DPM, FM Pham Binh Minh’s Statement at UNSC High-level Open Debate on Pandemics and Challenges to Sustaining Peace
22:39 | 12/08/2020
VGP - Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh delivered his Statement at the High-level Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on Pandemics and Challenges to Sustaining Peace, held in form of online meeting on August 12, 2020.

The recent re-emergence of the Coronavirus in Viet Nam after three months is a stark reminder that no single country can win this battle, unless and until everyone wins. Photo: VGP

Madam President,

It is a great pleasure to see you again though only virtually. 

Thank you and the Indonesian Presidency for convening this meeting. And thank you for inviting the best briefers for this timely and important topic. 

My special greetings to Secretary-General Guterres and former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 

Madam President,

I am joining this meeting from Ha Noi, Viet Nam  - a country that has seen early success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. A whole-of-government approach, strong and determined actions that leave no one behind have helped minimize casualties and impacts. Yet, the recent re-emergence of the corona virus in Viet Nam after three months is a stark reminder that no single country can win this battle, unless and until everyone wins. 

Viet Nam has been enjoying peace, stability and long periods of growth for decades. But when the pandemic hit Viet Nam, it hit us hard. It put enormous strain on our healthcare system, undermined our socio-economic development. It disrupted every aspect of our lives in unprecedented and unthinkable ways. 

As such, we can only imagine the level of devastation this pandemic can bring to conflict-affected areas. The pandemic threatens to wipe out hard-won peace-building gains and worsen the already complex and fragile situations, especially the humanitarian situation. 

Such a multi-dimensional crisis demands multi-dimensional solutions.

At national level, a whole-of-government approach is needed to tackle the pandemic from a disease-control perspective, and at the same time strengthen institutions, build trust and foster co-operation. 

Special support must be given to the most vulnerable in conflicts and health crises, particularly the elderly, women and children, persons with disabilities, refugees and displaced persons. 

Viet Nam welcomes the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2532, and the Secretary-Generals appeal for an immediate global ceasefire and facilitation of humanitarian activities. Photo: VGP

Globally, a threat like COVID-19 can only be curbed by working together through multilateral efforts. Viet Nam welcomes the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2532, and the Secretary-Generals appeal for an immediate global ceasefire and facilitation of humanitarian activities. 

We call for the lifting of sanctions which can undermine countries capacity to respond to COVID-19. 

We commend UN peace operations for continuing to fulfill their crucial mandates and support host countries, despite even more challenging operating environment. 

We urge the UN peace-building architecture, from headquarters to field operations, to take coordinated actions and deliver as one. A whole-of-system approach is crucial for the UN to deliver its promises of sustainable peace and development. 

Sustaining peace in a time of pandemic can generate great impact even from the smallest actions to win the hearts and minds of the local community. I am particularly moved by the story of a resourceful Vietnamese woman peacekeeper in the Central African Republic who made face masks to help protect fellow peacekeepers and the local populations.

Lastly, the important role of regional organizations cannot be overstated. In Southeast Asia, ASEAN, of which Viet Nam and Indonesia are proud members, is taking a whole-of-community approach in fighting the pandemic. 

ASEAN leaders have reaffirmed their political commitment and taken coordinated measures to protect the health of our citizens, revitalize our economies and prevent the pandemic from undermining the overall regional peace and stability. 

Madam President,

No one can win this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic alone. Viet Nam continues to underscore the critical importance of international solidarity and strengthened cooperation in our response to COVID-19. We are strongly committed and call on all to join hands in this common endeavor. 

I thank you./.

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