Wednesday, 22/1/2020
Solutions to prevent and respond to current non-traditional threats to security in Vietnam
26/1/2017 22:43' Send Print
Natural disasters threaten the peaceful life of the people. Photo: VNA

It is from the above characteristics, for each non-traditional security threat there must be corresponding solutions to organize force and implementer, resources and working methods. It is difficult to apply specific measures in prevention, response and control of one non-traditional security threat to other. This article will only mention common solutions to prevent, control and respond to non-traditional security threats in the specific conditions of our country.

Raising awareness about non-traditional threats to human security, public security, national security and human security

Documents of the Party mentioned recent non-traditional security threats with some special characteristics as follows: 1. Our Party has always put non-traditional security threats alongside traditional one, in which tradition security threats though are still potential and manifest in different forms and levels mainly follow peaceful trend while non-traditional security threats have fiercely emerged; 2. Non-traditional security challenges are developing complicatedly due to the negative side of globalization, market economy, the use of science-technology; 3. Forms of non-traditional security threats are human security, financial security, energy security, food security, climate change, natural disasters, and epidemics. The scale of non-traditional security threats will be expanded with complex development requiring continued monitoring, research and timely supplement; 4. Non-traditional security threats are not specific to Vietnam but global; 5. A number of non-traditional security threats can transform into traditional ones, such as ethnic conflict, religious conflict, terrorism, and political unrest.

On the basis of the Party viewpoints, it is necessary to make the political system, and stakeholders responsible for administration of non-traditional security threats, business community and the entire people to be fully aware of challenges, impacts, the effect of non-traditional security threats to human life, community and national security. On the domain of human security, non-traditional security threats have impacts on physical and mental health of human beings, such as spreading of epidemic, trafficking and use of drugs, trafficking in people (children, women, illegal immigrants). On the domain of community security and national security, non-traditional security emerges due to threats of food shortages, water resources and energy shortages and disputes, high-tech and cyber security crimes, financial speculation and security. On the domain of national sovereignty, non-tradition security issues create a direct threat, capable of transforming into the traditional security threats. On the domain of global security, the issues of maritime and aviation security, energy security, financial security, cross-border migration, dangerous disease transmitted in human and plants are transnational, no single country can solve on their own.

Prompted by that understanding, each stakeholder with their responsibility must be prepared, proactively prevent and respond to non-tradition security challenges. Many non-traditional security problems arise from artificial factors, i.e. caused by people accidentally or intentionally, and in their turn pose threats to human security, community security, national security and the broader human security. Therefore, prevention of non-tradition security threats is a very basic task, which is done by raising awareness and responsibility of each individual and society, through specific actions in everyday life, such as heightening sense of responsibility to protect the ecological environment, adopting sober attitude before negative impacts of the market economy and globalization, making wise choice of scientific and technological advances, respecting different values and shared interests between community groups with different levels of living standards. On the basis of enhanced awareness, effective response to non-traditional security threats can be made by building synchronous institutions, mechanisms, policies, apparatus and specific people.

Another issue of importance in raising awareness about non-tradition security challenges is to make people reflect on threats to human security, public security, national security and human security. For human security, the non-traditional security threats affect adult healthy maturity guaranteed by security and welfare, meaning threaten the right to development of human in the modern world. For public security, the non-tradition security threats endanger stability and development of the community, even degrade or disintegrate the whole community due to separation, conflict, epidemic, injury, death, lack of minimum security conditions for development, impact of environmental hazards, terrorism, ethnic and religious conflicts. For national security, non-traditional security issues either at low or high level, directly or indirectly threaten the national security, from environment security, energy security, cyber security, food security, maritime security, cultural security to ethnic issue, religious issue, terrorism, financial security, and cross-border migration.

Raising awareness for different components of society on non-tradition security threats can be made in many different ways. First is through the media including radio and television, print and the internet to raise public awareness. The second form is to integrate education and raising awareness of people and businesses on non-traditional security issues into programs, and projects on economic, cultural, social development and protection of ecological environment.

