October 16, 2019

Viet Nam’s membership in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2020-2021

A new milestone in Multilateral Diplomacy of the country

In the picture H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam.

By H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam to the Netherlands.

Over the past years, following the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations, and active international integration, Viet Nam has attached great importance to the work of multilateral mechanisms. Today, Viet Nam enjoys free trading relations with nearly 60 major countries and partners in the world as a result of its membership of 16 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), some of which are in the final stage of negotiations.

We have actively participated in the United Nations (UN), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Mekong sub-regional mechanisms, among others. Most recently, Viet Nam successfully hosted the 2017 APEC Year, the 132th Inter-Parliamentary Union General Assembly, the 2018 World Economic Forum on ASEAN, the 6th Greater Mekong Sub-region Cooperation Summit, and will be assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

Regarding the UN – the world’s largest international organization and the coordinator of international efforts to respond to global challenges, forty two years since becoming a member (1977 until now), Viet Nam has played its proactive and responsible role, making effective contributions to all fundamental pillars of the UN. Some milestones can be highlighted in many areas: 

As a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1998, Viet Nam was one of the first countries to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, joined the Disarmament Conference (DC) as a member; involved in the preparations for major UN conferences, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms, among others. The country was a signatory to many international treaties initiated by the UN and has successfully assumed its membership in many UN subsidiary organs, including the UN Security Council (UNSC; 2008-2009), the Human Rights Council (2014-2016) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC; 2016-2018). Since 2014, Viet Nam has sent its officers to UN peacekeeping missions in Africa and deployed level-two field hospitals in South Sudan.

With high sense of responsibility for the UN reforms, we have been one of pilot countries to implement the “One UN” model, successful lessons of which were subsequently applied in many other countries. Viet Nam has been also referred to as a typical example of efficiently using development assistance, and as a leading country in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In a practical effort to contribute to sustainable peace and security, since 2009, Viet Nam has presented its candidature for non-permanent membership of the UNSC for the term 2020-2021. At the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on 7 June 2019 in New York, together with 4 other countries (namely Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Tunisia), Viet Nam was elected a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the term 2020-2021 with 192 concurring votes out of the 193 member countries and territories of the UN. The result represented a record, with the landslide one of the largest in the history of the Organization.

Vietnam’s upcoming term in the UNSC will be the second after its successful one in the Council in 2008-2009, during which the country’s contributions and performance of the duties have been widely recognised and appreciated. This important milestone reflects the international community’s confidence in Vietnam’s growing stature and capabilities to contribute to multilateral affairs. With the keynote message “Partnership for Sustainable Peace”, Vietnam’s priorities during the forthcoming term in the UNSC will be:

(i) Conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy, peaceful settlement of disputes and the strengthened implementation of Chapter VI of the Charter;

H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam.

(ii) Improving the methods of work of the UNSC; enhancing engagement with regional arrangements in the maintenance of international peace and security, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter;

(iii) Protection of civilians and critical civilian infrastructure in armed conflict;

(iv) Women, peace and security and children and armed conflict;

(v) Addressing the aftermaths of armed conflicts, including threats to civilian populations posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war;

(vi) UN peacekeeping operations;

(vii) Impact of climate change on peace and security.

We look forward to working constructively with all countries and partners to achieve the goals, mandates and duties of the UN in general and the UNSC in particular, thereby contributing to common endeavours of the mankind towards a world of peace, security and development./.

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