Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao was re-elected to the International Law Commission (ILC) for the 2023-2027 tenure on November 12 with 145 out of 191 votes, ranking fourth among 11 candidates from Asia-Pacific.
Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao (L) at the election (Photo: VNA)
The ILC is an independent body of the UN, and specialises in developing and codifying international law, and reporting to the UN General Assembly’s Legal Committee. It is composed of 34 members who are elected by UN member states every five years via secret ballot.
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency at the UN headquarters following his re-election, Ambassador Thao expressed his pride in getting a chance to make further contributions to Vietnam’s position, thus meeting international friends’ expectation for Vietnam’s role in building international law to address disputes and promote cooperation among nations.
He pledged to make greater efforts during his second tenure to heighten Vietnam’s stature on international arena.
He attributed his success in the re-election to international friends’ deep impression on Vietnam’s the two resistance wars, as well as the country’s achievements in the Doi Moi (renewal) process over the past 35 years.
Thao said countries also highly value Vietnam’s consistent external policy of independence and self-reliance, being a friend of all countries. The final factor is the month-long campaigning process in New York, capitals of countries and other representative agencies in the UN.
However, the most important factor is Vietnam’s rising stature, he said. This year, Vietnam continues serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and has made contributions to peace processes worldwide.
During the 2017-2022 tenure, Ambassador Thao was the first Vietnamese to be elected to the ILC. He actively joined and offered ideas to the committee’s important discussions regarding environment protection in armed conflicts, atmosphere protection, response to rising sea level and international law.
Thao earned a doctorate degree on law from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and previously held important positions such as Vice Chairman of the National Border Commission and head of the Vietnamese delegations to negotiations on border agreements with neighbouring countries of Vietnam.
Minister: Vietnam’s re-election at ILC proves international community’s trust
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son has highlighted the significance of Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao’s re-election to the International Law Commission (ILC) for the 2023-2027 tenure.
Talking with the press, Son said following the Party and State’s policy of promoting multilateral diplomacy, Vietnam not only successfully performed important duties as ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 but also actively and proactively sent officers to work in prestigious international organisations.
Ambassador Thao’s re-election to the ILC with 145 approval votes is evidence of the sound external policy of the Party and the State, and reflects the international community’s support and trust of Vietnam, affirming the country’s enhanced stature and prestige on international arena.
Moreover, Vietnam’s continued participation in the ILC, an agency specialised in developing and codifying international law, demonstrated a strong shift in the country’s international integration which is to actively contribute to building international law together with the international community for a world of peace, national independence, democracy, respect of international law, development cooperation and social progress.
It also manifested the maturity of Vietnam’s multilateral diplomacy, the international community’s trust in Vietnam’s persistent efforts as well as active and responsible contributions to the UN and multilateral institutions. The event also proved that the ability and expertise of Vietnamese diplomatic officials have increasingly improved, gradually meeting regional and global standards.
As for Ambassador Thao, the re-election is the international community’s recognition of his expertise, capability and experience as well as active contributions to important international law issues during his working tenure from 2017-2022 in the ILC, Son said.
Apart from the ILC, Vietnam has been actively bidding for seats in important international organisations and institutions such as the UNESCO Executive Board (for 2021-2024 term), the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2022-2026 term), the World Heritage Committee (2023-2027 term), and the UN Human Rights Council (2023-2025 term), he added./.
UN leader Antonio Guterres to visit Vietnam this year
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres confirmed he would visit Vietnam this year during a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc in New York on Wednesday (U.S. time).
At the meeting, held on the sidelines of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Ngoc reiterated President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to the UN secretary-general to visit Vietnam.
Guterres replied that he would make every effort to arrange a visit to the Southeast Asian country at an appropriate time this year.
The visit, when realized, will be a meaningful event given that 2022 marks 45 years since Vietnam’s accession to the UN.
Secretary General Guterres praised Vietnam’s active and responsible contributions to the UN’s common work and also expressed his special feelings for the nation.
The UN head mentioned Vietnam’s strong commitments in responding to climate change and promised to continue supporting the nation in this area.
He also expressed his positive impression of Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements, especially in the post-pandemic recovery process.
The last time a UN secretary general visited Vietnam was in May 2015, when Ban Ki Moon from South Korea paid a two-day visit to the country.
Guterres, the ninth secretary general in the UN’s history, is currently in his second five-year term, following the first that began on January 1, 2017.
Vietnam joined the UN on September 20, 1977. The agency’s support for Vietnam first focused on war reconstruction and humanitarian assistance, and then on strengthening institutions, policies, social protection, health, education, and agriculture, among others.
