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UN head attends anniversary of Vietnam’s UN accession, hails country’s achievements

UN head attends anniversary of Vietnam’s UN accession, hails country’s achievements

Saturday, October 22, 2022, 14:48 GMT+7
UN head attends anniversary of Vietnam’s UN accession, hails country’s achievements
This image shows UN Secretary General António Guterres at the 45th anniversary of Vietnam’s UN membership held in Hanoi on October 21, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres praised Vietnam’s accomplishments over time while delivering a speech at a ceremony solemnly held in Hanoi on Friday to mark the 45th anniversary of Vietnam’s UN membership.  

His attendance at the ceremony was part of the first day of his two-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Foreign ambassadors, representatives of the diplomatic corps, chief representatives of UN organizations in Vietnam, and Vietnamese officials from ministries and agencies also took part in the event.

The UN leader expressed his honor to attend the anniversary and emphasized that Vietnam has gone through a long journey, from conflict to peace, from aid receipt to self-sufficiency, and from overcoming poverty to gaining development achievements.

“More than a generation ago, UN staff were in Vietnam delivering food aid to a country ravaged by war, isolated and on the brink of famine.

“Today, it is Vietnamese peacekeepers coming to the aid of people in some of the most desperate parts of the world,” Guterres said.

He asked the event’s participants to offer a round of applause for those peacekeepers –Vietnamese women and men – who are “are risking their lives to bring others peace and hope and a chance for a better life.”

As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the country has sharply driven back extreme poverty, hunger, disease, and child mortality, while increasingly promoting literacy rates and access to health care, education, electricity, and safe drinking water, the UN leader commented.

Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and UN Secretary General António Guterres are seen meeting with some Vietnamese UN peacekeepers in Hanoi on October 21, 2022 in this image. Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and UN Secretary General António Guterres are seen meeting with some Vietnamese UN peacekeepers in Hanoi on October 21, 2022. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

“These are remarkable human rights and development achievements,” he summarized. 

At the same time, as Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam has advanced cooperation and integration across the region, Guterres added. 

While highlighting that Vietnam has been elected to the UN Security Council twice and adopted the first-ever Presidential Statement on upholding the United Nations Charter, the UN head also praised the most recent international achievement of Vietnam when it was elected to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2023-25 tenure on October 11.   

Vietnam has achieved, and in some cases exceeded, most Millennium Development Goals, and has committed at the COP26 to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050, Guterres stated, adding that he personally and the UN are ready to call for international support for the country’s climate commitments.

Assessing that Vietnam has come a long way and has the opportunity to be a powerhouse for change, Guterres emphasized that the UN is proud to be Vietnam’s partner in every step of the way.

In reply, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed his appreciation for the UN's support for Vietnam during its difficult years, and extended his sincere and deep thanks to all staff of all UN agencies.

Becoming the 149th member of the UN started a new historical journey in Vietnam’s national construction and defense, in which the country has revived from the ruins of wars and, through its ‘doi moi’ (renovation) policy and deep international integration, has emerged as a middle-income developing country with a dynamic economy, the Vietnam News Agency cited Phuc as saying.

He reiterated that Vietnam has always been a friend and a reliable and responsible partner of the international community as well as various global organizations, including the World Trade Organization (WTO).

It has engaged in 17 free trade agreements (FTAs) and become an important part of the global supply chain, Phuc said.

The Vietnamese leader affirmed his country’s readiness to work with the UN to respond to the current food crisis within its capabilities.

Earlier on Friday, UN head Guterres had separate talks with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and State President Phuc, focusing on steps to futher promote the Vietnam-UN partnership.

During Saturday, the last day of his visit, Guterres is to meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

He will also visit the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the Green One United Nations House in Hanoi.

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Vinh Tho - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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