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The 71st session of the UN General Assembly: Commitment to Action
17/10/2016 18:11' Send Print
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VOV

Continue affirming the important role

71 years ago, the United Nations was born with the goal of building a peaceful, a more stable world with tight cohesion between countries. Today, that goal is still the noble mission of this organization. The UN remains the forum for countries to speak out their opinions. The sessions of the UN General Assembly provides an opportunity for informal meetings, on-the-sidelines meetings, or in the party rooms where leaders find solutions to outstanding problems of the world. That's why the annual September session of the UN General Assembly is always the biggest and most anticipated political event in the year.

Taking place at a time when the world is facing many challenges such as entrenched conflicts, increased terrorism, extreme poverty, refugee crises, and climate change, the 71st session of the UN General Assembly this year addressed by 100 Heads of States with different nuances; all were aimed to shape the common response of the UN family towards challenges. The highlight of the summit this time was on-the-sideline events such as the Summit of Migration and Refugees, the Summit on Antimicrobial Resistance, the ratification for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to take effect.

During the week-long working, leaders reached many important consensus. First of all was the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migration-a document strictly implemented will create a stable and more reliable mechanism for the Member States of the United Nations to join hands in resolving the issue of migrants and refugees in the world.

At a special event to accelerate the process to bring the Paris Agreement on Climate Change into force, 31 additional countries deposited their instruments of ratification for the Agreement to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, bringing the total to 60, exceeding the required minimum of 55 countries to take effect in 2016.

At the Summit on Antimicrobial Resistance, Heads of States for the first time committed to coordinate actions in response to antimicrobial resistance which threatens the lives of 10 million people in 2050 if not corrected.

A highlight of this year's session was all countries underscored the need to continue to reform the Security Council, General Assembly, the development system of the United Nations to enhance the UN efficiency in the 21st century, ensure democracy, transparency, the equal and universal rights of all the countries in the process of discussion, consultation, resolutions and decisions of the United Nations. This is also final stage of the candidates running for position of secretary general of the UN.

Contributing to the cause of peace, cooperation and development in the world

Attending activities of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, at a high-level meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh expressed the belief that major orientations of the overall development adopted by the UN in 2015, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Plan of Action on Finance for Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction would not only address and respond to challenges ahead, but also create a new momentum for more substantive, and effective partnership, and a more sustainable basis for peace and common prosperity.

Highly appreciating the theme “The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World,” the Deputy Prime Minister expressed confidence that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) would be successfully implemented. However, according to Deputy Prime Minister, the world is facing difficulties and challenges. The world economic recovery has been slow and uneven; protectionism has increased in big economies; more challenges have been found on food security, water security, depletion of resources, climate change, natural disasters, epidemics, humanitarian crises and migration. All these challenges have caused negative impacts on developing countries. Development and income gaps have widened on global, regional and even national scales. At the same time, tension, instability, violence, conflict, and terrorism have become more complicated in many parts of the world. Emphasis on force, use or threat to use force in international relations continue to pose danger to the independence and sovereignty of many countries as well as peace and security in the world. Therefore, countries should make joint efforts to “increase multilateralism, and abide by international law for peace, cooperation and development.”

Multilateral cooperation plays an increasingly important role in international relations. This is shown in the rise in the number of multilateral institutions and cooperation trends, multiple layered linkage, and mixed forms. Multilateral approach to jointly address common problems and challenges has become an effective and sustainable measure because no one country, no matter how large and small, rich and poor it is, can cope with issues alone, especially when the issues of peace, security and development are closely linked, intertwined and interrelated. At the same time, multilateral institutions are also the places for counties to harmonize interests, manage disagreements, and disputes and expand the development space. Therefore, Viet Nam supports the promotion of multilateralism and enhanced operational efficiency of multilateral mechanisms, especially the United Nations. Viet Nam highly appreciates the role and activities of the United Nations in coordinating international efforts to respond to global challenges and to create space for the development of cooperation. No other organization can surpass the United Nations in promoting partnerships and supporting the successful implementation of SDGs.

Within the framework of the 71st session the UN General Assembly, at the meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh also sent out the message: Viet Nam has always put people at the center of the development process.

Emphasizing the importance of the Declaration on the Right to Development, Deputy Prime Minister said that the Declaration became the inspiration of many important international development framework. Looking back at the past 30 years, we can see that nations in the world have made many achievements in development, but there remain barriers to development and rights to development for people in many parts of the world.

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that as development is a comprehensive process, the right to development should be approached synchronously and from many aspects. Full access to the right to development is the common aspiration of the people. To realize this goal, real change can only be possible with cooperation and participation of all stakeholders. As a developing country, Viet Nam has always striven to ensure development right for all people. Viet Nam always place people at the center of the development process, integrating the right to development into policy, especially policies related to all three pillars of sustainable development, that is social policy, economic policy and environmental policy. Viet Nam has constantly exerted efforts to create an enabling environment for vulnerable groups and ensure equal development opportunities to all people.

In the spirit of willing to work with members of the United Nations, contribute to the development system of the United Nations in line with the new situation, Viet Nam is committed to seriously implement the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, in collaboration with the United Nations build a Join Viet Nam-United Nations Strategy for the period of 2017-2021. Besides, Viet Nam advocates multilateralism and international law, and will make constant efforts to contribute to the cause of peace, cooperation and development in the world. In that spirit, Viet Nam decides to run for a non-permanent seat at the Security Council during the 2020-2021 tenure, and enhance its participation in the UN peacekeeping force.

Synthesized by Phuong Tra