Nguyen Thanh Chau 

Permanent Representative/Head of the Delegation 
of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam 

at the 56th UN GA General Debate

(New York 13 November- 2001)

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Mr President,

I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families of the plane crash victims yesterday. Let's pray it had nothing to do with terrorist act as the tragic event of September 11th was more than enough to bring the fight against terrorism to the fore as one of the top priorities of the international community and of the United Nations. Cognizant of the distinction between terrorism and the struggle to exercise the people's right to self-determination, Vietnam persistently condemns terrorism with all its forms and manifestation which claims heavy loss of innocent lives. We fully support the international endeavour and cooperation to ensure world peace, stability and security in conformity with the UN Charter, with fundamental principles of international law, particularly ones of respect for national independence and sovereinty.

No individual country can go solo in this fight. While members of the international community must act in a responsible manner by not to tolerate, nurture and/or support the terrorists on its soil, they should bring the terrorists to justice or extradite them to the country where their acts of crime occur so that they would be duly punished.

Mr President,

Though combating international terrorism has become the pressing task of the day, it must not overshadow the challenges of the 21th century. Poverty, the widened development gap, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, deteriorated environment, regional tensions and conflicts... all point to the potential instability of the world today as mentioned by our leaders a year ago. The Summit Declaration in reflecting the genuine wishes and resolve of world peoples vehemently reconfirmed the values and principles of the Charter, defining priority objectives of the United Nations and the international community in the years to come, thus becoming the Platform, the Program of Action for the new millennium.

To impliment it at the global level, the United Nations last year conducted numerous activities, including the organization of a series of special sessions on economic, social, security areas. The international organizations under the UN system as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDCP... are actively coordinating with nations to incorporate in the national progrmas the specific objectives set forth in the Declaration. This is a significant start, which should be further promoted, as the most pressing challenge to us all is how to eradicate poverty on a global scale.

In this spirit, we wish to congratulate the Secretary General Kofi Annan who started his second term in office with the Nobel Peace Prize. We are fully convinced that the Secretary General will continue to contribute to the cause of world nations and peoples.

Mr President,

Against the backdrop of globalisation spearheaded by the IT revolution, the other side of international political and economic life has been further exposed. The gap between rich and poor is further widened; adverse circumstances in international relations emerged, further underscoring the disadvantage and vulnerability of the developing countries. The Secretary General once said to the effect that poverty and the gap between rich and poor are the seeds of instability and precarious development, and that today's main challenge is how to ensure that globlisation becomes the driving force of development instead of leaving billion people in abject poverty. The common concern at present, however, is the tendency of decreasing ODA, particularly the decrease in contributions to the development organizations under the UN system which would surely hamper their activities. More than ever before, the United Nations, the international community, the developped countries in particular should further assist the developing countries in the eradication of poverty, diseases, illiteracy..., and facilitate their fuller and equitable participation in international economic life.

Mr President,

Development requires an environment of peace and stability. But complex implications arising from the conflicts in some part of the world and possible intensification of an arms race are not conducive to development at all. Of particular concern is the escalation of violence in the Middle East. We join the community of world peoples to call for an early end to violence, the resumption of peaceful negotiation for a just, longlasting solution in which the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the legitimate interests of all parties concerned would be guaranteed. By the same token, the embargoes imposed upon Cuba, Iraq and Lybia which caused untold sufferings to these peoples should be lifted so as to enable them to concentrate their energy and efforts on national recontruction and development.

Mr President,

This year, Southeast Asia has witnessed certain complex developments, but peace, stability and cooperation remain the burning aspiration of the peoples and continue to be the main tendency. The ASEAN countries are determined to build a zone of peace, development and prosperity, to coordinate efforts to effectively cope with regional as well as global challenges. In that context, the success of the 34th Foreign Ministers Meeting, the 8th ASEAN Regional Forum held in Hanoi last August and the Brunei ASEAN Summit in Brunei Darussalam early November all contributed to establishing priorities and effective measures for the future of this region. These meetings reaffirmed ASEAN's determination to further promote solidarity, cooperation, dialogue and mutual understanding within ASEAN, and among ASEAN and their dialogue partners, especially China, Japan and the Republic of Korea for the peaceful settlement of their differences on the basis of repeat for the fundamental principles and norms of international law; particularly the ones of consensus and non-interference in other's internal affairs. The Hanoi Declaration on Narrowing the Development Gap within ASEAN and other documents were adopted on confidence-building, promotion of mutual understanding for peace and stability in Southeast Asia as well as in Asia and the Pacific. They welcomed the promising progress in the ASEAN-China consultation for the Code of Conduct in the Eastern Sea, reaffirming those principles in the 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the settlement of different claims over territorial sovereignty in this area.

We sincerely hope that the United Nations and the international community, in line with the Millenium Declaration would deliver active support and assistance to the implimentation of our regional cooperation for peace, stability and development in the region and the world over.

Mr President,

In the course of 15 years of renovation, Vietnam has recorded great achievements in all fields. The 9th Party Congress had drawn necessary lessons from our own experiences, reaffirmed our resolve to continue the course, stepping up industrialisation and modernisation programs, and mapping up the socio-economic development strategy for the year from 2001 to 2010. While trying to bring into full play our inner strength, we will create more favorable conditions to attract investment, expand further the effective cooperation with foreign partners and countries. We will continue to pursue our foreign policy of independence, openess, international economic integration, friendship and trusted partnership of all countries in the international community in the endeavour for peace, independence and development.

Mr President,

The Millenium Summit and its Declaration provided us with a momentum in the new millennium, which should be maitained through the active implimentation of the guidelines unanimously endorsed by our leaders. The United Nations and each member state should make efforts to achieve the objectives.

In order to contribute effectively to the common cause, the United Nations should speed up the process of reform, renovation and democratisation. Vietnam fully supports the central role of the General Assembly, the highest representation body of all membership; for the reform and expansion of the Security Council in both non-permanent and permanent categories, the developping countries should have fuller representation and participation in the Council's decision making. But of utmost importance is that the United Nations whould design measures to concentrate resources for development and eradication of poverty, as well as for other major objectives included in the Millenium Declaration.

It is the expectation of all membership that the United Nations becomes a worthy world body, operating in a more effective manner for the interests of all countries and for a just, humanistic and better world in the new millennium. Vietnam pledges to contribute actively to this common endeavour./.