Against the backdrop of the “extraordinary” circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, “global and regional multilateral mechanisms must be strengthened”, the President of Viet Nam told the high-level debate of UN General Assembly on Thursday.
Although the leaders of Member States have been unable to gather in person for the General Debate, President Nguyen Phu Trong said that “does not diminish our resolve and ability to deliberate and seek solutions for issues of common concern”.
In a pre-recorded video address to the Assembly’s annual debate, being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said the UN must serve as the “incubator” for multilateral cooperation initiatives for peace, development and prosperity.
“Further reforms should be undertaken to transform the UN into a stronger and more effective Organization that can fulfill its role of harmonizing the interests and behaviors of States in the face of the monumental changes of our time”, elaborated the President.
Viet Nam’s Head of State stated that the world must be “resolute and perseverant” in advancing cooperation to counter conflict and hostility.
“We must choose dialogue over confrontation, and peaceful settlement of disputes over unilateral acts of imposition”, he underscored, calling for the removal of unilateral sanctions that adversely affect livelihoods and socio-economic development.
The President maintained that COVID-19 serves as “a stern warning” that stronger commitments and actions are needed to promote “sustainable, inclusive and human-centered development” and that the 2030 Agenda should be harnessed to recover from the pandemic.
“Policies and actions should have the interest of our people at the heart, so that no one, and no country, will be left behind”, he asserted, adding that developing countries should receive financial assistance, technological and commercial facilitation to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A country on the rise
Once a poor and backward country “ravaged by war, strangled by embargo”, today Viet Nam has emerged as a middle-income developing country with the goal of becoming “a high-income industrial country by 2045”, its leader told the Assembly.
“We have successfully contained the pandemic while promoting social and economic development”, he attested. “Out of international solidarity and with the understanding that the pandemic is only defeated when we all win, Viet Nam has engaged in cooperation and experience sharing with many countries, including support provided to those worst affected by the pandemic and to the common international efforts”.
In pursuit of a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification of relations, and as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the 2020 – 2021, Viet Nam is promoting dialogue, de-escalation of tensions and fair solutions to regional and global peace.
Championing multilateralism and the respect for international law and the UN Charter, the Head of State assured, “we are duty-bound to strengthen and reinvigorate the world’s largest multilateral organization, particularly in face of the immense challenges and opportunities of the 21st century”.