Vietnam position on the work of UN Security Council


Oct. 18 (VNA) -- Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Chau, permanent representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations, addressed the 55th session of the UN General Assembly on Oct. 17, discussing the "Report of the Security Council".

The ambassador underlined the positive developments in the work of the council in the period from 16th June 1999 to 15th June 2000. He said:

"It is quite noticeable that there has been greater transparency in the meetings conducted under this time span by the council. The general membership has long been very energetic in calling for greater transparency in the conducting of business of this body. We have seen more public meetings and prompt briefings by the presidents of the council to the representatives of the non-council members states. It is noteworthy that in recent years non-council members have been increasingly engaged in the discussions of important issues of the Security Council. There is no doubt that this participation is essential for the success of the council's activities. This is a welcome development. We welcome the prompt actions of the Security Council during the period in resolving crises in many regions over the world. In this regard, we wish to see that the Security Council would apply the same approach to the current Middle East crisis. We earnestly hope that a solution will be found to the crisis and the peace process will be put back on track."

"The question of the so-called humanitarian intervention raises many delicate and controversial questions. These include a fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter, namely state sovereignty. We hold that the Security Council should not attempt to expand its scope beyond what is authorized to it under the Charter because this will, in due time, diminish the roles of other competent organs of the United Nations, the General Assembly is a question in point. The general membership of the United Nations, for instance, will not accept that the council indulges itself in the efforts to establish certain norms. We wish to take this opportunity to stress that the Security Council should make its utmost to avoid private meetings. It is our view that private meetings should be exxceptional rather than the norm as it is now. The world community today cannot accept the practice that the council holds formal meetings only to conduct thematic debates or to inform the general membership of the work it has done in secret rooms."

As regards the decision-making mechanism of the council, he stressed:

"My delegation is particularly concerned at the fact that although the veto power had not been used during this period, some Council members still resort to the threat of using it and making the work of the Council less effective. Because of this practice, many meetings and consultations of the Council had been prolonged into the weird hours of the days and awaited solutions had not been forthcoming. The impasse of the Council in reviewing the on-going sanctions regimes is a good case in point. My delegation calls on the Council to review in an urgent manner the sanctions regimes under authority of the Council. Viet Nam believes that sanctions should only be the last resort, their scopes and duration should be clearly defined and great caution should be taken before they are imposed. Most important of all, they should never be used indefinitely. In this connection, we call on the Council members to urgently review and lift all the sanctions imposed upon Iraq taking into account their debililating effects on the Iraqi people."

He said in conclusion: "Viet Nam has on various occasions called for an expanded and reformed Council. We strongly believe that urgent efforts should be exerted to make the Council truly representative and accountable and its work truly democratic and legitimate. We have also expressed our support for the curtailment of the veto power as an interim measure."