Sep 20, 2021 / 20:06

Vietnam’s admission to UN: 44-year journey of a reliable global member

Vietnam was elected twice as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Vietnam has undergone a journey of 44 years since its admission to the United Nations with so many changes to become a global reliable and responsible member.

 A UN General Council meeting on Sept 20, 1977, adopts the admission of Vietnam. Photo: VNA

On Sept 20, 1977, Vietnam became the 149th member of the world’s largest international organization with some main bodies namely the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.


In 2019, for the second time in history, Vietnam became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 term by a near-unanimous vote (192 out of 193 member states). Its first time took place in 2008-2009.

“The UNSC stint will spotlight Hanoi’s approach to the world,” Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran wrote for The Diplomat after Vietnam winning the second UNSC membership.

With the new position, Vietnam has promoted its active role in contributing to the common work of the Security Council in the spirit of independence, self-reliance, positivity, responsibility, and balance. It makes substantial contributions to the negotiation process, meets common concerns of the international community, and promotes bilateral relations with the UN member countries.

In the month of presidency in January and April 2021, Vietnam held the UN-ASEAN session, the first of its kind, and a series of open debates on the UN Charter, on ending indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices, on enhancing the role of regional bodies, and on protecting critical infrastructure.

It can be said that the people-centered approach is Vietnam’s imprint in UN Security Council Presidency in April 2021.

Four topics that caught public attention are “Maintenance of international peace and security: Mine action”, “Cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations”, “Women and peace and security: sexual violence in conflict”, and “Critical Infrastructure: the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population.”

Commenting on Vietnam’s Presidency, Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s ambassador to the UN, said “For the first time, this Council speaks with one voice to express its collective concern about the dire humanitarian situation on the ground.”

She said the body has paid great attention to humanitarian issues, such as the food crisis, sexual violence against women over the past months but there was a discussion that the UNSC issued a joint statement with a high consensus thanks to Vietnam’s presidency.

It can be said that Vietnam not only fulfilled its promise before entering the Security Council but also opened the door for the next chairmen, she noted.

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended three world leaders’ summits on global food security, climate security, and Covid-19 response.

The summits are expected to cope with Covid-19, address pandemic-caused consequences, and carry out post-pandemic recovery.

The United Nations General Assembly has approved a resolution drafted by Vietnam to declare December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic.

 Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN. Photo: Vietnam Mission to UN

Broader role

Vietnam has also participated in the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

It has actively promoted UN reform initiatives to increase the effectiveness of UN operations at the national level.

The country has promoted multilateralism and respect for the UN Charter, international law, equal relations, development cooperation among nations, and rights to self-determination of all nations. At the same time, it has opposed acts of aggression and unilateral embargo in international relations.

It has taken special care to develop cooperation, disarmament, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, anti-terrorism, and assurance of human rights.

Vietnam is a successful example in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a country that is determined and serious to implement the 2030 SDG Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In 2017-2021, Vietnam and the US have actively implemented the joint strategy within the One UN Initiative signed in July 2017.

In the past years, Vietnam has increased its engagement in the UN’s peacekeeping mission by sending more than 240 arrivals to the missions in South Sudan, the Public of Central Africa, at the UN’s headquarters, running field hospital in South Sudan, and having the high rate of female peacekeepers among participating countries.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam’s admission to the UN over the past 44 years has contributed to ensuring its national interests, especially maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for the country’s development. It has enabled Hanoi to deepen international integration and enhance Vietnam’s position and image in the international arena, as well as Vietnam’s relations with other countries, especially key partners.

 Vietnamese peacekeepers. Photo: UN Peacekeeping