Consistent, Creative and Effective Foreign Affairs

10:08:08 AM | 2/3/2022

During the doi moi (renovation) process, Vietnam's diplomacy has attained important achievements, with many remarkable milestones in foreign affairs, helping shape the country's international structure, potential, position and prestige that our country has never made before. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Minister of Foreign Affairs, with respect to this issue. Nguyen Mai reports.

Could you please tell us about the outstanding results of Vietnam’s foreign affairs in the past year?

2021 was the first year that Vietnam executed the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress that opened a new phase in the country's renovation process. The world has experienced rapid and complicated changes, especially the COVID-19 pandemic that raged rampantly in the world and in the country. In this setting, Vietnam’s diplomacy has continued to maintain a peaceful, stable and favorable environment for socioeconomic development, protect the fatherland, and elevate the nation’s position.

Thoroughly grasping the policy of the 13th National Party Congress and the Party and State's foreign policies and guidelines, the country has fostered three pillars of Party diplomacy, State diplomacy and people's diplomacy, and has consistently, creatively and effectively achieved many important results as below:

First, Vietnam has synchronously promoted relations, especially with neighboring countries, important partners and traditional friends. The country has flexibly applied foreign affairs of Party and State leaders in the first year of carrying out the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, and creatively combined offline and online forms, thus strengthening trust, generating a driving force for diplomatic development with many partners, importantly consolidating stable external relations, maintaining a peaceful and stable environment and taking advantage of resources for socioeconomic development, and enhancing the country's international position and prestige.

Second, Vietnam has effectively uplifted multilateral foreign affairs and reaffirmed the country's position and prestige. In particular, we have well accomplished our role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term, fostered Vietnam's ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship, made active and responsible contributions to building the ASEAN Community; got elected to many prestigious multilateral organizations such as the International Law Commission (ILC), the UNESCO Executive Council and the Postal Operations Council of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). We have made responsible commitments to combating climate change at COP26 and actively contributed to many other important multilateral forums.

Third, together with national defense and security, foreign affairs have contributed to firmly safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity while maintaining a peaceful and stable environment. We have persisted in promoting dialogues and negotiations with partner states to seek peaceful solutions to disputes, uphold the atmosphere of friendship, and defend the border of peace, cooperation and development.

Fourth, we have deployed economic diplomacy strongly, practically and effectively. Despite many impacts and obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have maintained and expanded economic cooperation with partners, especially in increasing exports, strengthening the confidence of the international business community, and attracting foreign direct investment. In particular, we have actively promoted health diplomacy and vaccine diplomacy, and taken advantage of very timely and effective international support for COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control in Vietnam.

Fifth, we have continued to promote cultural diplomacy to deliver the image of Vietnam's country, people and culture to the world. We have worked with UNESCO to recognize six new heritage sites/titles and honor three Vietnamese celebrities. The Government has launched the Strategy for Cultural Diplomacy to 2030, which clearly defines objectives, viewpoints, directions and tasks for all levels and branches of diplomacy to further foster and enhance the effectiveness of cultural diplomacy to meet national development requirements in the new period.

Sixth, the more comprehensive and stronger work of overseas Vietnamese have helped consolidate great national unity, mobilize valuable support of our overseas Vietnamese in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and for national development. Thoroughly grasping Conclusion 12 of the 13th Politburo on overseas Vietnamese in the new context, we have launched many specific projects, programs and measures, especially taking care of Vietnamese people and supporting our compatriots abroad to preserve the Vietnamese language, popularize national cultural identity, build a solid legal position, develop the economy and life, integrate into the host society, thereby strengthening the attachment of our expatriates to their homeland.

Seventh, in the context of the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of the world, we have carried out citizen protection synchronously and effectively both at home and abroad. In 2021, we organized about 500 flights to bring home about 120,000 citizens from more than 60 countries and territories. At the same time, we stepped up protection of fishermen and fishing vessels and guarded legitimate rights and interests of our citizens abroad.

The important above-mentioned results have affirmed the right foreign policies of the Party and the State, the support and consensus of the whole political system and the people, and the close coordination of all levels and sectors. That common achievement has been importantly contributed by external relations agencies with the fundamental and motivational involvement of the diplomatic sector.

What are the diplomatic focuses in the new period?

After 35 years of doi moi (renovation), Vietnam has been striving with great will and determination to realize the country's aspirations, vision and development goals in line with the 13th National Party Congress. To successfully realize the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, the foreign affairs sector will carry out the following key tasks:

Thoroughly executing the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and Party and State foreign policies and guidelines throughout the foreign service sector. Immediately after the National Foreign Affairs Conference on December 14, 2021, the foreign affairs sector hosted the 31st Diplomatic Conference and the 20th National Foreign Affairs Conference to interpret the spirit and content of the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress and the conclusions and directions of Party and State leaders at the National Foreign Affairs Conference to the entire foreign affairs branch, as well as to local foreign affairs agencies. On that basis, with a high sense of responsibility and the advancement of collective wisdom, the sector set out specific and practical plans, programs, tasks, measures, and solutions on foreign affairs for the development of important international relations and successful execution of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

Consistently and effectively maintaining a peaceful, stable and resolute environment, persistently protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity, mobilizing external resources for socioeconomic development and improving the status of the country; further expanding and deepening external relationships, with focus on neighboring countries, important partners and traditional friends, to boost Vietnam's roles in important multilateral mechanisms such as ASEAN, the United Nations, APEC and Mekong sub-regional cooperation.

Closely combining political diplomacy, economic diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, foreign information, overseas Vietnamese and citizen protection; making the most of favorable international factors, international commitments and agreements like FTAs in order to mobilize external resources and effectively combine with domestic resources to serve rapid and sustainable national development. In the immediate future, the diplomatic sector at all levels and branches will further foster cooperation, utilize the support of the international community in COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control, and strengthen socioeconomic recovery and development.

Reinforcing close coordination between Party diplomacy, people's diplomacy, defense, security, social and economic diplomacy to promote the synergy of the political system and the entire people to conduct foreign affairs.

In order to successfully implement the foreign policy assigned by the Party and the State in the coming period, it is necessary to build a comprehensive, modern and strong diplomatic sector. It is vital to build a comprehensive force of diplomats who are politically, ideologically, ethically and intellectually perfect, modern in attitude, professional at work and innovative in thinking to reach regional and international classes.

What would you like to share with people and businesses across the country on the coming of the Year of the Tiger after a tough time struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Looking back on 2021, Vietnamese people at home and abroad, under the leadership of the Party and the State and with the support and cooperation of the international community, have promoted the tradition of national unity, upheld patriotism and self-reliance to overcome difficulties and challenges. The achievements of 35 years of doi moi have given us a firm belief in strong socioeconomic recovery and development, boosted comprehensive and extensive international integration, and contributed to the successful realization of aspirations and vision of the Vietnamese Party, Government and people.

On the threshold of the new year of hope and faith, like other diplomatic officers, I aspire to a world of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. Our country has more opportunities, stronger potential, higher international position and prestige. Our people have a prosperous and happy life. Businesspeople and the business community continue to grow and mature to have more contributions to the cause of defending and building the Socialist State of Vietnam.

Thank you very much!