Nations must strongly commit themselves to the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter, particularly those of peaceful settlement and non-use of force as well as respect for the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, when settling disputes, a senior Vietnamese official said.

Pham Quang Vinh, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam was speaking at the General Debate of the 67 th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on October 1. The Debate was themed “"bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means".

“We must promote dialogue and the use of peaceful means in the settlement of disputes, particularly utilising such roles of international and regional organisations and international legal mechanisms. On the other hand, we must not accept the imposition of sanctions like those against Cuba that this very Assembly has repeatedly called for removal.

International law is an intellectual creation of the civilised world, which all states must respect and abide by in good faith. When international law is enforced, the risk of conflict will be minimised, a sustained peace will be better secured,” the Vietnamese official said.

He also noted that Vietnam welcomes the theme as it is of particular relevance in today’s world, when instability and conflicts continue in various regions, especially in North Africa and the Middle East and new, complicated developments are emerging in Asia-Pacific, a dynamically growing and important region of the world.

He went on in his speech: “We believe that the successful outcome of this General Assembly will significantly contribute to the primary goal of the UN in maintaining world peace and security.”

Vinh affirmed that Vietnam welcomes the important outcomes of the recent High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law, which reaffirmed that rule of law is fundamental to political dialogue and cooperation among states and the indispensable bedrock for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.

Compliance with international law is an essential principle guiding the policies and actions of each nation, as well as the joint endeavours of the international community,” he underscored.

As the 30th anniversary of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea will be celebrated later this year, Vietnam asserts its strong commitment to and compliance with this "constitution of the seas", which contributes to the maintenance of peace, stability, maritime security, safety and cooperation.

Vinh commended the work done by the UN, especially in helping settle regional disputes and conflicts by peaceful means, including through the strengthened use of peacekeeping operations.

He expressed hopes that the organisation will continue to build further upon its experience in this area and promote a culture of peace and dialogue to better resolve the on-going conflicts and prevent the eruption of new ones.

The Vietnamese official referred to the increasingly important role of regional organisations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which continues to play a central role in the regional architecture and helps promote peace, stability and security in the region, including maritime security in the East Sea .

“Vietnam fully supports ASEAN’s Six-point Principles on the East Sea, which further reaffirms the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, respect for international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS, the full implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) as well as the early achievement of a Code of Conduct (COC).”

He stated that peace is the prerequisite for development and that sustainable development includes the end of poverty and promotion of social justice, and the elimination of inequality in international relations that help resolve the root causes of conflicts and lay the foundation for a sustained peace.

The UN needs to strengthen global partnerships for development and take the lead in an inclusive process to formulate the post-2015 global development agenda, including the proposed sustainable development goals, Vinh said.

He enphasised since joining the UN 35 years ago, Vietnam has always been an active and responsible member of the organisation, striving for peace, national independence, democracy, social progress and prosperity for all nations.

Building on its 25 years of reform and important accomplishments, Vietnam has been working towards a growth model that links economic development with social progress and environmental protection.

In face of recent global economic difficulties, it has taken effective steps to maintain macro-economic stability and ensure social security and continues to strengthen the rule of law and build a State of the people, by the people and for the people.

He went on to note “ Vietnam always supports efforts to enhance the role and effectiveness of the UN to enable the organisation to become the true center for harmonising the actions of nations in the attainment of the common goals as enshrined in its Charter.-VNA