Vietnam has won the UN Security Council election and become one of the non-permanent members of the council for the duration of two years (2020 to 2021) on June 7, 2019. This is the second time Vietnam got this opportunity to contribute to the objective of international peace and security after holding the seat in 2008-2009. Vietnam obtained 192 votes whereas both Niger and Tunisia got 191 and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines secured only 185.
Being the one of six pillars of the United Nations (UN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been assigned with the duties of ensuring international peace and security. It elects its non-permanent members for two-years’ time duration.
For securing a seat on the council a country must receive votes of two-third of the member states present and voting at the General Assembly session, which means at least 129 positive votes are essential to win a seat in case all 193 UN member states are competing and voting.
The earlier initiative of marching to the UN (from 1995 to 1999) proved fruitful for Vietnam and its people. The country’s unification with the West lead to path with opportunity to work with the world’s international organizations including the Asian Development Bank and multilateral donors such as the World Bank.
As the permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy stated during his spoke to the United Nations Security Council in an open debate on “mediation and settlement of disputes” in 2018, “Vietnam reaffirms the vital importance of regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security.”
Vietnam has joined in the council at a challenging and significant time when five permanent members of the council; the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, and China; behold differences in their political views. Now Vietnam has the opportunity to hold hands with nine other non-permanent members to find a common voice on international issues.
After enduring terrifying war years, Vietnam is the true representation of a mature country that has faced the trauma of being divided. Professor Shankiari Sundararama, Chair of the Centre for Indo-Pacific Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University said in her interview on June 9, 2010, “As a country that has experienced the realities of a divided country and people that were divided, Vietnam has the maturity to comprehend the nature of the conflict.”
“Being on the United Nations Security Council is a matter of prestige for Vietnam, especially since it has won the election by almost 100% vote and it is the only country from among 54 members of the Asia-Pacific region to be on the UNSC,” she said.
Vietnam’s voice will matter in the regional as well as global spaces because it will also become the Chair of the ASEAN in 2020 and will play an important role in maintaining international focus of peace and security.
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