Multilateral cooperation needs revitalized and modern agenda, holistic approach
00:54 | 17/12/2019
VGP –Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called on ASEM countries to have a revitalized and modern agenda as well as holistic approach for multilateral cooperation.

    

Delegates to the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Madrid, Spain

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Minh made the call while addressing the first plenary session of the 14th Asia-Europe Foreign Minister’s Meeting in Madrid, Spain on November 16.

For the past 75 years, multilateralism, with the United Nations at its heart,
has become indispensable and on the threshold of the third decade of the 21st century, the workd is now at a critical juncture of profound and irreversible transformation in the digital age, according to Deputy PM, FM Minh.

Minh expressed his belief that there is great potential for sustainable peace and development, particularly economic empowerment and inclusion, deepening economic integration, more extensive connectivity, environmentally sustainable solutions, among many others, through digital and technological advancement.

At the same time, multilateralism is facing unprecedented challenges, notably fierce competition and confrontation, rising trade disputes, anti-globalization sentiment, and differences over the multilateral trading system, Minh said.

He went on to say that these are exacerbated by far-reaching impacts of technological disruption risks, climate change, increasing global inequalities, already slowing economic and trade growth, unsustainable environmental practices.

Against that backdrop, ASEM need to reaffirm the fundamental importance of international law and the UN Charter for international relations and multilateral cooperation, said the Deputy PM, FM, adding that international law is the foundation of equal relation among states.

He stated that “Our actions must align with and be guided by the respect for international law” for the benefits of world peace, sustainable development and prosperity of our peoples.

As the world is approaching the 75th anniversary of the UN and the 25th anniversary of the WTO, bolder actions are needed in order to reinforce the reform of multilateral institutions, especially the UN and the WTO, in order to keep up with the times and adequately address our people’s pressing concerns of today.

All ASEM partners need to contribute actively to promote dialogue to shape new approaches, norms and frameworks that will govern effectively our global commons through multilateral process and engagement of all states as equals.

Minh affirmed “multilateral cooperation holds a special place in Viet Nam’s foreign policy” and the country is strongly committed to the implementation of the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, including national target to end single-use plastics by 2025./.

By Quang Minh

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