During the past 45 years, Vietnam has achieved many milestones within the UN, including serving twice as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2008-09 and 2020-21.
Vietnam has also contributed to UN peacekeeping operations in 29 missions to South Sudan and the Central African Republic since 2014, according to the website of the UN Office in Vietnam.
The country deployed its first level-2 field hospital to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan with 63 members in 2018.
Vietnam’s airlines asked to avoid Chinese military drill areas near Taiwan
Vietnamese airlines have been directed to adjust flight routes in order to avoid six areas near Taiwan where military exercises are being conducted by China amid tensions sparked by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island, Vietnam’s central aviation agency said on Wednesday.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) released the direction after China announced its military would launch live-fire drills in six maritime areas surrounding Taiwan and their respective airspace from Thursday to Sunday and asked sea vessels and planes from other countries to avoid these zones.
Accordingly, Vietnamese carriers will adjust their flight routes to ensure their planes do not fly over or near the six drill areas labeled on a map released by China, CAAV general director Dinh Viet Thang told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Thang also noted that Vietnamese airlines will seek out reserve airports far from these areas.
Such adjustments will increase flight distances, times, and expenses – a hefty burden given the already soaring coasts of Jet A1 flight fuel, according to CAAV.
The agency also stated that these drills will impact routes from Vietnam to the U.S., which are regularly operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines, as well as flights to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
Specifically, around 60 flights, including 36 by Vietnam Airlines, 22 by Vietjet Air, and several by Bamboo Airways, will be affected, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Thang said CAAV will support the carriers if they face difficulty in altering flight routes through the airspace of relevant countries.
However, if there are adverse circumstances related to route adjustments, or if any significant impact arises from the exercises, airlines can proactively delay or cancel relevant flights to ensure safety, provided they notify customers in advance, Thang directed.
On August 2, China’s Xinhua News Agency released a notice that “the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will conduct important military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills” in six maritime areas specified in an attached map.
For safety reasons, vessels and aircraft are prohibited from entering the waters and airspace intended for the drills.
These exercises were announced soon after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday evening for a visit to Taiwan, despite previous warnings against the trip from mainland China.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China – U.S. joint communiqués,” Xinhua cited the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Tuesday.
In response, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby underlined at a press briefing at the White House that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan did not change Washington’s stance on the ‘one-China’ policy, which recognizes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as part of China.
Kirby also insisted that the visit was within Pelosi’s rights and did not infringe China’s sovereignty, according to Reuters.
Regarding increased tension following Pelosi’s visit, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday called for the relevant parties to exercise restraint and not to escalate tension in the Taiwan Strait area.
Pelosi left Taiwan the same day.
Vietnam calls for restraint amid US House Speaker’s Taiwan visit
Vietnam adheres to the ‘one-China’ policy and hopes the relevant parties to exercise restraint and not to escalate tension in the Taiwan Strait area, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
The foreign ministry’s spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang was speaking at a press briefing in Hanoi in response to reporters’ questions about the current situation of the Taiwan Strait.
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, had landed in Taiwan for a visit on Tuesday.
Reiterating that Vietnam continues to follow the ‘one China’ policy, Hang requested all relevant parties to contain themselves and contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world.
‘One-China’ means “there is but one China in the world,” stated the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam.
Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legal government representing the entirety of China, the embassy stressed.
Tension in the Taiwan Strait has been heightened after U.S. House Speaker Pelosi’s plane touched down in Taipei on Tuesday evening, despite previous warnings from mainland China.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China – U.S. joint communiqués,” China’s Xinhua News Agency cited the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Tuesday.
Around 15 minutes after Pelosi arrived at Songshan Airport in Taipei, Xinhua News Agency reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army would conduct drills in six areas surrounding Taiwan from August 4 to 8.
Meanwhile, China’s Eastern Theater Command announced that military operations began on Tuesday evening with the participation of J-20 stealth fighters.
A video aired later on the China Central Television showed the fighters taking off in the dark with missiles under their wings.
On late Tuesday night, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to protest over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit and asked Washington to “immediately address its wrongdoings.”
In a press conference held later at the White House, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby underlined that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan did not change Washington’s stance on the ‘one-China’ policy, which recognizes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as part of China.
The visit was within Pelosi’s rights and did not violate China’s sovereignty, Reuters cited Kirby as saying.
The U.S. acknowledged the ‘one-China’ policy and established official diplomatic relations with mainland China in 1979.
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