H.E. Mr. Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
27 September 2008
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PHAM GIA KHIEM, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, noted that, while a trend of peace and cooperation continued to prevail, enduring local conflicts and acts of terrorism still occurred in many parts of the world, and new tensions had also emerged in Europe, including in the Balkans and the Caucasus. At the same time, the world was experiencing the worst economic uncertainty since the 1997-1998 financial crisis.
More than ever, the current situation compelled States to promote dialogue and cooperation to surmount common challenges, both man-made and natural, he said. He supported efforts to end violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, adding that the global community should also work to facilitate progress in the search for lasting peaceful solutions to nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula and in Iran, while recognizing States’ legitimate rights to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
On the follow-up to the Annapolis outcome, he reaffirmed support for the role of the Quartet, the League of Arab States and the United Nations, notably the Security Council, in finding a lasting solution in the Middle East. Such a solution should recognize the inalienable rights of Palestinians to establish an independent State. On Africa, he clearly realized the “organic” relationship between peace and development, and would work with the African Union and United Nations to find solutions to conflict on the continent.
New uncertainties were also unfolding -- climate change, energy and food shortages among them -– and he called for international cooperation. Developed countries should take measures to ensure their financial stability, implement commitments and increase technology transfer. Given such complex developments, the United Nations had a role to play in finding solutions. To that end, he called for strengthening the Organization, notably by democratic and comprehensive reform of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and specialized agencies. Viet Nam would contribute to such efforts to make the Organization more responsive. In his own country, the Government was working to carry out the “One UN” initiative, and he hoped the experience implementing that pilot reform programme would be useful to other aid recipients.
He said Viet Nam seriously observed its commitments in addressing global issues, and strongly supported the Bali road map to address climate change beyond 2012. Despite natural disasters and epidemics, Viet Nam was honouring its pledge to maintain rice exports of 4 million tons a year. Also, 2008 was the first year Viet Nam had assumed responsibilities as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Desiring to make greater contributions to the maintenance of peace and security, his country had participated in the Council as a responsible member, and would continue to uphold the principles enshrined in the Charter.
Concluding, he said that, with trust in the power of people’s will, he was strongly confident that the global community would overcome new challenges.