Proactively and actively preventing and responding to non-tradition security threats

First, proactively and actively invest in sustainable development, constantly improve the material and spirit life of the people, take care of ecological environment protecting. Many non-traditional security threats arise from counter-developmental condition or unsustainable development. Here, the solution to prevent and respond to non-traditional security threats must be integrated into the each strategy, program, plan and development project. Link economic growth to social progress and equity in each step and development policy; control social stratification; actively eradicate hunger and poverty and care for people through the multilayer social security system, flexibly support each other to facilitate people’s healthy development.

Second, categorize each field of non-traditional security with different characteristics in order to determine relevant mechanism and mode of non-traditional security administration. For non-traditional security threats arising from market risks (such as financial security), proactive response starts with perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy, restructuring the State functions, in order to minimize negative impacts of the market when in crisis. For non-traditional security threats arising from the downside of globalization, proactive and positive steps are promoting international cooperation to prevent and respond immediately in the country where the threats arise and spread (such as cyber security, cross-border migration, terrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in women and children). For non-traditional security threats arising from the use of science-technology (such as cyber security, some diseases and epidemics), the steps to be taken are building teams of experts with high-tech level, capable of preventing and responding effectively to the threats. For non-traditional security threats arising from resource, energy, water disputes, steps to be taken include developing an alternative energy strategy, minimizing exploitation of natural resources, negotiating with partners in shared exploitation and effective use of resources. For non-traditional security threats posed by environmental catastrophe, climate change due to its adversity, proactive and actively steps are to build warning systems, forecast, prevention and forces, both local and professional force, capable of providing response, salvage and rescue, dealing with environmental crises, and natural disasters.

Third, proactively, actively improve the institutions for non-traditional security control, improve the compatibility of Vietnam’s law with international law on the prevention of and response to non-traditional security challenges. Conduct research, improve the system of institutions, legal framework of prevention and response to non-traditional security, challenges especially with emerging problems that potentially endanger national security, such as cyber security, financial security, water security, maritime and aviation security, cross-border migration and ethnic and religious issues. For security problems that have similarities among countries due to their common interests, it is necessary to identify gaps between Vietnam’s law with international law on each field to modify and supplement accordingly, especially legislation on prevention of drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering; quarantine, response to epidemic; activities which threaten cyber security, maritime security, aviation security, fisheries security, water security, anti-piracy. These are the legal basis to facilitate joint efforts in prevention and fighting and mutual legal assistance when faced with non-traditional security challenges. For sensitive, complex non-traditional security issues, each country has its own approaches and interpretation due to its own interests. It is difficult to adjust to domestic legislation to ensure compatibility (such as water resource security, fishery security, cyber security, anti-terrorists. It is necessary to actively promote proactive efforts for cooperation and fighting in both bilateral and multilateral relations on the basis of protecting national interests and sharing common interests with other countries.

Fourth, actively build forces, invest resources for non-tradition security control in each field, each area, each specific content; frequently carry out drills to avoid passivity when abnormal situations occurs. Build up specialized force on non-tradition security control with sufficient quantity, synchronous structure, who are qualified, capable of preventing, warning, responding and adapting to each non-tradition security threat. Plan and redeploy non-tradition security forces in each branch and each field as a whole to ensure national security strategy in the new stage. The specialized force must be professionally qualified, good at foreign languages, with firm political acumen and knowledge on international integration. Develop scenarios and conduct regular exercises to respond to non-tradition security threats, such as anti-drug trafficking, easing political unrest, handling "hot spots” capable of transforming into conflicts, response to storms, floods, spreading epidemics in human and animals and plants. These scenarios should be prepared into various schemes, and drills periodically conducted to develop skills in organizing force, distribution of resources and methods, to avoid passivity when abnormal situations occur.

