United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres confirmed he would visit Vietnam this year during a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc in New York on Wednesday (U.S. time).
At the meeting, held on the sidelines of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Ngoc reiterated President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to the UN secretary-general to visit Vietnam.
Guterres replied that he would make every effort to arrange a visit to the Southeast Asian country at an appropriate time this year.
The visit, when realized, will be a meaningful event given that 2022 marks 45 years since Vietnam’s accession to the UN.
Secretary General Guterres praised Vietnam’s active and responsible contributions to the UN’s common work and also expressed his special feelings for the nation.
The UN head mentioned Vietnam’s strong commitments in responding to climate change and promised to continue supporting the nation in this area.
He also expressed his positive impression of Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements, especially in the post-pandemic recovery process.
The last time a UN secretary general visited Vietnam was in May 2015, when Ban Ki Moon from South Korea paid a two-day visit to the country.
Guterres, the ninth secretary general in the UN’s history, is currently in his second five-year term, following the first that began on January 1, 2017.
Vietnam joined the UN on September 20, 1977. The agency’s support for Vietnam first focused on war reconstruction and humanitarian assistance, and then on strengthening institutions, policies, social protection, health, education, and agriculture, among others.
During the past 45 years, Vietnam has achieved many milestones within the UN, including serving twice as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2008-09 and 2020-21.
Vietnam has also contributed to UN peacekeeping operations in 29 missions to South Sudan and the Central African Republic since 2014, according to the website of the UN Office in Vietnam.
The country deployed its first level-2 field hospital to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan with 63 members in 2018.