Vietnam's hallmark in the UN

Tuesday, 2017-09-19 11:03:15
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Representatives from foreign countries congratulate Vietnam on its election to the Human Rights Council for the first time on November 12, 2013. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - On September 20, 1977, Vietnam officially joined the United Nations (UN). The event opened a new chapter in the process of Vietnam’s international integration. Over the course of the past 40 years, through many international fluctuations, Vietnam has become an active member of the UN and has always upheld its responsibility to carry out the noble missions of the UN.

Vietnam has successfully fulfilled its mandate as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2008-2009 term. This was the first time Vietnam had joined the UN’s most important body of international peace and security, in the context that the Security Council was handling massive workloads, due to the emergence of complicated security issues, new global security challenges and the negative impact of the global financial crisis. At the press conference summarising the two years of Vietnam's involvement at the UN Security Council on December 29, 2009, Deputy PM, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who was the Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time, said that Vietnam had actively participated and demonstrated its independent and self-reliant viewpoint, actively contributed to solving and cleverly handling any disagreements which occurred among UN members.

The Secretary-General of the UN and the leaders of many countries and important international and regional counterparts valued Vietnam’s contributions to the Security Council. Non-aligned and developing countries assessed that Vietnam has made many contributions to promoting the role and voice of these countries. Currently, Vietnam is running for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

November 12, 2013 marked a new step in the efforts to implement Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateralisation and active international integration as it was elected by the United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session to become one of 14 new members of its Human Rights Council for the first time. Vietnam received 184 votes out of a total of 192, the highest among the candidates, a recognition by the international community for its recent achievements in exercising civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights.

During the three year tenure 2014-2016, Vietnam actively contributed in a constructive and responsible manner, to the joint effort of the international community in accelerating and defending human rights throughout the globe. Vietnam has also joined many other international conventions related to human rights and international humanitarian laws, as well as treaties of the International Labour Organisation ensuring the rights of labourers. This shows Vietnam’s commitment in the field, reflecting the great efforts of the country amidst a difficult socio-economic situation. Vietnam has also served as a coordinator for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the UN Human Rights Council. The election to the council is an excellent chance for Vietnam to increase its position and prestige within the international arena.

On October 21, 2015, Vietnam overwhelmingly won its election to the 54-member United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2016-2018 tenure, with 182 out of 187 valid votes. The UN General Assembly also elected 17 other new members of the ECOSOC to serve the three-year term beginning on January 1, 2016. This is the second time Vietnam has been elected to the ECOSOC, with the country first serving on the ECOSOC from 1998 through 2000. The re-election marks a new step forward in the country’s efforts to implement its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and proactive and active international integration. It also demonstrates the international community’s confidence in Vietnam and their acknowledgment of the national construction and defence achievements, as well as its contributions to the UN and common efforts in making a better world.

In June 2014, for the first time, Vietnam sent its forces to participate in UN peacekeeping operations. Previously, on May 27, 2014, The Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre was officially established. So far, Vietnam has dispatched dozens of officers serving as liaison officers, advisors and observers at the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

On November 3, 2016, Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Nguyen Hong Thao was officially elected as a member of the UN International Law Commission (ILC). This is the first time Vietnam has had a representative at an important organ of the UN. With 120 out of 191 votes at the UN General Assembly, Thao was among seven contenders from the Asian-Pacific region at the commission.

These events illustrate Vietnam’s status and prestige, as well as its increasing engagement in multilateral forums and the UN, whilst showing the international community’s acknowledgement of Vietnam’s positive and responsible contributions to handle the common work of the international community.

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