VIETNAM AND THE UN
Viet Nam became an official member of the UN on September 20th, 1977. Since its accession, the relationship between Viet Nam and the UN has been progressively improved and developed. After becoming a member, Viet Nam, with the support of the UN State members, had successfully campaigned for the adoption of Resolution 32/2, calling on States and international organizations to aid and support Viet Nam in postwar reconstruction work. Viet Nam also actively coordinated with NAM and developing countries in preserving the fundamental principles of the UN Charter such as the sovereign equality of all nations, no interference in other nations’ internal affairs, non-use of or threat to use force … as well as in protecting the interests of developing countries, including Viet Nam. At the same time, we also had an opportunity to take full advantage of UN financial, intellectual and technological assistance for our socio-economic development process. The UN became a platform for Viet Nam to carry out its foreign policies. With time, the status and role of Viet Nam at the UN was improved. The development of the relations between Viet Nam and the UN can be divided into several stages:
1. From 1975-1991:
Affected by the Cold War, the relation between Viet Nam and the UN, in general, was minimal. The political status and role of Viet Nam at the UN, therefore, were very limited. Notwithstanding economic blockade and embargo, Viet Nam was able to mobilize non-refundable ODA from the UN Development Group with the total value of 500 million USD. Specialized organizations of UN Development Group also played a substantial role in assisting Viet Nam to overcome socio-economic difficulties, postwar consequences and natural disasters; and solve social problems, especially in the fields of public health, education on mother and children care and protection, and family planning; enabling and promoting scientific and technological breakthroughs; restoring and building production facilities, and enhancing development capacities.
2. Since 1991 till now:
This period is characterized by Viet Nam’s active participation in many fields such as peace and security, disarmament as well as socio-economic development, population and environment protection, which have been top on UN’s agenda. Viet Nam’s participation and status at the UN have been improved in all aspects, corresponding to the foreign policy of independence, openness and international relations diversification and multilateralization. For the first time, Viet Nam held and ran for important positions in several UN bodies such as Vice President of the UNGA in 1997, 2000 and 2003; member of ECOSOC (1997-2000); President of the 33rd General Assembly of Food and Agriculture Organization; member of Human Rights Committee (2001-2003); UN Executive Council for Development Program and Population (2000-2002); Governor Council of International Atomic Energy Agency (1991-1993, 1997-1999, 2003-2005); Managerial Council for World Postal Union (1999-2004); International Telecommunication Union (1994-1998, 1998-2002, 2002-2006) … , and UN Security Council non-permanent member for the term 2008-2009.
On security and disarmament: Viet Nam actively participated in the negotiation and became a member of Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) in 1998, signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1996 and ratified this Treaty in 2006. Vietnam has participated in and become a member of the Conference on Disarmament since June 17th, 1996, and is now in the process of signing the Additional Protocol to Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Vietnam also participates in UN Register of Convention Arms as one of confidence building measures and to fulfill the responsibility of a UN member.
On cooperation: the focus of the UN in Viet Nam is expressed in UNDAF (approved by the Prime Minister in official document No. 603/TTg-QHQT dated May 16th, 2005). This is the guideline for all activities of UN in Viet Nam, based on the priorities stipulated in the 2001-2010 Socio-economic Development Strategy, the 2006-2010 Socio-economic Development Plan, the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRSG)…, which are also areas that UN organizations are interested and have advantages in, among which is the focus on achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The priority in the cooperation between Viet Nam and UN organizations is expressed through achieving 3 main goals of UNDAF: develop economic policies to support fair, integrated and sustainable growth; improve the quality of social services and social security and non-discrimination in attaining these services; national policies, laws and administrative framework effectively support the rights-based development to implement the values and goals of Millennium Statement.
The UN highly evaluates Viet Nam’s zealous activities at the UN. High level meetings between Viet Nam and the UN have been taken place more often. On the 50th Anniversary of the UN, Viet Nam presented the UN with a reproduction of Ngoc Lu Bronze Drum, which is now solemnly displayed at the Headquarter of the UN. Viet Nam’s activities within NAM and ASEAN at the UN are progressively being strengthened. In May 2007, Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Kofi Annan visited Viet Nam. Currently, Viet Nam is one of the first 8 pilot countries in the One UN initiative, a reform content to which the UN attaches much importance. Especially, with Viet Nam now being a non-permanent member of the Security Council, the status and role of Viet Nam at the UN have risen to unprecedented height.
For more information, visit the UN official website at www.un.org
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