|By Bui Thanh Son - Minister of Foreign Affairs |
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has actively coordinated with ministries, agencies, and sectors to take the lead in implementing economic diplomacy and healthcare diplomacy while mobilising and enlisting the timely support of the international community and overseas Vietnamese for vaccines, biological products, medical equipment, and resources for treatment, prevention, and safe adaptation to the pandemic.
At the same time, the diplomatic sector in 2021 contributed strongly to promoting to the world the vivid image of an independent, self-reliant, innovative, dynamic, and creative Vietnam which is rich in identity and tradition and is a faithful friend and a reliable partner. Diplomacy has explored many online and offline methods and many other forms to deploy activities widely in all fields of bilateral, multilateral, political, border and territory, economy, culture, citizen protection, overseas Vietnamese work, and foreign affairs information.
In 2021, the relationship between Vietnam and its partners saw strong development quantitatively and qualitatively, with an increase in political trust and interlaced interests, especially with neighbouring countries, traditional friends, strategic partners, and comprehensive partners.
Multilaterally, the leaders of the Party, state, government, and the National Assembly, and leaders of our ministries, agencies, and sectors have participated in many outstanding multilateral events in the region and the wider world, making active and responsible contributions to the common work of the international community. Such events included the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Boao Forum for Asia, the International Conference on the Future of Asia, COP26, the 42nd ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, and the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
The 13th National Party Congress clearly indicated the task of continuing to promote the pioneering role of foreign affairs in the realisation of three goals: creating and maintaining the environment, peace and stability; mobilising external resources for national development; and enhancing the country’s status and prestige.
The country’s foreign affairs and the diplomatic sector’s activities in particular are being implemented in the new strategic context. The basis for this perception comes from the new strategic task, from the new stature and position of the country, and from the changes in the international situation.
The highest objective of foreign affairs is to actively and adequately contribute to the successful implementation of the country’s three strategic development goals until 2025, 2030, and 2045.
The requirements for foreign affairs and diplomacy are higher in quality and efficiency, more extensive in fields and participating forces, more closely synchronised in coordination, and more active in development. The tasks of the MoFA will inevitably be more closely linked with the key tasks of ministries, sectors, and localities. The coordination process will need to meet new criteria for content and timing, in the spirit of being proactive, comprehensive, far-reaching, flexible, and effective.
On the basis of the foreign policy of the 13th National Party Congress and the conclusion of the National Foreign Relations Conference, key tasks of the diplomatic sector in 2022 and the following years have been set out.
Firstly, diplomacy must continue to be a pioneer in creating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for national development, continuing to bring the relationship between our country and partners into depth and effectiveness, with a rise in political trust and interlaced interests; maximising similarities on the principle of maintaining independence and self-reliance; and resolutely and persistently defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Secondly, promoting diplomacy for development is a central task, creating new and powerful changes in mindset and performance in a creative and focal manner. It is necessary to focus on new fields and directions; make stronger changes in economic cooperation, science, technology, education, labour, and people-to-people exchanges; and fight against climate change.
Also, it is necessary to formulate and implement a new directive of the Party Secretariat on economic diplomacy for national development until 2030 in the direction of taking the people, businesses, and localities as the major concern. The diplomatic sector must continue to take the lead in advising on guidelines, policies and implementing foreign policy in service of pandemic prevention, and socioeconomic recovery and development.
Thirdly, the diplomatic sector must continue boosting and promoting multilateral diplomacy in line with the country’s new position and strength. It must also actively contribute to the ASEAN Community; increasing participation of Vietnam within the framework of the UN, the Mekong Sub-Region, APEC, and Asia–Europe Meeting, while proactively promoting effective substantive cooperation with other multilateral mechanisms such as the G20, G7, and the World Economic Forum.
Next, the diplomatic sector will also comprehensively and strongly deploy overseas Vietnamese work in the spirit of Resolution No.36 and Conclusion No.12 on overseas Vietnamese work. It is also necessary to carry out the Cultural Diplomacy Strategy until 2030, promote the recognition of heritages and titles, and further cooperate with UNESCO and the country’s partners in sci-tech and education.
Furthermore, it is necessary to strengthen research, forecast and strategic advice on foreign affairs, especially on issues with direct and long-term impacts on the country’s security and development, and immediate urgent issues such as pandemic prevention and control, and economic recovery.
Finally, we must step up the building of a professional, comprehensive, and modern diplomatic sector; and develop diplomats with solid political spirit, intelligence, competence, expertise, and innovative thinking. Simultaneously, it is necessary to continue improving coordination between external channels and agencies, promoting the MoFA’s role as the coordinating agency for external activities of ministries, sectors, and localities in order to ensure the principle of unified management of foreign affairs.