Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)
New York (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has called on countries to work together to “promote multilateralism and adherence to international law, for peace, cooperation and sustainable development.”

The Deputy PM made the call at the 71 st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24.

As multilateral cooperation has a growing role to play in international relations, Vietnam believes that multilateralism must be strengthened and the operation of multilateral institutions, particularly the United Nations, must be improved, he said.

“The UN has an indispensable role coordinating international responses to global challenges and enabling development cooperation. No other organisation can better foster partnerships and assist countries to successfully implement the SDGs,” he stressed.

Minh went on to that international law remains the linchpin of a stable international security architecture and a strong multilateral system. Unfortunately, the role of the fundamental norms and principles of international law is underestimated. Imposition, unilateralism, power politics and use of force to address international security and political issues have been creating tension and confrontation, hindering efforts to peacefully settle disputes and conflicts.

The United Nations can and must play a stronger part, he said, adding that the organisation must take the lead in promoting adherence to international law and the UN Charter, as the foundation for international peace and security. No country, big or small, can be exempt from the law.

“The UN should also work to strengthen preventive diplomacy and peaceful settlement of disputes, utilising all tools as defined in Article 33 of the UN Charter,” he noted.

According to the Vietnamese official, multilateralism, international law, peace, cooperation and development are also the key elements to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.

The region, however, also contains risks of conflict, especially in the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea, all and any of which can threaten regional and international peace, security and prosperity.

With regard to recent complicated developments in the East Sea, Deputy PM Minh called upon all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and solve disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, implement the Declaration on the Conduct of parties on the East Sea (DOC) and expedite the completion of the Code of Conduct in East Sea (COC).

He affirmed that Vietnam is strongly committed to the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The country has developed a plan of action for SDG implementation and is working with UN agencies to craft the One Strategic Plan 2017-2021, as part of the Delivering As One initiative, to assist Vietnam in SDG implementation.

As one of the countries forecast to be hardest hit by climate change and sea-level rise, Vietnam is expediting procedures for the early ratification of the Paris Agreement, and is planning its implementation, he said.

Vietnam calls on developed countries to uphold their responsibility and take the lead in assisting developing nations, including Vietnam, to realise SDGs, especially in financing, capacity building, technology transfer, and trade facilitation.

The Deputy PM reiterated that Vietnam, as a peace-loving and friendly nation, always pursues the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development.

“We strive to be a friend, reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community. Our commitment to multilateralism and international law is unwavering, and we will spare no effort to contribute to peace, cooperation and development in the world,” he stated.

Vietnam has decided to present its candidacy for non-permanent membership of the Security Council for the term 2020-2021, and will continue to increase its participation in the UN Peacekeeping Operations, he added.-VNA