Vietnam successfully completes UN role: foreign ministry

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Vietnam’s completion of its term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council has marked a major achievement for the country’s foreign policy.


Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem (L) chairs a UN Security Council’s session on “Women, Peace, and Security” in October 2009

Vietnam completed its two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council on December 31, twice chairing the UN’s most powerful body, a major achievement for the country’s foreign policy, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said.

“Even though it was [our] first time on the council, we feel we have done a pretty good job,” he told the media earlier this week.

“The biggest challenge in the past two years was that the world saw more conflicts and international issues have become much more complex.”

In the 2007-09 term, Vietnam attended more than 1,500 meetings of the council and passed 113 items on the agenda.

Minh said Vietnam has “successfully put forward its voice” in dealing with international matters, such as the North Korea and Iran nuclear programs and conflicts in the Middle East, Kosovo, and Myanmar.

It presided over the preparation and presentation of a report on the UN Security Council’s activities in 2008-09, made preparations for an international conference on the use of nuclear energy and the 10-year anniversary of implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals expected in 2010.

As a country which has gone through wars and suffered from sanctions in the past, Vietnam believes in dealing with conflicts using peaceful negotiations and imposing sanctions only if necessary to protect the lives of innocent citizens, Minh said.

The experience it gained in the last two years would be helpful since Vietnam assumes the ASEAN presidency this year, he added.

The Security Council is responsible for maintaining peace and international security, and has 10 nonpermanent members serving for two-year periods.

It can take countries years to lobby for a seat in the council.

Reported by Huong Le

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