UN ready to support VN as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council
VGP – The United Nations (UN) stands ready to provide full support to Viet Nam and to all the countries that are elected as the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.
Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam
Viet Nam has been elected as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure as the only representative of the Asia-Pacific region. What is the significance of the event?
Mr. Kamal Malhotra: I think it is a significant event because it means that Viet Nam has got credibility and is trusted by all the countries in the UN and the Asia-Pacific region to represent the region and to represent them as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council on some extremely challenging questions and a very challenging time in international affairs.
I think it is very positive indications for Viet Nam and of course also the very positive indications for your permanent representatives who must work very hard as well as other diplomats and the previous permanent representatives.
How do you assess Viet Nam’s preparations for running for the position as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure?
Mr. Kamal Malhotra: This is not the first time that Viet Nam is running so Viet Nam was a non-permanent member about 10 years ago so it has experiences and it knows what this role means.
However, the context now is much more challenging than 10 years ago and the UN Security Council is much more divided than it was 10 years ago so I am sure Viet Nam has been preparing for this. I know that Viet Nam has been holing many workshops getting resource people and experts to come here and share knowledge with them.
The Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam has hosted a number of events and so Viet Nam has been preparing itself in term of identifying priorities. But of course, it can only do so much till the vote. It is only after the vote that the real preparations take off. So there of course, the UN stands ready to provide full support to Viet Nam and to all the countries that are elected.
Would you please refer to challenges and opportunities for Viet Nam after winning the non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council amid surging unilateralism?
Mr. Kamal Malhotra: I’ve already said that the challenges that is a challenging global context where the multilateralism has been challenged. So one of Viet Nam’s most important attributes is that it has been strong consistent support of multilateralism. It means to continue to demonstrate that in all its voting patterns and all its contributions to the UN Security Council when it has been elected.
Another big challenge is what I have said a very divided UN Security Council so in fact Viet Nam’s ability to reach divides across the different sides. I think it will be a major value-added of Viet Nam in the coming period.
The fact that Viet Nam is going to be the Chair of ASEAN in 2020. It is an opportunity because it allows much critical coherence complementarities between the global role of the UN and the regional role of bodies like ASEAN. And I think Viet Nam will have to play a key role in ensuring complementarities, coherence, consistency and synergy between these two roles.
I think it is a huge opportunity for Viet Nam to contribute positively to major conflicts in the Asia Pacific region which have globally impacts. Denuclearization in Korean Peninsular is one such challenge. And Viet Nam has already shown its ability and credibility to host the DPRK-U.S. Summit between President Trump and Leader Kim.
This issue is not gone in a day for UN Security Council agenda. So Viet Nam has another opportunity to show its positive and constructive contributions to this very challenging issue.
There is big issue of the humanitarian crisis and political challenges in Myanmar to do with Rohingya refugee population which is both a critical issue for ASEAN but also the critical issue for the UN Security Council.
Viet Nam, in both of the roles as Chair of ASEAN and the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, will have to find a way that both bodies are dealing with this in a consistent faction. It is contributing positively given its trusted relationship with Myanmar for many years to this particular big challenge.
So there are many, many roles for Viet Nam. There is also the role of peacekeeping where Viet Nam has been contributing much more than previously. I think it has more credibility now to contribute to the debates on peacekeeping in the UN Security Council. But I think in the next two years Viet Nam needs to step up its contributions to UN peacekeeping so that its credibility in this area and the experiences in this area will grow.
By Thuy Dung