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Vietnam begins official activities as rotating Chairman of UN Security Council

Released at: 15:36, 03/01/2020

Vietnam begins official activities as rotating Chairman of UN Security Council

Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Ceremony on January 2 at UN headquarters in New York opens country's membership in 2020-2021.

by Jessica Nguyen

According to the Vietnam News Agency, on January 2 at the UN headquarters in New York, Vietnam conducted official activities as rotating Chairman of the United Nations Security Council for the first month, opening its membership term from 2020-2021.

The flag-raising ceremony of the five new non-permanent members - Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, and Vietnam - was held in front of the Security Council’s meeting room. Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the Vietnam Standing Mission to the UN, H.E. Dang Dinh Quy, told the ceremony it is a great honor for Vietnam to take on the role of a non-permanent member and also rotating Chairman of the Security Council for the first month. It will make every effort to contribute to the work of the Security Council to ensure compliance with the UN Charter and promote multilateralism. He also expressed Vietnam’s desire for other nations to support it not only during this first month but also into the future. He added the Vietnamese flag to the flags of member states of the Security Council.

On the same day, the Security Council approved the January 2020 work program proposed by Vietnam. It is expected that the Security Council will have 12 public meetings and 15 caucus meetings to discuss international and regional issues such as the situation in the Middle East, Syria, Yemen, West Africa, Sahel, Mali, Libya, Central Asia, and Cyprus. The Security Council’s subordinates will also hold several meetings each month on issues such as sanctions, counterterrorism, courts, children, and armed conflict, as well as procedural issues.

Promoting compliance with the UN Charter and strengthening cooperation between the UN and ASEAN are two important activities of the UN Security Council in January 2020. The time Vietnam assumes the position of Chairman of the UN Security Council is particularly meaningful, because this is the first month of celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN, which is also the 75th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter, and Vietnam also begins its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020. It proposed and received approval from all Security Council members on organizing an open discussion on the UN Charter Promotion of Compliance, to take place on January 9, as well as a meeting between the UN and ASEAN countries on maintaining international peace and security, on January 23.

Vietnam’s proposals aim to promote the role of multilateralism, the UN Charter, and the basic principles of international law for a more peaceful, fair, and better world. At the same time, Vietnam also wishes to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation and the comprehensive partnership between ASEAN and the UN, for the mutual benefit of ASEAN countries and the international community.

As one of six main UN agencies, the UN Security Council is given the main responsibility by member states for maintaining international peace and security. Under Articles 4 and 25 of the UN Charter, all UN member states agree to accept and enforce UN Security Council decisions. Once approved, these decisions and resolutions are respected and implemented.

The Security Council consists of five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US) and ten non-permanent members with two-year terms, elected by the UN General Assembly. The ten non-permanent seats are classified by geographical area, and are currently held by Estonia, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Niger, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, South Africa, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

According to UN figures, the UN Security Council held 258 official meetings in 2019, including 243 public meetings and 137 consultations.

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