Vietnam's Position Enhanced

9:59:28 AM | 1/20/2022

2021 was the first year to execute the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, the 2021-2025 Socioeconomic Development Plan, and the 2021-2030 Socioeconomic Development Strategy. Key tasks of Vietnam's diplomacy in 2021 were carrying out the foreign policy adopted by the 13th National Party Congress, further deepening international integration and strengthening relations with other countries, firmly defending sovereignty and territorial integrity, and consolidating a peaceful environment, mobilizing external resources for development, and elevating the country's position on the world stage.

Looking back on the past year of 2021 with a lot of unprecedented, huge changes, Vietnam's foreign affairs overcame many challenges to affirm its new position and force. Asserting the role of foreign affairs, Dr. Pham Minh Son said Vietnam actively participated and contributed in most of the important international organizations and forums, successfully taking on various important responsibilities. Foreign affairs helped make very important imprints and affirmed Vietnam's position and role in the international arena, provided resources, which acted as the foundation for improving experience and fostering international domestic socioeconomic development in the new phase. Besides, foreign policies provided an opportunity to boost Vietnam's bilateral ties with countries that played a key role in the world and in the region, and contributed to peace and the common development of mankind.

In a press conference, Standing Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said that foreign affairs helped strengthen a peaceful environment and take advantage of favorable international conditions for national development. Up to now, Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with 189 out of 193 United Nations (UN) member countries, including strategic partnerships and comprehensive partnerships with 30 countries, consisting of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, all G7 countries and all ASEAN member states. The Communist Party of Vietnam established relations with 247 political parties in 111 countries. The National Assembly of Vietnam has relations with parliaments of more than 140 countries. People's friendship organizations have relations with 1,200 foreign people's organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

Vietnam's international position has been continuously elevated by its higher level of multilateral diplomacy and successfully assuming many important international responsibilities. Up to now, Vietnam is a member of more than 70 regional and global multilateral organizations and forums. The country chaired ASEAN twice (2010 and 2020); the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization - AIPO (2002) and ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly - AIPA (2010 and 2020). With a very high rate of votes in favor, Vietnam was twice elected a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council (2008-2009 and 2020-2021 terms), hosted the APEC Summit twice (2006 and 2017), successfully hosted the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in 2018; and organized the 2nd US-North Korea Summit (2019). The country also actively participated in multilateral forums of political parties such as the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties (IMWCP) and the Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties; actively promoted cooperation through parliamentary diplomatic channels such as the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Council (AIPA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU); and actively participate in the ASEAN People's Forum. Vietnam also actively joined UN peacekeeping operations.

In particular, after the 13th National Party Congress approved the new phase of foreign policy, Vietnam received a lot of good news. In addition to its continued assumption of nonpermanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, Vietnam was elected, appointed, and participated in many UN mechanisms and forums. Typically, the country was re-elected Member of the United Nations International Law Commission for the 2023-2027 term, to the Executive Council of UNESCO for the 2021-2025 term, to the Council of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and to the Postal Operations Council of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

Breakthroughs in international economic integration have helped expand export markets, attract foreign investment flows and improved national competitiveness. Vietnam has trade relations with over 220 partners and 71 countries have recognized Vietnam's market economy status. Vietnam joined many leading economic and development cooperation institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The country entered into 15 free trade agreements (FTAs), including new-generation FTAs like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The First National External Affairs Conference, which took place on December 14, 2021, and the 20th National Foreign Affairs Conference and the 31st Diplomacy Conference, which wrapped up on December 18, marked important milestones in materializing foreign policies defined by the 13th National Party Congress.

Vaccine diplomacy achieved many impressive results, helped accelerate vaccinations for people and helped realize the Government's dual goals.

Bilateral relations with important partners continued to be deepened, effectively and substantively. Shuttle visits by senior leaders to Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India, France, the United States, Switzerland and Finland achieved many very practical results, serving the development and diplomacy needs of the nation.

Cultural diplomacy recorded impressive achievements last year. The Government approved the Cultural Diplomacy Strategy to 2030. Vietnam became a member of the UNESCO Council for the 2021-2026 term. At the plenary session of the 41st UNESCO General Assembly in Paris, France (November 23), UNESCO approved a resolution to honor and attend the 200th birthday celebration of Nguyen Dinh Chieu and the 250th birthday and 200th death anniversary of Ho Xuan Huong. On December 15, Xoe Thai art was recorded as the Representative Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Border and territory were strengthened. Vietnam coordinated with neighboring countries to administer border and territory, prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic, and foster socioeconomic development cooperation in border areas; negotiated and exchanged solutions to outstanding issues; resolutely and persistently upheld Vietnam's sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the East Sea; and maintained peace and stability in the region.

Without doubt, foreign affairs have made an important contribution to uplifting the country’s position. Regarding foreign policy in 2021-2030, our Party affirms “Continuing to implement the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification; actively and positively integrating into the world in a comprehensive, extensive and effective manner; maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, constantly improving Vietnam's international position and prestige.”

By Vietnam Business Forum