Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VGP/Hai Minh
H.E. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
at the Ministerial Open Debate of the UN Security Council entitled
“Toward the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations: Upholding the UN Charter to Maintain International Peace and Security”
(New York, January 09, 2020)
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam.
75 years ago, founders of the United Nations instilled into the Charter their hope and aspiration to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. They enshrined in the Charter the principles of sovereign equality, respect for the political independence and territorial integrity of all states, restraint from the threat or use of force, non-interference into the internal affairs of other states, and settlement of disputes by peaceful means. These fundamental principles have become the foundation of contemporary international law guiding the friendly relations and cooperation amongst nations, and spurred the development of a comprehensive body of international law governing all areas, from non-proliferation and disarmament, promotion and protection of human rights, to trade, environment and climate change.
The history of the United Nations is living proof of the true value of the Charter. Respect for the UN Charter has been pivotal in preventing another world war, promoting peaceful solutions for conflicts all over the world, and maintaining international peace and security. Recent worrying events in the Middle East ever more underscore the utmost importance of upholding the Charter, especially principles of non-use of force, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and peaceful settlement of disputes. Disrespect for the Charter and international law, on the other hand, has been posing serious threats to international and regional peace and security and challenged the very relevance and legitimacy of the United Nations.
Today, emerging and complex global challenges make it impossible for single nations to cope with. Inequality of opportunity, unilateralism, and abandonment of multilateral efforts are among the root causes of protracted armed conflicts. Power politics, the use or threat of force, coercion, interference or aggressive actions against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states are escalating tensions in many regions.
In such difficult times, the UN Charter proves to be more relevant and essential than ever. We must act to ensure that the United Nations and its actions reflect the common interests of all member states. We must promote multilateralism and equitable relations amongst states in accordance with the UN Charter. This is the only way to maintain international peace and security, promote sustainable development, address climate change and facilitate post-conflict reconstruction, for a better, more peaceful and just world.
Viet Nam believes that States bear the primary responsibility in promoting and safeguarding adherence to the UN Charter and international law at all levels. We also believe that as the organ charged by the Charter with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council must be at the forefront to ensure respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter, and Council members must take the lead by setting good examples themselves.
In this vein, I wish to put special emphasis on three points:
First, we must reinforce our commitment to multilateralism, with the United Nations at its heart. States should make maximum use of the tools available to them under the Charter, especially in conflict prevention and peaceful settlement of international disputes. In this regard, I share entirely the view of the Secretary-General that conflict prevention and mediation are among the most important means to relief human sufferings.
Second, we should enhance the role of regional organizations, and expand their collaboration with the UN and the Security Council in the maintenance of peace and security in their respective regions and beyond. In Southeast Asia, the UN Charter was the source of inspiration for the ASEAN Charter, which has become the legal framework of a stronger, more cohesive ASEAN Community. ASEAN today has affirmed its central, indispensable role in the regional security architecture and in addressing regional challenges, maintaining regional and international peace and security.
And third, we need to ensure adherence by all states, big and small, to the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter in the planning and implementation of all development, security and defense strategies, as well as foreign policies. We must cultivate a culture and a mindset of adherence, which as history suggested, is the only way for peace to be sustained.
75 years ago, as the United Nations came into being, Viet Nam declared its independence, bearing in mind the monumental values of the Charter. Since the very early days of independence, Viet Nam many times expressed its wish to be a member of the United Nations and its willingness and commitment to uphold and adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter. As a nation heavily scarred by wars and is now on the path of reform, development and international integration, Viet Nam has profound understanding of the utmost importance of upholding the Charter in ensuring lasting peace, building an international order based on international law, and promoting friendly and equal relations among states.
As a non-permanent member of the Council and a permanent member of the United Nations, Viet Nam is strongly committed to upholding the UN Charter. In the spirit of “Partnership for Sustainable Peace”, we will spare no efforts to contribute to endeavors of the UN and the international community to ensure effective adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, for the ultimate aim of global peace, security and sustainable development.
I thank you for your attention.
I now resume my function as President of the Council./.