Fifth, maintain political security and handling of ethnic issues and religious wisely, defuse social conflicts, prevent the possibility of conflict transformation. Today, hostile forces shift from mainly armed sabotage to non-armed measures, and armed intervention when necessary. Therefore, some of the non-traditional security problems particularly ethnic and religious issues, are often taken advantage of to cause political unrest, if the problems are not handled wisely they will spark armed conflicts, military intervention from the outside and separatism. So, it is necessary to firmly grasp and foster solidarity, respect and mutual help for develop while fighting against manifestation of narrow-minded nationalism, and resolutely prevent and combat all manifestations of separatism on the outset. Respect for freedom of belief and religion and freedom of no belief and religion of the people while fighting against manifestations of exploiting religious for non-religious purposes.

Sixth, proactively and actively promote international cooperation in preventing and responding to non-tradition security threats. Select each regional or bilateral multilateral cooperation framework with specific content for Vietnam to participate. Priorities are given to international cooperation on control of non-traditional security risks that directly threaten Vietnam’s national security.

Promoting the synergy of the entire political system and society in control of non-tradition security threats

First, strengthen the leadership of Party organizations at all levels on non-traditional security control. The Party's thematic resolutions on each issue, such as energy, finance-banking, resources, response to climate change, development of agriculture, industry, labor, national security must take into consideration and account for non-traditional security challenges.

Second, continue to improve State management of non-traditional security, from building institutional systems to organization of apparatus, staff and regime. Build specialized force for non-traditional security management in different areas of social life, overcome overlap in management to facilitate state agencies carry out in-depth research, provide professional advice and continuously improve operational capabilities. Early legalize the branch of non-traditional security management as a basis for building the apparatus, force, investment in infrastructure in a professional manner. The specialized force must obtain graduate and post-graduate education; be trained regularly; be engaged international integration to learn experience. Constantly improve the regime and policies for cadres and public employees non-traditional security management to feel assured, practice righteousness and professional ethics.

Third, bring into play the role of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, socio-political organizations, social organizations in preventing and responding to non-tradition security threats. The Vietnam Fatherland Front with their role and functions in the new stage must unite and rally social forces to prevent and cope with non-traditional security challenges. There are issues of concern as follows: provide critical comments and opinions to strategies, programs and projects which are capable of creating non-traditional security threats, ensuring sustainable development; set up self-regulatory community organizations for on-the-spot response to floods, epidemics, drug trafficking, transborder trafficking in women and children, and water resources security.

Fourth, the business community has a very important role in preventing and responding to non-traditional security threats. Many non-traditional security threats arise as the result of the negative impacts of the market economy, and the causes to this come from businesses themselves; therefore, prevention must start from the businesses. Many non-traditional security threats come as result of lack of awareness and responsibility of businesses, such as running after profits in the financial business regardless of national financial security; maximizing the benefits of exploitation of land resources for industry and service development without paying attention to food security; reducing investment in industrial waste treatment leading to water and air pollution. Hence, building legal mandatory regulations for businesses to prevent and participate in responding to non-traditional security threat is indispensable in overall solutions.

Fifth, attract the participation of citizens in preventing and responding to non-tradition security threats. If people, to a certain extent, are not fully aware of the risks of non-traditional security which will cause threats such as epidemics, virus transmission through personal computers, en mass withdrawals of money from banks as "crowd" effect when they lack information on the safety of the banking system. So, in the new conditions, it is necessary to educate people of responsibility in face of non-traditional security challenges, be vigilant before the events which they can participate and disseminate or worsen non-tradition security menace unconsciously. At the same time, develop mechanisms for people to participate consciously, proactively in responding to non-traditional security threats and challenges with responsibility.

Expanding and strengthening international cooperation in preventing, controlling and responding to non-tradition security threats

First of all, fully grasp the viewpoints of our Party: proactively and actively cooperate with other countries and regional and international organizations in coping with challenges to non-traditional security, especially in climate change; improve the effectiveness of external activities, continue to deepen international relations on the basis of maintaining independence, autonomy and maximize internal resources, preservation and promotion of national identity; actively prevent and mitigate negative effects of international integration. Join bilateral and multilateral security cooperation mechanisms on the basis of maximizing the protection of national interests, while respecting fundamental principles of international law.

