Meeting with Ambassador Le Luong Minh
Ambassador Le Luong Minh, head of the Vietnamese mission to the UN, is scheduled to assume the new post as the Vietnamese representative on the UNSC on January 1, 2008.
In Vietnam the media have been waiting impatiently for Mr Minh’s return from New York to get information for their New Year editions. Finally, he returned for a press briefing hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A small meeting with six media agencies was held before he flew back to New York to prepare for taking his seat on the UNSC.
The planned one-hour meeting had to be extended as journalists posed questioned on a number of issues ranging from Vietnam’s bid for the UNSC membership and its success to the ins and outs of the UN Security Council.
We trust Vietnam
According to Mr Minh, Vietnam’s bid received strong support from other UN members that share a similar stance and interests with the Southeast Asian nation in terms of economics, politics and development. No doubt these member states placed trust in Vietnam because they view Vietnam as a nation that has a consistent diplomatic policy, is faithful to friends and will shoulder its responsibilities while working for the common goal of the international community.
Meanwhile, other member states that do not have a similar stance or share the same interests as Vietnam on several issues also voiced support for the bid. They were impressed not only by Vietnam’s responsibility when addressing common issues but also by the image of a renewed nation in an active integration process.
The group of Asian member states at the UN expected that together with Indonesia, the incumbent UNSC member, Vietnam would defend the interests of other Asian countries at the most powerful global body. As a result, they officially nominated Vietnam as the single Asian candidate for the UNSC membership bid one year ahead of the voting, leaving considerable time for Vietnam to prepare for the event.
Mr Minh said that October 27, 2006 was an unforgettable day for him. Hearing the news that several other UN member states had planned to vie for the bid, he met the ambassadors of these countries to find out the facts. But it came as a surprise to him that the message from them was “We trust Vietnam” and “We wish you success”.
At the October 27 meeting that discussed Vietnam’s bid, almost all the participating countries had registered to deliver speeches. However, because of the time factor involved, only representatives from the 19 participating countries were selected to deliver speeches and shortly after that the group of Asian countries agreed to nominate Vietnam as the single candidate for the bid. According to Mr Minh, in the UN’s history rarely has an Asian candidate received the amount of support as Vietnam did.
Full integration process
Filled with confidence, Vietnam got down to work on its campaign for the election. It sent a mission comprising of experienced specialists to New York to get acquainted with the UN’s activities while preparing personnel for the post. Accordingly, besides the chief representative, Vietnam will have a deputy representative and five specialists in charge of issues such as non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, disarmament, international peace and security, protection of women and children from armed conflicts, natural resources, climate change and Asian-related issues. Vietnam is ready to work as the chairman of several UNSC committees in charge of sanctions, conflicts and UN organizational reform if it is entrusted with it.
As Vietnam has integrated deeper into world affairs by joining more international organizations, it has opened its doors to the rest of the world. Mr Minh said that the UNSC membership will allow Vietnam to join multilateral organisations to tackle global issues, including any regional and inter-regional crisis. In his opinion, if the WTO membership marked Vietnam’s full integration into the global economy and trade, its UNSC membership has promoted the country’s full integration into global politics and security. In fact, they all reflect the closed cycle of the integration process.
State President Nguyen Minh Triet recently signed the credentials to the UN Secretary General assigning Mr Minh to assume the post of the Vietnamese representative on the UN Security Council. As a result, Mr Minh will represent Vietnam when making statements or voting at formal UNSC sessions.
Normally, the permanent ambassador can vote on issues within his capacity at UNSC sessions, except for new and complicated issues where he has to consult with government leaders at home. Mr Minh said that with this mechanism, he will be more active in making decisions, but it will still be a great challenge when he assumes the new post. He said that every year the UNSC holds hundreds of meetings, excluding informal sessions, to address countless issues from conflicts to sensitive issues, and many challenges lie ahead.
Despite this, he is confident that he will fulfil this demanding task thanks to experiences learnt from his predecessors plus his resolve and strict discipline.
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