Welcoming the adoption of the bold new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam told Member States today that “to transform our world, the United Nations needs to transform itself,” stressing that the work of the General Assembly needs to be revitalized to make it more focused, efficient and relevant.
“The Security Council needs to be more representative, democratic, transparent and effective,” Nguyen Phuong Nga, said, also noting that the UN development system needs to be strengthened. Moreover, institutional reforms must be carried out alongside innovations in substance, while ensuring a balance among various aspects of the Organization’s work.
Experience with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had shown that peace and stability are prerequisites for sustainable development. “It is incumbent upon States to do their utmost to ensure peace and security at the national, regional and international levels,” she stressed, but added that people must be at the centre of the new 2030 Agenda. She called on developed countries to assist developing nations in the implementation of that framework, especially in the areas of financing, technology transfer and human resource development. She also supported South-South cooperation activities.
She went on to say that as a “beacon of hope,” the United Nations has played an increasingly important role in maintaining peace and security, protecting and promoting human rights and advancing development and progress. Welcoming progress on the Iranian nuclear issue, and in normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, she nonetheless expressed concern that terrorism, violent extremism and religious and ethnic intolerance threatened regional and international peace and security.
Among other challenges she addressed were poverty, discrimination, humanitarian crises and climate change, which threatened the livelihoods of billions of people and the existence of many countries.
Stressing that Viet Nam had immediately associated itself with the Organization’s values after it gained independence from almost a century of colonialism, she said it had always placed people at the centre of development. As part of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Viet Nam continued to work towards a thriving and stable region.