Multilateral diplomacy – important part of VN’s foreign policy: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has underscored the need to identify multilateral foreign policy as an indispensable part in Vietnam’s overall external policy and international integration.

multilateral diplomacy, pascal lamy

Ex-chief of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung on August 12 attended an international conference on multilateral foreign policy and policy recommendations for Vietnam along with former WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, former UN Under-Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala, and former Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo.

The conference takes place in the context that multilateral foreign affairs have become an inevitable trend and increasingly important role in international relations in the 21st century.

Many countries are paying heed to mechanisms of multilateral cooperation to meet rising demand for broader cooperation to cope with increasingly fierce global challenges.

The main purpose of the conference is to look back nearly 30 years of implementing multilateral foreign policy of Vietnam, draw learnt lessons, and propose policy recommendations for Vietnam and ASEAN.

In his speech, PM Dung stressed the importance of multilateral diplomacy and expressed pride that Vietnam has served as stint as a non-permanent member of the UN for the 2008-2009 term and Chair of ASEAN in 2010.

“Vietnam has organized a host of major multilateral events, wining confidence from the international community as a contribution to elevating its international status. The country is fully cognizant of the role of institutions and multilateral forums for regional security and economy, and acknowledges the ongoing process of economic transformation.” Dung said.

He stressed that multilateral diplomacy helps defend national independence and sovereignty.  Multilateral forums are the place to protect and promote regional security and an equal international partnership for mutual benefit in conformity with international law.

The Government leader also touched upon tensions in the East Sea and the protection of national justice through mechanisms and multilateral forums.

Former WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, a leading expert in multilateral diplomacy, gave a presentation on "The big trends of multilateral foreign affairs in the 21st century".

Lamy referred to the global complex situation and analyzed trends, such as the globalization process, the process of rebalancing the economy and environmental challenges.

The speech by former UN Under Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala focused on the role of the UN and other multilateral institutions before new challenges to peace and security in the 21st century.

Jayantha Dhanapala presented new security concepts that are not only limited to military aspects as before, but also include aspects such as the economy, resources and people. He quoted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as confirming the mutual relationship between security and development.

The former UN leader said that the doctrine of the 20th century was dominated by capitalism and socialism under which he refereed to "all doctrines" that are emerging for the time being like terrorism, nationalism, and consumerism.

Vietnam's leading multilateral foreign policy speaker, VuKhoan who is also former Deputy Prime Minister with practical experience in multilateral operations talked about "Perceptions of Vietnam: Opportunities and Challenges for small and medium countries in implementing multilateral foreign policy."

Opening the presentation, Khoan analyzed how a small country, a big country and a middle income country is.

He asserted the special importance of multilateral diplomacy for Vietnam in protecting national independence and raising national status, boosting the country’s economic development, while maintaining national sovereignty and protecting the interests of small countries before pressure from major powers.

However multilateral foreign affairs also pose huge challenges such as risks of being sieged and interest disputes among countries, Khoan noted.


multilateral diplomacy, pascal lamy