Q: Could you please give your assessment of the outstanding initiatives, messages and results that Vietnam achieved in its Month of the UNSC’s Presidency?
A: The Month of Vietnam’s Presidency of the UNSC has been a success, as reflected across three aspects. The first is the coordination as the chair of the council. During April 2021, we ran a sizable workload, with nearly 30 ambassador-level meetings and dozens of working-level ones, to discuss a wide range of issues from across all continents. Vietnam proposed to and got approval from the UNSC for 10 documents, including four resolutions. This affirms our role in coordination, exchange and dialogue, maintaining consensus and unity among the members of the UNSC.
Second was Vietnam’s contributions to the discussions and the operation of the council. With a constructive viewpoint and stance, based on the UN Charter and international law, Vietnam clearly stated its stance and point of view on issues considered and discussed at the UNSC’s meetings to promote dialogue, increase confidence and try to resolve conflicts and issues from around the world.
The third was the proposals and initiatives that Vietnam was interested in and promoted during the month. With a joint approach towards conflict prevention and resolution, we launched three high-level discussions on conflict prevention, resolution and handling. State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a High-level Open Debate on “Cooperation between the UN and Regional Organisations in Enhancing Confidence-Building and Dialogue in Conflict Prevention and Resolution”. Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son hosted two Ministerial-level Open Debates on “Mine Action and Sustaining Peace: Stronger Partnerships for Better Delivery” and “Protection of Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population”.
The sessions took place successfully, receiving attention from countries with high-level participation, with many important documents approved, thus promoting the content we care about.
Q: What are the reasons helping our country achieve such success?
A: Firstly, and most important was careful preparation. Taking such a position requires preparations many months ago, covering all the content and the agenda, including close consultation with members of the UNSC and the UN member countries in dealing with the issues.
Second is the support of the member countries of the UNSC to Vietnam. This support shows that countries attach special importance to the position and role of Vietnam in recent years. The proposals and initiatives put forward by us with the relevant arguments were strongly supported by other countries.
Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang.
Thirdly, our initiatives and activities during the month received the close attention of Party and State leaders. State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc directly presided over the UNSC session, while leaders from the concerned ministries, agencies and localities also participated in all key activities during the Month of the UNSC Presidency.
Another point is the unanimous participation of the relevant ministries and sectors. Just before the month as President, the Ministry of Defence deployed the Level-2 Field Hospital No. 3 to take on their duties at the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan. This shows that we also contribute by way of concrete action.
Q: What were the difficulties encountered during the month serving as the UNSC’s Presidency and how did we solve them?
A: Taking the presidency role has been a challenge in itself. Serving as UNSC President, we must coordinate and reconcile different views among various groups of countries, especially major countries, in order to reach a common consensus and solve urgent problems.
It is not easy to have a successful proposal and push forward with priorities and initiatives during the month. Although they are of general interest, these are all new issues and there were still many differences when going into detail. The good news is that we overcame these difficulties, so that during the month, all countries agreed to consider solving the problems posed, and all 10 documents were overwhelmingly approved by the council.
Q: During the remainder of its term of UNSC membership, what should Vietnam do to promote the successes achieved in the Vietnam’s month as President of the UNSC?
A: As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, with a desire to contribute to the general work of the council in particular and the UN in general, and as an active and responsible member of the international community, in the time to come, we will continue to work together with other countries to seek solutions to maintaining a peaceful international environment and ensure global security. This is a common goal from now to the end of 2021 that we will continue to carry out.
In such a process, the most important thing is to try to maintain solidarity and consensus among the UNSC. For some complex issues at the council, we need to be steadfast in our stance and principles to protect our national interests, while handling them skilfully and satisfactorily in order to promote dialogue, solidarity and consensus at the UNSC, contributing to any decision of the council must be based on the UN Charter and international law, including the principles of independence, autonomy and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Above all, we want the UNSC to continue to be the most important agency in maintaining international peace, stability and security.