By Mai Phan
The United Nation General Assembly’s 73rd session (UNGA 73) was overwhelmed by President Trump’s speech against globalism, but there should have been more attention to representatives from the remaining 192 UN Member States. Among them, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, delivered a speech supporting the role of the United Nations and cooperation among member states.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc noted that global cooperation and development has led to significant achievements in the national’s economic development, acceleration in life quality, and development in human rights. Just nearly thirty years ago, most of the Vietnamese population still lived under the poverty line, but today, Vietnam has emerged as a lower-middle income economy experiencing robust growth with an estimated 7.1% GDP growth in the first half of 2018 (The World Bank, 2018). Vietnam’s export turnover of goods and services in the first six months of 2018 is estimated to also reach $113.93 billion USD and $7.5 billion USD respectively (General Statistics Office of Vietnam, 2018). Additionally, Vietnam has actively participated in 16 trade agreements and enjoyed free trade relations with approximately 60 nations across the globe. According to the Prime Minister, Vietnam genuinely believes in the good causes of the UN since its establishment, and is reflected by the country’s immediate participation in the United Nations one year after independence.
Furthermore, Nguyen addressed some of the country’s core beliefs in a strong intergovernmental organization.
First, the sustainable development of the organization relies on “dual responsibility” such that every country holds the responsibility to cooperate on problems. He noted that the twenty-first century is the era of globalization; the flow of human, goods, or transnational issues such as epidemics and natural disasters becomes a concern of all states, not just one.
Moreover, Vietnam also believes in the ideology that no one should be left behind. The strong should assist the weak instead of using the threat of force to intimidate the weak. Those hostile attitudes ultimately will drive to war, poverty, economic and social turmoil across the world.
Third, the Prime Minister noted that Vietnam always values peace and supports the UN’s effort in maintaining global order. The history of Vietnam cannot be told without mentioning about wars; the country and people highly appreciate every moment of peace. And, Vietnam is proud to be an active member of the United Nations, and wishes to contribute more to the peacekeeping mission. In this pursuit, Vietnam is calling for the support of all member states for its candidacy for non-permanent Security Council membership from 2020 to 2021.
The General Assembly is the only one out of six bodies of the United Nations to provide the equal presenting opportunity for all member states to deliver their ideas and national policies. This year, President Trump of the United States took much of the limelight by giving a speech embracing nationalism and anti-globalism. In opposition, Vietnam and many other nations continue to reaffirm their beliefs in the power of multinational cooperation. In particular, Vietnam’s Nguyen emphasized the following points: appraisal of the United Nations’ role in global governance, Vietnam’s continuous support the United Nations, collective responsibility among all member states, and an ideology of leaving no one behind.
Mai Phan is a junior at Lebanon Valley College where she studies Global Studies and Politics.
General Assembly of the United Nations (2018). H. E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister. Retrieved from: https://gadebate.un.org/en/73/viet-nam
General Statistics Office of Vietnam (2018). Monthly Statistic Information: Social Economic Situation in the First Six Months of 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.gso.gov.vn/default_en.aspx?tabid=622&ItemID=18871
The World Bank (2018). The World Bank in Vietnam: Overview. Retrieved from: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/vietnam/overview