Peacekeeping forces of Vietnam and the United Nations in South Sudan. Source: peacekeeping.un.org
Becoming a member of the United Nations in 1977 and already having sat on the UNSC as a non-permanent member for the 2008-2009 tenure, Vietnam has been a very consistent supporter of multilateralism which is what the UN stands for.
Over the last years, Vietnam has been taking active part in the common work of the international community, filling in increasingly important positions. In 2008-2009, Vietnam proved to be a responsible nation agreeing on sensitive issues with partners.
“Vietnam lived up to its important role, contributed to the UNSC’s landmark resolution on women, peace, and security,” Komal Malhotra, UN resident co-ordinator in Vietnam, told VIR.
According to Komal, Vietnam has a solid commitment to continue to increase its role in global peacekeeping. Vietnam has also participated in the work of the UN Human Rights Council in 2014-2016. By the end of last year, Vietnam was elected to the UNCITRAL – the UN Commission on International Trade Law – which once again is a new role for a six-year term, starting this year.
“This shows Vietnam's commitment to integration, particularly trade integration, and following international law in trade and economic matters,” Komal said.
Meanwhile, according to Le Hoai Trung, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam has suffered from decades of war and is thus a country that truly desires peace. Over the years, Vietnam has sent officers and soldiers to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
“This move is in accordance with chapters 6 and 7 of the UN Charter. Vietnam’s participation in such activities will express our responsibility as a member state of the UN, and the willingness of a nation which wishes to contribute to peace in the world,” Trung told VIR.
“Vietnam has always been a positive and responsible member of the world. To run for the seat on the Security Council, Vietnam has chosen the theme of sustainable peace, which is highly appreciated by international partners,” Trung stated.
In 2020, Vietnam will be the chair of the ASEAN. If Vietnam is chosen to be a non-permanent member of the UNSC, 2020 will be an important year, particularly in the context of increasing global challenges.
“Vietnam will have a huge responsibility, partly to ensure synergy between global government bodies like the UN and regional bodies like the ASEAN,” Komal said.
“We count on Vietnam to play an important and constructive role on major issues that the council is dealing with, which include the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK),” Komal added.
Meanwhile, as a neighbour country and also a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Indonesia believes that the two countries can co-operate with each other to handle the world’s and the region’s major issues.
“Vietnam has shown the world its impressive achievements in economic and social development. With Vietnam’s experiences, I believe, it will do well in its positions in 2020,” Ibnu Hadi, Indonesian ambassador to Vietnam said, hinting at Vietnam’s potential role of chair of the ASEAN.
“We will do our utmost to successfully fulfill all duties as a UNSC member and ASEAN chairman,” stated Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), this decision stems from the country’s foreign policy of peace, independence, and self-reliance, as well as its respect for and strong commitment to the noble purposes and principles of the United Nations.
“It is also our wish to make greater contributions to the joint efforts of the international community in upholding international law and the United Nations Charter, and promoting the role of the United Nations and multilateral institutions, especially in maintaining international peace and security,” said a MOFA document on Vietnam’s membership of the UNSC.