Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (Source: VNA)

Armenia (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on October 12 urged the Francophone community to promote intensive cooperation and take a holistic approach on all issues in order to find effective solutions to deep-rooted crisis and instability such as inequality, poverty and underdevelopment.

In his speech at the ongoing 17th Francophonie Summit in Armenia, the Vietnamese official highlighted the important role by multilateral institutions like the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), calling on the organisation to continue improving existing mechanisms on conflict prevention and dispute settlement on the basis of international law.

He stressed that Vietnam applauded and supported the theme “Living together in solidarity, sharing humanist values, and respect for diversity: Sources of peace and prosperity in the Francophone space”.

Talking about the Asia-Pacific region, Minh said that this is an important part of the Francophone space, which is also dealing with many challenges from strategic competition among big countries, ethnic conflicts, terrorism, cybercrime, to climate change.

Vietnam appreciated OIF's efforts to find solutions to political instability and conflicts in its member countries, especially in Africa, he stressed, adding that ghe international community should continue to promote measures to build confidence, strengthen and expand unity and cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and language, thus further promoting cooperation among French-speaking countries.

With its foreign policy of respect for peace, cooperation and development, Vietnam has made and will make active and responsible contributions to the joint effort for peace, security and development of the world in general and in the French-speaking community in particular, he affirmed.

 At the inter-regional level, Vietnam can be proud of contributing to increasing presence of the Francophone Community in Asia-Pacific, as well as to promoting cooperation between the IOF and other countries in the region.

At the regional level, Vietnam has always been active in working with relevant parties to find peaceful solutions to disputes in the East Sea in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS), Minh said.

Vietnam expects the French-speaking community to continue to have an impartial voice and to support efforts to ensure security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, he added.

The Vietnamese official emphasised that Vietnam has decided to run for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term, thereby affirming the country’s strong commitment and willingness to make more contributions to common efforts of the international community.

Vietnam desires to receive support of IOF member nations, he said, pledging that the country will cooperate closely with other members to promote the priority issues of the Francophone Community if it is elected.

Minh asserted that Vietnam is committed to continuing its cooperation with IOF member countries in promoting the common values of the Francophone Community for peace, stability and prosperity.

He called on the IOF to devise and implement strategies to assist its member countries in implementing this commitment.

On the same day, on the sidelines of the summit, Deputy PM and FM Minh had separate meetings with leaders of many countries attending the event.

In his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, the two sides expressed their pleasure at the fruitful development of the bilateral relations in recent times, and agreed to enhance the exchange of high-level delegations to promote political trust in the spirit of the Strategic Partnership. They also agreed to continue to coordinate effectively at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the UN and the Francophonie community.

Meeting with the Vietnamese official, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said he is always interested in the development and integration of Vietnam, and congratulated Vietnam for its great achievements in socio-economic development. Both sides affirmed their determination to promote their relations in politics, economy, education and sciences, as well as in cultural and tourism exchange, and people exchange.

In a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Parshynian, Minh congratulated Armenian on the successful organisation of the 17th Francophonie Summit. The two sides stressed the need to promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation matching the Vietnam-Armenia political relations.

Both sides agreed to increase cooperation and share experience in education and training. Nikol Parshynian expressed his wish to welcome Vietnamese students to study in Armenia.

Minh also had a meeting with Foreign Minister of Madagascar Eloi Alphone Maxima Dovo, during which the two sides affirmed the good traditional relations between Vietnam and Madagascar built by President Ho Chi Minh and generations of patriotic leaders of Madagascar. The Vietnamese official suggested Madagascar create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the host country to live, work, integrate and contribute to the local society.

Working with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Guinea Mamadi Toure, Minh thanked Guinea’s support for Vietnam's candidacy for a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term. The two sides agreed that the bilateral cooperation should be further promoted through the exchange of high-level delegations and between ministries, affirming that it is necessary to maintain and expand the tripartite cooperation model and to continue supporting each other at multilateral forums.

In Minh’s meeting with Foreign Minister of Cameroon Mbella Mbella, the two sides agreed to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the two countries. Minister Mbella Mbella asserted that Cameroon and himself always support good and strong relationship with Vietnam.

Minh suggested the Government of Cameroon continue to make it easy for Vietnamese enterprises such as Viettel to invest and do business in the African country, while Mbella Mbella pledged to find solutions and efforts to remove difficulties as well as to create favourable conditions for foreign businesses, including those from Vietnam, to invest in Cameroon.

Established in 1970, the OIF’s mission is to engage its 84 member states and governments (58 members and 26 observers), which together represent more than a third of UN member states and account for a population of over 900 million people, including 274 million French speakers.

The IOF organises multilateral cooperation political activities and actions that benefit French-speaking populations. 

Vietnam has been an OIF member since 1979. It hosted the summit’s 7th edition in Hanoi in 1997 which adopted the Charter of La Francophonie and elected the first OIF Secretary General.-VNA