SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
BY H.E. MR. NGUYEN DZY NIEN, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE
OF THE 55TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
This year's General Assembly is of special significance as it takes place right after the Millennium Summit, a Summit that marks an important development of the United Nations in discharging the lofty responsibilities of the Organization and its member states towards the future of humankind. The Millennium Declaration adopted by the Summit has pointed out humanity's most pressing issues and the Organization's primary priorities and directions upon their entry into the new era. For this, the Millennium Declaration can be considered a new Charter and Platform of Action of the United Nations.
The question now presented to the international community is how to bring the Millennium Declaration into reality. And this Session of the General Assembly must be a new beginning of a new awareness and determination, to be demonstrated by concrete results. Only by so doing, can we further consolidate the confidence of the world's people in the work of the United Nations, the biggest organization on our planet.
The realization of the Millennium Declaration will be a long but not simple process, which requires the high determination and efforts of each country, the international community and the United Nations. It is especially more so when globalization is exposing its negative impacts, leading to the uneven distribution of opportunities and benefits at the expense of developing countries.
Poverty eradication and development must be accorded primary priority and supported so that we can achieve the targets set by the Millennium Summit, including the target to halve, by the year 2015, the current proportion of the world's poor people, endeavouring towards "making the right to development a reality for everyone". Of the human rights, the right to development is of paramount importance. With poverty and without development, there can be no peace and stability, not to say human rights. On the other hand, once international peace and security is consolidated, that will help create a stable, enabling environment for development and poverty eradication, in each country, each region, as well as the world over.
To achieve development and poverty eradication, the first decisive requirement for the countries is to enhance their efforts and adopt suitable policies and programmes aimed at making the fullest use of its resources and potentials; and at the same time, to highly mobilize and effectively utilize the resources from outside. The United Nations, on its part, should strengthen its capacity, have the resources necessary and direct them to support poverty eradication efforts of the member states. Another extremely important thing is that the developed and industrialized countries as well as economic centers need to further enhance their assistance to developing countries in their endeavour for development and poverty eradication. That should include measures of debt relief and write‑off and the increase of ODA to 0.7% of the GDP as have committed.
The objectives set out in the Millennium Declaration have long been considered by Viet Nam as its primary policy priorities. For example, by the highest efforts of our own and with the assistance from the United Nations and other countries, we have reduced the poverty rate, according to Vietnam's criteria, to 11% in 2000 from that of 30% in 1992. We hope that this
support and assistance will be further enhanced to facilitate Vietnam's consolidation of the achievements recorded.
In the final analysis, all the above‑mentioned issues are aimed at serving the human beings. Human resources and cultural development are two aspects closely related to each other in the overall programme of development and poverty eradication. They are therefore both the goal and the driving‑force of development. This is the lesson that we, from the experience of the past many decades, can draw, and needs to be given the appropriate, significant attention in the policies of all countries.
Those objectives have been reflected also in ASEAN's Vision 2020 and Hanoi Programme of Action. They include the expansion of cooperation in Southeast Asia and East Asia and the building of triangles and quadrangles for development crossing poor regions. Concrete examples are found in the promising initiatives of the East‑West Corridor for development and the proclamation, also supported by ESCAP, of the first decade of the 21st Century as the Decade of Greater Mekong Sub‑Region Development. Those programmes are fully compatible with the directions contained in the Millennium Declaration and they should therefore be properly supported by the United Nations and international community. To advance further this path is also the contribution from Vietnam and ASEAN.
In many regions of the world, protracted conflicts continue, causing instabilities and hindering the efforts of those countries and regions for poverty eradication and development. Vietnam and ASEAN support the resolution of disputes by peaceful means, without interference and imposition, so as to improve and consolidate regional peace, and not to further complicate the situation and adversely affect the confidence of the people of the countries in the endeavours of the international community. Our common responsibility is therefore to guarantee that there will not happen again such actions of interference and in violation of the United Nations Charter as those occurred recently, and that an end should be put to the embargoes that have imposed untold sufferings on the people of Cuba, Iraq...
Greater efforts should be made to further enhance disarmament, especially the disarmament of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent the growing dangers of a new arms race, including the attempts to deploy new missile systems.
In Southeast Asia and East Asia, the ASEAN countries have been leading the efforts aimed at building a region of amity, cooperation, prosperity and free from nuclear weapons, resolving the outstanding issues in the region, implementing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANFZ), and promoting the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for dialogue and cooperation with other countries and organizations. In this field, confidence‑building measures should be enhanced on the basis of strictly respecting the principle of non‑interference in the internal affairs, and the preservation of the national and cultural identity of each country and of the region as a whole. Vietnam and ASEAN, bilaterally or through the ARF, will further promote the efforts to develop a regional Code of Conduct on the South China Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China, fully support the ASEAN Declaration of 1992 on the principles of resolving disputes in the South China Sea, and welcome recent positive developments on the Korean peninsular.
In order to implement the new, major directions of the Millennium Summit toand follow up the momentum created by it, the General Assembly should at this Session further enhance the process to reform, revitalize, and democratize the United Nations. Vietnam supports the restoration and strengthening of the central position of the General Assembly, an organ represented by all member states on the principle of sovereign equality. The reform of the United Nations, with the reform of the Security Council's structure, composition and decision‑making process being the most important, is the responsibility of all member states.
financial and material contributions to the United Nations, such as India, Japan, Germany... Now, more than ever before, the United Nations must ensure that it can assert its ability to reform itself and move forward with tangible steps. We need to act for the reform to reflect the abundant vitality of the United Nations.
The reform of the Security Council should be based on the principles of the United Nations Charter, ensure the increased representativeness, democracy, and equitable geographical distribution, in which developing countries will be represented appropriately and participate fully in the Council's decisions on important matters of world peace and security. Vietnam supports the expansion in both categories of permanent and non‑permanent membership of the Council. Regarding the increase in the permanent membership, the general package to be agreed upon should ensure that developing countries from the three continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America be represented; and it may also take into account the inclusion of some developing countries than can play a significant role and certain developed countries that have made major
Coming to, Vietnam shares the this Session common resolve to implement the historic Millennium Declaration to build a just and better world and a worthier and more effective United Nations. Fully aware of its responsibility as a member state towards the United Nations and international community, Vietnam, therefore, has for many years been making its efforts for achieving the common goals of mankind and the United Nations, and it will continue to do so in the future. A most recent vivid example was the proposal put forward by the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the Millennium Summit, recommending that the first decade of the 21st Century be proclaimed as the decade of concentrating to the highest level all global efforts for development and poverty eradication.
In its capacity as a member of the United Nations and Chairman of ASEAN, Vietnam will do its utmost to actively contribute to the development of the United Nations in general and ASEAN in particular, promote the cooperation between Vietnam and the United Nations as well as between ASEAN and the United Nations. It at the same time wishes to develop the close and effective cooperation with member states and organizations of the United Nations.
Thank you for your attention.