The first national conference on multilateral diplomacy concluded late August 12, offering valuable recommendations for Vietnam’s external relations in the 21st century.

At discussions, Vietnamese and international delegates analysed major trends of multilateral diplomacy in the 21st century, achievements and lessons of multilateral diplomacy in Vietnam’s renewal period, and newly-emerging requirements for the country and ASEAN.

Addressing the event, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pratibha Mehta said terrorism, human trafficking, diseases such as H7N9 and Ebola were examples of global concerns that no country, however big or rich, could resolve single-handedly.

She said Vietnam’s inspiring story of fighting poverty and meeting the Millennium Development Goals has strengthened its position in the UN and helped the country gain the confidence of international partners.

Deputy Minister of Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh said Vietnam has shown its strong interest in defence cooperation for peaceful purposes and a strong commitment to avoiding military measures to solve disputes.

Concluding the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stressed that multilateral diplomacy has become an urgent request and also an effective measure for all countries to harness all resources to develop economy and establish their position in the global arena.

He outlined major lessons drawn out from international experience and the reality in Vietnam over the nearly three decades of renew on how to utilise the strength of multilateral diplomacy in the nation’s development and international integration.

He said an independent foreign policy should be maintained while continuing to multilateralise and diversify external relations, which is an important foundation for the planning and promoting multilateral activities.

Second, the country should keep close watch of the mainstream trend and concern in order to approach and deal with issues on the basis of maintaining a harmony between national, regional and international interests.

The Deputy PM and FM also underlined the need to combine multilateral and bilateral diplomacy, as well as the close relation between internal strength and the efficiency of external relations.

At the same time, he stressed the importance of long-term and comprehensive thinking as well as a sharp and flexible approach in order to deal with profound and complicated changes in the international situation in the 21st century.

Minh urged all ministries, agencies and sectors to shift their approach from “joining and participating in” to “proactively contributing to, initiating and shaping” external relations in the time ahead.-VNA