Second, unify awareness, build trust and complete institutional framework between the countries on non-traditional security - the basis for effective international cooperation. Despite debates among scholars and political circles, until now understand of non-traditional security are widely different, some countries include it in the list of non-traditional security but other countries do not agree. Therefore, regional organizations, and international organizations should soon agree on a definition and propose a list of priorities for multilateral cooperation to prevent and respond to traditional security challenges. After reaching a common understanding, countries and international organizations should collaborate to shape regulatory institutional framework and legislation in order to bind the countries in preventing and responding to non-traditional to overcoming the practice of issuing statements and less effectiveness in real life.

Third, be proactive and active in international integration, including cooperation on preventing and responding to non-tradition security threats through mechanisms and multilayer, diverse, flexible methods. That is, a mechanism for cooperation in the framework of the United Nations of which Vietnam is an active and responsible member, and has signed many international treaties on different fields, especially the commitments to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); mechanism for regional cooperation in the framework of ASEAN or ASEAN and its partners (called ASEAN +) on non-tradition security issues arise in areas which Vietnam has signed or agreed in joint statements of the organization; bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and other developed countries to take advantage of financial resources, science-technology, human resource training, experience sharing in institutional building policies to prevent and respond to non-traditional security threats; cooperate with neighboring countries to tackle drug trafficking, illegal migration, maritime and aviation security, water security, quarantine of animal and plants, anti-money laundering and transnational crime trafficking in women and children.

Fourth, strengthen information sharing between Vietnam and other countries on each of the non-tradition security threats through specific and effective cooperation mechanisms. Non-traditional security is transnational, so there is a need to set up mechanism to share information at national level, between the specialized agencies of countries in various fields, such as information, data on global climate change; forecast and warnings on potential environmental disasters in different areas; data of water resources, and energy in the world; information about transnational crimes which can potentially penetrate any other country from money laundering, drug production and trafficking, trafficking in women and children, high-tech crime, and terrorism. If there are good coordination mechanisms in bilateral relations or international organizations (such as Interpol, Aseanpol), the information will help detect threats early and thereby prevention and response will be more effective. Reality shows that it is not easy for one country to share information with other countries if it does not have any benefit from it. Thus, the establishment of information-sharing mechanism must be based on full awareness of their own and common interests when responding to each concrete non-traditional security threat.

Fifth, expand international cooperation on sharing scientific-technological achievements, training of human resources and mobilizing financial resources for prevention and response to non-traditional security threats. This is one of the areas in international cooperation of extremely important role in the prevention, control and response to non-traditional security challenges. First and foremost is cooperation and exchange of scientific-technology achievements and modern means capable of coping effectively with the non-traditional security challenges that any sector needs, such as assessment, forecast and warning and response to environmental change; prevention and control of high-tech crimes, financial crimes, drug trafficking; prevention and control of infectious diseases in human and animals; and prevention of terrorism. To make use of scientific and technological resources from developed countries to constantly strengthen national scientific-technological capacity for non-traditional security management. Forms of cooperation can be transfer of technology through training or through direct purchase.

Mobilizing financial resources through many different channels to prevent, control and respond to non-traditional security threats

First, the State budget financing. Annual State budget comes from tax collection, which is allocated by the National Assembly through annual financial plan to cater for recurrent expenditure and development investment, including investment in prevention and response to non-traditional security challenges. This must be considered as the main source of finance to be invested in the most essential “part” of prevention and response to natural adversity, such as floods, epidemics in human and animals; building infrastructure and specialized force for non-traditional security management, especially agencies who provide warnings, prevention, settlement, to overcome negative consequences of non-traditional security threats. As threats are occurring with higher frequency in expanding fields, spreading quickly and it is more difficult to forecast, contingency must be increased to be able to cope with these threats. It is necessary to establish the National Funds for Prevention and Response to Non-traditional Security Threats for each areas which mainly includes State budget allocation and other sources.

