To commemorate Vietnam’s 45th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations, António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, was in Hanoi from Friday until Saturday.
During his two-day trip, the UN Chief met with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and other senior officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha.
In September 1977, Vietnam officially joined the largest global multilateral organization. Since then, the country and the UN have become partners. They are working together to realize 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to address significant development challenges faced by the Vietnamese community and the world.
Among the 17 general goals and 169 specific ones of the 2030 Agenda, Vietnam has so far nationalized 17 general and 115 specific ones suitable to the development conditions and context of the country, as stated in the official press statement by the Vietnamese Government.
President Phuc initiated the invitation after Vietnam was recently elected to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 tenure.
The Vietnamese Government considers this an important visit. Having the head of the world’s largest multilateral organization in the country demonstrates the importance the UN attaches to its partnership with Vietnam over the past 45 years.
At the anniversary celebration, the UN Chief praised the country’s strong partnership with the UN and its “remarkable journey” during this period. He described this as a story of transformation and hope written by the Vietnamese.
“Little more than a generation ago, United Nations staff were in Vietnam delivering food aid to a country ravaged by war, isolated, and on the brink of famine,” he said. “Today, it is Vietnamese peacekeepers coming to the aid of people in some of the most desperate parts of the world.”
45 years since joining the @UN, Viet Nam has undergone a remarkable journey: from conflict to peace, from aid to self-sufficiency, from poverty to development.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 21, 2022
A powerful testament to the hard work of the Vietnamese people & policies that place people at the heart of progress. pic.twitter.com/w0hvEpAkUf
‘Solidarity is the only way’
In this speech at the Meteorological and Hydrological Administration in Hanoi on Saturday, the UN Chief emphasized the critical role of disaster preparedness for all governments.
To him, the goal is to have early warning systems in all countries within five years “to end the tragedy of people dying, livelihoods being destroyed, because people did not know that tragedy was unfolding.”
“When we have an early warning system, and we know that something terrible is coming, we have time to relocate people, we have time to protect property,” he added.
Furthermore, the Secretary-General also commended Vietnam’s efforts to protect the Mekong Delta. He said protecting the Mekong Delta is not only crucial for Vietnam but could be shared with other nations around the world.
While in the country, he also took the time to meet with the Vietnamese youth representatives and UN peacekeepers at the Academy of Diplomacy under the theme ‘Innovation and Participation for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future.’
In that dialogue event, he emphasized that “solidarity is the only way to overcome the climate crisis and other current or emerging global challenges.”
“We face the risk of new pandemics,” he told the audience members. “We face climate change and inequality in the world. There is only one way to be able not to be defeated by these challenges, and that is if we join efforts if we come together. And for that, we need to feel true solidarity.”
The UN Chief then took his message to the global audience and tweeted, addressing the younger generation to carry on and not give up.
“You can count on me to amplify your ideas (and) support your efforts to build a better, fairer, more sustainable world for all,” he wrote.