Vietnam reviews two years as United Nations Security Council non-permanent member

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Vietnam had a successful tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2020-2021.

At a recent conference summarizing Vietnam’s two years as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 term, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the United Nations (UN), “a man on the battlefield”.

'Có tình, có lý', nước lớn nể trọng, bạn bè quý mến Việt Nam hơn
The Vietnamese delegation to the United Nations at the moment the results of the vote for the UNSC non-permanent membership was announced.

From the headquarters of the Vietnamese delegation to the UN, Ambassador Quy said that Vietnam’s participation in the UNSC contributed “huge political capital”, but he emphasized that this “capital would have slept” without the guidance and direct involvement of Vietnamese leaders at all levels in the past two years. He sincerely thanked the government for trusting him, giving him necessary power and protecting him from pressure.

In the past two years, one member country of the UNSC replaced its ambassador to the UN twice within seven months, but the Vietnamese delegation always received the trust and protection of leaders at all levels.

He said: “This was a very important factor in creating courage for Vietnamese diplomats, urging them to be better aware of their responsibilities and to make greater efforts in performing their duties.”

Also in the past two years, the Vietnamese delegation to the UN and the Vietnam-based working group, with the core being the Department of International Cooperation and several agencies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cooperated closely, which turned the inconvenience of time zone differences into an opportunity for the two sides to support each other so that Vietnam’s working time at the UNSC was 24/7.

Vietnamese missions abroad, especially those in UNSC member countries, provided very timely information about in-the-field developments, and closely coordinated with the Vietnamese delegation to the UN in dealing bilaterally with the host country on related issues, thereby making an important contribution to helping the Vietnamese delegation to the UN implement its duties.

Ambassador Quy outlined diplomatic lessons he learned after two years. The first was timing and taking advantage of opportunities. Vietnam’s choice for the 2020-2021 term and the lobbying of making Vietnam the sole candidate of the Asia-Pacific group were important factors leading to its election victory with a record number of votes.

It was an advantage as Vietnam was both the Chair of ASEAN and the Chair of the UNSC in January 2020 when promoting one of the priorities, cooperation between the UN and ASEAN, and cooperation between the UN and regional organizations.

'Có tình, có lý', nước lớn nể trọng, bạn bè quý mến Việt Nam hơn
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Not all countries are interested in joining the UNSC but Vietnam will continue to participate in the UNSC for the third time over the next 10 years. Vietnam will have to compete next time. According to the ambassador, Vietnam should decide early about the time period.

The next lesson was creativity. The 15 members of the UNSC alternately hold the chairmanship each month. In January 2020 when Vietnam held the presidency it was also the month of the UN’s 75th anniversary.

“Challenges turned into opportunities when we chose upholding the UN Charter for the maintenance of international peace as the topic of the open discussion. This topic set a record for the number of speeches. (111 speeches). The UNSC also adopted for the first time the Chairman’s statement on the matter,” Ambassador Quy said.

The third lesson was to promote the position of being an UNSC member. At the UN, the status of an UNSC member is established by its active contributions to the common work of the international community and is recognized by the number of votes or the level of support for its initiatives at the UN General Assembly and other forums. During the tenure, Vietnam promoted that position.

“If we continue to promote our initiatives raised over the past two years, such as the international day on epidemic prevention, the group of friends of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, then the initiatives and resolutions proposed by Vietnam will live forever with the history of the UN and with the history of mankind,” he said.

The fourth lesson, according to the Ambassador, was the use of historical lessons in a new context. When Vietnam joined the UNSC, countries expected Vietnam to make active and effective contributions to the UNSC. He said: “We worked hard in the past two years and achieved this.”

The last lesson concerns Ho Chi Minh’s diplomatic method. “Working at the UNSC is working with the powers and our most important partners, but we also have to represent the interests of the majority of small and medium-sized countries,” the ambassador said.

“Two days before our term began, the Ambassador of Paraguay told me don’t forget us. This statement means that we must always keep in mind the interests of our friends when taking a stance and also continue to participate in their events,” he said.

Tran Thuong

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu spoke about Vietnam’s active participation in the field of international law and the strategy of raising the country’s voice in this field, contributing to improving national prestige and position.

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son has affirmed that Vietnam had a successful tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2020-2021.

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