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VietNamNet Bridge – On the 69th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnamese diplomacy sector, Deputy PM and Minister of FM Pham Binh Minh granted an interview to the press, sharing his opinions on the current international context

VietNamNet Bridge – On the 69th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnamese diplomacy sector (August 28, 1945 - 2014), Deputy PM and Minister of FM Pham Binh Minh granted an interview to the press, sharing his opinions on the current international context and the foreign missions of the country in the new situation.

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Deputy PM and Minister of FM Pham Binh Minh - Photo: VGP

 

Would you please share your feelings on the 69th anniversary of the diplomacy sector? What are you most proud of in the history of the diplomacy sector?

The provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam was established on August 28, 1945 which also marked the founding of the modern Vietnamese diplomacy sector. I'm honoured that the modern diplomacy sector was established and given a solid foundation by President Ho Chi Minh, who was also the first minister of the Vietnamese diplomacy sector.

Ho Chi Minh's ideology and methods of exercising diplomacy has pervaded activities of the diplomacy sector during the past 69 years and continued to be the guideline for current diplomacy generations. Generations of diplomats always keep in mind the teachings of President Ho Chi Minh, that whatever they do is for the interest of the nation. Under the diplomatic ideology of President Ho Chi Minh, the leadership of the Party and the strength of the national unity bloc, the diplomacy sector has overcome many challenges to promote its role.

Would you please tell us your thinking of the international situation and mission of the foreign affairs sector nowadays?

The world and regional situations are changing rapidly and in a complex way, bringing about both opportunities and challenges. The world economy has seen visible recovery but unveiled instability. While contemporary economic models all showed problems during the last crisis, they intend to seek a way that will balance growth and stability with the focus on sustainable development, green growth and clean energy.

The trend of co-operation and economic connectivity continues to be enhanced. Particularly, Viet Nam is participating in negotiations for free trade agreements such as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which will create new space for development of enterprises and the nation. It also requires the government and enterprises to constantly improve their management and competitiveness capacity. As Viet Nam lies in the centre of the world's active developing region, the country has the chance to take advantage of the trend to keep pace with the development of the region and the world but also faces with the risk of lagging behind if the opportunities are missed.

Regarding political and security issues, the trend of peace, co-operation and interdependence is the major trend which generates good opportunities for Viet Nam to seize, for the targets of national security and development.

However, instability and conflicts are still present in many places from Asia to Europe, Middle East and Africa, and tend to increase. Fluctuations in countries far from Viet Nam such as Ukraine or Libya all affect Overseas Vietnamese and enterprises. In the Asia-Pacific region, traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined in a more complicated and stressful way, including the risks of direct threat to peace and stability of the region and the independence, sovereignty and development environment of Viet Nam.

Despite the unpredicted changes of the international situation, the Vietnamese diplomacy sector should closely monitor the situation to fulfil its foreign orientations. The major task of the sector is to maintain peaceful and stable environment and create favourable conditions for national development, contributing to successful implementation of the modernisation, industrialisation and economic restructuring cause towards sustainable development. The sector should closely co-ordinate with national defence and security sector to protect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity, particularly maritime sovereignty.

Would you please tell us the outcomes of the implementation of foreign affairs work in the past time and the direction for the coming time?

In the past time, the diplomacy sector has co-operated with agencies, sectors and localities to comprehensively and synchronously implement foreign activities and gained many results.

The sector has promoted the process of comprehensive international integration in response to the 11th Party Congress's Resolution which is marked by the establishment of the National Steering Committee for International Integration headed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. In the time to come, the government along with ministries, sectors and localities will implement action plans to boost international integration in all fields including politics, national defence, security, economics and culture among others in the spirit of Resolution 22 of the Politburo.

Regarding bilateral co-operation aspect, Viet Nam will deepen and foster relations with its partners. Since early this year, senior leaders had participated in seven working tours to foreign countries and received 11 high-ranking foreign delegations. Viet Nam also conducted exchanges of senior delegations with other neighbouring and regional countries and potential partners, bringing many positive results.

Multilateral diplomacy has continued to make important contribution at international forums to protecting the interests of the country. Viet Nam has actively contributed to the peacekeeping operation in the region and the world by sending officers to participate in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan; as well as joining other ASEAN member countries to promote the process of building the ASEAN Community in 2015 and promoting the central role of ASEAN in the region; speeding up the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and accelerating the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in order to ensure peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the East Sea.

In other multilateral forums such as the Greater Mekong Sub-region co-operation, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation, and the Asia Europe Meeting, Viet Nam has contributed many initiatives to promote practical co-operation on a number of issues related to the sustainable use of water resources and environmental protection, etc.

In a context where the world economy still faces uncertain recovery, external economic relations remain good, with the support of effective economic diplomacy: in the first seven months of 2014, Viet Nam enjoyed a trade surplus of US$ 1.26 billion. The nation's total export revenue reached US$ 83.5 billion, up 14.1% compared to the same period in 2013. Total registered capital of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the first seven months this year reached US$ 9.53 billion. We has been promoting FTA negotiations with key partners and has made some progress, such as an FTA with the EU, the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; TPP, etc.

In spite of unfavourable regional developments and new risks, the nation’s sacred borders have been firmly protected. Vietnamese diplomats always bear in their minds the nation’s sovereignty. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has closely and synchronously co-ordinated with other forces to protest against China’s illegal placement of Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in Viet Nam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Viet Nam reaffirms its stance on resolving the disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force, on the basis of international law.

The country’s position in the international arena has been enhanced with progress made in the work of cultural diplomacy and external information and Overseas Vietnamese protection. A number of administrative documents signed by Nguyen dynasty Kings have been recognised as a UNESCO world documentary heritage. In addition, the Trang An landscape complex in northern Ninh Binh province has been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage. The law on amendments and supplements to the Law on Vietnamese Nationality came into force on June 26, 2014; and the results after the 10-year implementation of the Politburo’s Resolution 36/NQ-TW on Overseas Vietnamese affairs have confirmed the Party and State consistent policy towards protecting legitimate rights and interests of Overseas Vietnamese.

In the future, the diplomatic sector will continue to work closely with relevant ministries and sectors at central and local levels to protect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and national security; implement co-operative programmes and international integration tasks, as well as restructure its working apparatus.

What should be done to improve the competence of foreign affairs staff?

High-quality personnel are one of the most important factors to the success of guidelines and policies. The sector’s staffs are being rejuvenated and basically meet job requirements. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is focusing on implementation of a number of measures to improve the competence of its staff, including enhancing ideological and political education, improving the quality of recruitment and training of the staff, as well as enhancing their effectiveness and professionalism.

Upholding 69 years of the glorious tradition of predecessors, every diplomatic staff member should exert more efforts to successfully implement the foreign tasks assigned by the Party and State, which thereby contributes to forging the path forward for the country in the new period.

Thank you very much!

Source: VGP

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