Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of Vietnam's permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva (Photo: VNA)

Geneva (VNA) –
Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of Vietnam's permanent mission to the United Nations in  Geneva, on June 25 chaired a plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) at the UN headquarters in Geneva, the first plenary of the CD during Vietnam’s term as CD President (from June 24-28 and from July 29 to August 18).

In opening the session, Ambassador Dung stressed the importance of cooperation in the framework of multi-lateral frameworks to address increasingly complicated common challenges to international peace and security.

He recalled Vietnam’s contributions when it served as President of the CD for the first time in 2009, and underlined the country’s commitment to making continued contributions to peace and security, particularly when it was just elected to a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 and will take up the rotary Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2020.

The Ambassador shared Vietnam’s priorities and tasks as CD President, especially holding simultaneous consultations with member countries, CD Presidents in 2019, coordinators and the secretariats, to gain understanding of all sides’ concerns and thus seek solutions to existing obstacles.

Under Vietnam’s initiative, for the first time in CD’s history ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi was invited to attend and speak at the plenary.

The Secretary General reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and introduced the main contents of the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ). He called on countries with nuclear weapons to join the SEANWFZ  for the effective implementation of the treaty.     

During discussions, countries affirmed their support of Vietnam’s initiatives and efforts in the CD framework. They appreciated the role and contributions of regional organisations, including the ASEAN, in the field of disarmament in particular and in maintaining international peace and security in general.

On behalf of the EU, Romania voice support of ASEAN’s central role in maintaining peace and security in the region, preventing conflicts and actively seeking a solution to the Korea issue.                  

In 2019, Vietnam along with Ukraine, the UK, the US, Venezuela and Zimbabwe serve as President of the CD on a rotary basis.-VNA