeness and greater democracy in its working methodology. We also support the strengthening of relationship between the Security Council and regional organizations. It is therefore encouraging that, at this session, ASEAN and UN have just signed a cooperation agreement.
I believe that, with an open and constructive foreign policy as well as its active contributions to international peace and security and development cooperation, Viet Nam will enjoy full support from all member states for its candidature for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council for the 2008-2009 term. We will do whatever we can to fulfil this important mission.
Viet Nam will always be an active, constructive, cooperative and responsible member of the international community, living up to the expectations of all member states.
On be half of the Vietnamese Government and people, I sincerely wish the 62nd session of the General Assembly will be successful, living up to the expectations of peoples around the world for the sake of peace, security, cooperation and development.
Thank you for your attention.