Jan 01, 2022 / 17:36

Vietnam makes world less controversial in UNSC term

Events and initiatives initiated by Vietnam both harmonize with the common interests and concerns of the international community and contribute to spreading the message of the world’s responsible member, Vietnam.

Vietnam completed its non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 term, the second of its kind, with significant successes.

In the past two years, with “unprecedented” challenges, especially the far-reaching effects of the Covid-19 pandemic since the beginning of 2020, Vietnam’s substantive and practical contributions to the joint work of the UNSC have left many imprints on the Vietnamese identity and multilateral diplomacy.

 Vietnam's President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a UNSC conference in February 2021. Photo: VNA

Trust, efforts, motivation

One year before the election to the UNSC, in May 2018, the group of Asia-Pacific countries at the UN agreed to nominate Vietnam, an unprecedented event, demonstrating their trust and respect for Vietnam. On June 7, 2019, within the framework of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Vietnam was elected as the non-permanent member of the Security Council for the 2020-2021 term with a record high of votes (192/193 votes).

With the message “Partnership for Sustainable Peace”, during the two years, Vietnam participated in discussions and found solutions to all issues on the UNSC agenda in all regions; promoting common consensus, cooperation, dialogues; finding fair and reasonable solutions to the regional and global problems while curbing tension and confrontation.

Vietnam promoted its role in proposing initiatives and making mediation through successfully assuming President of the Security Council twice in January 2020 and April 2021. In addition, Vietnam presided over the drafting, negotiations, and approval of many important documents.

On the other hand, Vietnam strengthens the role of regional organizations in conflict prevention and settlement, while promoting cooperation between ASEAN and the UN in general and with the Security Council in particular through the organization of the first Open Debate between ASEAN and the UN in January 2020, highlighting the role of ASEAN in the discussions and documents of the Security Council on the Myanmar issue.

Vietnam also had a holistic approach in handling challenges of peace and security from conflict prevention and resolution with an emphasis on dealing with landmine consequences and promoting humanitarian issues.

Vietnam also made practical contributions to the work of the Security Council, such as deploying the Level 2 Field Hospital No.3 at the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan in March 2021; deploying engineers at United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), Sudan and South Sudan for the first time and soon to send civilian police to join UN missions.

 Vietnam leaves imprints at the United Nations Security Council 2020-2021 as partnership for sustainable peace. 


Successful assuming the role of UNSC member for the second time is an important milestone and a concrete step to continue implementing Vietnam’s multilateralization and diversification policy, “actively participating in and strengthening the role of multilateral institutions, especially ASEAN and the United Nations”.

Through joining the Security Council, Vietnam continues to boost comprehensive, extensive, and effective integration in the global governance system; contributes to enhancing Vietnam’s role in building and shaping multilateral institutions and the international political-economic order; deepening bilateral relations with countries, partners, the United Nations, and international organizations.

Events and initiatives initiated by Vietnam both harmonize with the common interests and concerns of the international community and contribute to spreading the message of the world’s responsible member, Vietnam.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres commented that ideas from countries are “less controversial than before” when Vietnam is the President of the Security Council.

Permanent Representative of the UK to the United Nations Barbara Woodward emphasized “without Vietnam, I think the Security Council could deviate from resolving urgent issues.”

Sharing more, Ambassador T.S Tirumurti, Head of India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, said that Vietnam demonstrated the views of ASEAN. As an ASEAN member, Vietnam brought an important perspective in the UNSC discussions, especially on the Myanmar issue.

Tirumurti said Vietnam has focused on prioritizing several important issues, such as protecting infrastructure in conflict. Vietnam also has a Presidential Statement on the issue of landmines, which I consider very important, especially in the context of terrorist forces targeting peacekeepers.

Abdou Abarry, Permanent Representative of Niger to the United Nations, said he highly appreciated Vietnam’s strong voice in critical situations during the past two years at the Security Council.

In particular, the African countries in the Non-Permanent Members of the Security Council (elected ten - E10) thanked Vietnam for supporting and guiding us when we needed to discuss and make decisions related to African issues, the ambassador said.

Many countries also believe that Vietnam’s voice at the Security Council is the voice representing developing countries and non-aligned countries. They believed that with its openness and connection to the world, Vietnam is ready to have a more prominent voice and position in the UN.

In the two years 2020-2021, the Security Council has nearly 900 meetings of Ambassador level and above, thousands of consultations at all levels, and approved 247 documents (including 111 Resolutions, 37 Presidential Statements, 100 Press Statements).

During the two-year term, Vietnam proposed and approved by the Security Council two resolutions, three Presidential Statements, a Press Statement on the terrorist attack in Indonesia, and Hanoi Declaration on Women, Peace and Security.

Vietnam also contributed to the adoption of a Resolution on the International Day for Disease Control; put into operation the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Friends Group with more than 113 participating countries; re-elected to the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) for the term 2021-2026; and campaigned for election to the Human Rights Council 2023-2025.