Signature successes in multilateral diplomacy have resolved both traditional and non-traditional issues, strengthening Vietnam’s status in the international arena while safeguarding national sovereignty and interests.

So said Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh, head of the Vietnamese Diplomatic Mission to the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), during an interview on the occasion of Vietnam ’s full membership to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 tenure.

Thanh noted that alongside bilateral ties, multilateral diplomacy is playing an increasingly important role at a time when Vietnam is proactively joining in the UN’s activities and multilateral forums.

He described 2013 as a year full of challenges and opportunities. The international community hailed Vietnam for its review of trade policies under the WTO for the first time since it joined the body six years ago. It was a reflection of Vietnam’s achievements in perfecting the market economy and contributions to the global trade system, Thanh said.

He claimed that Vietnam views Geneva as one of the top frontlines in realising its foreign policy of actively and proactively integrating into the world economies, especially via regional and inter-regional mechanisms like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and other organisations based in Geneva and New York .

Thanh cited the large number of votes won by Vietnam to claim a seat on the UN Human Rights Council as an evidence of its active contributions to global affairs, especially the protection and promotion of human rights.-VNA