According to the results announced at 11:10pm (New York time), after the very first round of votes were counted, Việt Nam earned approval from 192 out of 193 voting countries and territories late on Friday during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The result represented a record, with the landslide one of the largest in the history of the United Nations.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh tweeted that Việt Nam is “proud and honoured to be elected” and that the country would “undertake the duties of a Council member to the best of our abilities to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.”

After the results were announced, deputy foreign minister Lê Hoài Trung at the UN headquarter received congratulations from many countries. He later held talks with the foreign press to express Việt Nam’s gratitude and to reaffirm Việt Nam’s commitments to become a constructive and responsible member of the council, and live up to the confidence the international community has placed in Việt Nam.

Trung said for its term as a Council member, Việt Nam will focus on promoting multilateralism and international law, cooperation between the Council and regional organisations, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, as well as civilian protection during conflicts.

This marks the second time Việt Nam has won the position on the council, following its first stint during the 2008-2009 period. Among the six candidates, two are from Africa, one from Latin America, one from Eastern Europe, and one from Asia-Pacific. As the only candidate representing Asia-Pacific, Việt Nam was set to replace Kuwait at the UNSC from January 1, 2020.

As one of the six major UN organs, the UN Security Council has 15 members, including five permanent and the remaining 10 with two-year tenures. It is the only UN organ to have the right to assess threats to peace and propose or decide on measures to restore global peace and security. The Asia-Pacific countries’ nomination and eventual voting of Việt Nam to the position reflects their recognition of its active, substantial and responsible contributions to the world’s largest multilateral organisation over the past 42 years, especially in the UN’s pillar fields such as peace maintenance and building, protection of human rights and development promotion.

Vietnam News - June 7, 2019

Vietnam elected as new U.N. Security Council member

Vietnam on Friday was elected to replace outgoing Kuwait to serve on the U.N. Security Council as a nonpermanent member for the Asia-Pacific seat beginning next year and stressed the importance of pursuing its policies of peace and nonproliferation after suffering in the aftermath of war.

"As Vietnam went through decades of war, we hope that we can bring to the council the experience of Vietnam, the country that has been able to rebuild the country after the war and deal with many other issues after the war," Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung, told reporters after the election was held in the General Assembly hall.

The Security Council is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.

Hanoi was endorsed by 192 out of 193 member states in a secret ballot.

In the lead-up to the elections, the country campaigned on key issues such as promoting preventative diplomacy, which put the Southeast nation on the map when it hosted the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It also stressed the importance of multilateralism, promoting sustainable development, tackling climate change and promoting human rights, among other issues.

"We have good relations with both the U.S. and the DPRK," he said in response to a question about how Hanoi can play a positive role. He was referring to the isolated country's official name the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and emphasized how his nation normalized ties with Washington decades after the war ended in 1975 and also had experience with economic reforms.

"We hope we can share with our partners in the council and those that might be interested in working together with Vietnam to promote peace and also to deal with the issues on the peninsula in the legitimate interests of all parties involved and also in the interest of the region and the international community," he added.

The country joins Indonesia, which began its two-year term this January after being elected in 2018 to represent the region.

Having only become a U.N. member in 1977, the country last served on the council from 2008-2009.

As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its council term coincides with taking up the chairmanship of the regional organization which also begins in 2020.

It has also contributed 73 personnel to two U.N. peacekeeping missions, with most being stationed in South Sudan, where Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces once had a contingent.

Niger and Tunisia were both endorsed by 191 member states and will replace Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea from the African group.

From the Latin America and the Caribbean group Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gained 185 votes. The southern Caribbean nation will serve for the first time in its history since becoming a member of the international body in 1980 after gaining independence from Britain the previous year. It will take over from Peru.

Estonia and Romania were the only two countries that vied for seats for one Eastern European slot. After two rounds Tallinn received 132 votes to replace Poland whose term ends this year.

Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told reporters of his country's priority to work with efforts to reform the Security Council.

"We are very much a friend of Security Council reform," he said, emphasizing how dialogue and multilateral solutions are needed to break through decades of a stalemate on the issue to restructure the powerful 15-member council.

Japan is among four countries, along with Germany, Brazil and India, that aspires to one day become a new permanent member.

"We would like to see that every regional group should have basically a permanent membership in the Security Council," he said. "We would like to see also Germany and Japan becoming permanent members of the Security Council."

Besides Indonesia, the other four nonpermanent members whose terms end next year are Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany and South Africa.

The permanent members of the council are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The Mainichi (.jp) - June 8, 2019