Secondly, corporate finance. This is a very important source of finance contributing to the prevention of and response to non-traditional security threats. Several causes to non-traditional security threats come from businesses, so the participation of enterprises in prevention and response is very important. For environmental security issues, investment in environmental technologies must be included in input costs which are tightly controlled ever since the projects start. This must be considered a priority in the selection of foreign and domestic partners and investors for awarding licenses. For energy security issue, policies must be developed to encourage enterprises to invest in clean technology, technology that uses less fuel, and strictly control the use of technology to gradually put an end to importing outdated technology that uses more fuel and pollutes the environment. For other non-traditional security issues, it is advisable to mobilize businesses to contribute finance to establish a fund for prevention and response to non-traditional security threats; participate in the form of corporate social responsibility to overcome serious consequences, environmental incidents which threaten people’s livelihood, life and property and ensure social security.

Third, build public-private partnerships to prevent and respond to non-traditional security threats. This is the commonly used method in today's world in order to connect the public sector and the private sector in a common goal of ensuring security and sustainable development. Public-private partnerships can take many different forms. They can be "Public leadership, private management" to ensure that the objective of public interest is achieved in the process of development and associated with effective application of forms of administration such as "Private investment, public use" to attract private investment in infrastructure development to prevent non-traditional security threats which is bought or hired by the state for use. This will be more economical than expensive public investment, or to avoid lost, and waste in the intermediaries; "Private investment, public use" can be used to projects using public finance in the construction phase, but when completed and put into use the project shall be transferred to private management to avoid establishing cumbersome and costly management unit; "Private sector provides supply, the State pays and controls quality" is applied to many areas in which the State does not necessarily have to set up supply units, but only pays fees and controls quality, especially in human resource training.

Fourth, finance source from extensive contributions of the people and donors. For self-regulatory communities, in face of increasingly unpredictable non-traditional security threats, it is necessary to set up funds for on-the-spot prevention and response with the contribution from the people in the form of self-management to overcome consequences of storms, floods, epidemics, drug, and free migration. For the authorities, given limitation of investment from the state, the financial support from businesses and the donors is of very important significance. Institutional system and policies must be put into place to strengthen the non-profit sector to mobilize additional finance from society for the prevention and response to non-traditional security threats. Nonprofit organizations have been very effective in the areas of prevention and response to trafficking in women and children, cross-border illegal migration, immigration due to environmental catastrophe, poverty and food shortage, HIV/ AIDS and other transmittable diseases in human, ensuring sustainable livelihoods for disadvantaged groups, strengthening communication on non-traditional security threats.

Fifth, international financial sources. As non-traditional security threats are global and transnational, there are problems that no country can solve on their own, such as climate change and sea level rise; energy security; maritime and aviation security; cyber security; food Security; and cross-border migration. So, there must be collaboration on information sharing and financial resources between countries to be able to prevent and respond effectively, especially sharing financial resources between rich and poor countries amidst unbalance development of the world. International financial resources can be in the forms of non-refundable aid, interest-free loans or low interest loans of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, IMF, ADB; mobilization from financial Carbon markets or bilateral development aid between developed countries for developing countries to serve for each goal; support packages in multilateral or regional commitments for preventing and combating climate change, sea level rise, development of communities and livelihood systems adaptable to climate change; water security; prevention of spreading epidemics, anti-piracy; and maritime and aviation security. Of course, in the process of providing aid to prevent and respond to non-traditional security threats, donors also have their own objectives to influence recipient countries and promote technological changes in favor of the capitalists, recipient countries need to recognize the duality of aid to take advantage of the positive elements and limit the negative elements.

** Assoc. Prof. Doan Minh Huan, PhDAlternate member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Editor in chief (in charge) of the Communist Review ** Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Linh Khieu, PhD Member of the Editorial Board of the Communist Review