The 28th Diplomatic Conference opened in Hanoi on December 16 in the presence of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said that the conference takes place in the context of important developments in the domestic and international situation.

Vietnam has entered a key period in implementing its 2011-2020 socio-economic development strategy and continued to record significant results in politics, security and socio-economic development, he said.

Meanwhile, peace, cooperation and development remain a major trend in the world but the regional and global situation continues to see complicated developments, he added.

According to the Deputy PM, as multidimensional challenges have had direct impacts on Vietnam’s security and development, this conference aims to review the implementation of the country’s foreign policy and international integration guidelines in the first half of the 11 th Party Congress tenure as well as define comprehensive and effective measures to successfully realise the Party’s foreign policy in the years to come.

Addressing the event, Party leader Trong stressed that diplomatic work has greatly contributed to maintaining and consolidating a peaceful and stable environment that facilitates national construction and defence.

It has also helped maintain the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and takes advantage of the broad concurrence and support of international friends, he said.

He stated that bilateral and multilateral relations have been reinforced, developed and deepened, creating favourable conditions for the international integration task in the new period.

Vietnam has really promoted its role as an active member of regional and global institutions and participated more deeply in the Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific linkage, the Party chief noted.

He cited Vietnam’s recent election to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, UNESCO World Heritage Commission and the UN Human Rights Council in the 2014-2016 term for the first time, saying that this shows the country’s increasing global prestige and the international community’s growing confidence in it.

In addition, the mobilisation of Vietnamese people living overseas has recorded drastic changes, he added.

As global and domestic situations pose both opportunities and challenges to national construction and defence, General Secretary Trong pointed out that the leading task of the diplomatic sector is to continue to thoroughly grasp and effectively implement the Party’s viewpoints and guidelines while actively and proactively making the best of new opportunities for the nation’s construction and defence.

He emphasised eight specific tasks for the diplomatic sector in the coming time. Accordingly, the sector should continue playing a leading role in ensuring a favourable peaceful environment for national construction and defence as well as realising the industrialisation, modernisation and strategic tasks in socio-economic development with a view to turning Vietnam into an industrialised country by 2020.

The Party leader also stressed the need to persistently pursue the renewal process, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, and develop friendly neighbourliness, strategic and comprehensive partnerships in an intensive and practical manner.

The sector should actively and proactively join regional and international multilateral mechanisms in order to fix its optimal position in the new face of the world, he said.

It needs to be persistent in properly addressing border and territory issues, peacefully solving existing problems and different perceptions in the East Sea on the basis of abiding by international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, respecting the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The Party chief also emphasised the need to continue stepping up cultural diplomacy, and foreign news services in order to raise Vietnam’s role, prestige and image in the international arena while successfully implementing Resolution 36 of the Party Politburo on the mobilisation of Vietnamese people living abroad.

The diplomatic sector should also increase basic research and strategic forecasts, and timely grasp the development trend of the situation, helping create an active position for the country.

Acquiring the Party General Secretary’s instructions, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh asked participants to focus their hearts and brainpower on thoroughly grasping the guidelines and policies of the Party, clarifying existing problems and their objective and subjective causes as well as setting out orientations and measures to repair them, with a determination to successfully implement diplomatic tasks assigned by the Party and State.

At the opening ceremony, leaders of the Ministry of Public Security, the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, the Ministry of Defence and the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations made important assessments on the regional and international situation.

Their speeches highlighted achievements the diplomatic sector has reaped since the previous conference in 2011 and highly valued coordination between it and other sectors. They also mentioned orientations and measures to foster foreign relations work in all pillars as well as enhance collaboration between forces in charge in the coming time.-VNA