Remarks by Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator at UN Day Reception 2018 In Celebration of the 73rd Anniversary of the United Nations


Event: UN Day Reception 2018 in Celebration of the 73rd Anniversary of the United Nations

Date: 24 October 2018

Venue: Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, 360 Kim Ma, Ha Noi, Viet Nam

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On behalf of both the UN Country Team and the broader UN family in Viet Nam, please allow me to warmly welcome you to this UN Day commemoration and celebration. I wish to thank His Excellency Minister Tran Hong Ha both for gracing us with his presence and for his strong support for the UN in Viet Nam. I also wish to thank Her Excellency Mme. Chairwoman Nguyen Thuy Anh and our guest of honour, representing the Government of Viet Nam, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Pham Quang Vinh for their presences here today. It is an honour for us to celebrate UN Day with all three of them.

UN Day marks the entry into force of the UN Charter 73 years ago today, on 24 October 1945, when the United Nations officially came into being.

And, 73 years on, the United Nations remains even more relevant, significant and necessary in these challenging times for multilateralism, as our Secretary General just said last Friday to a global meeting of UN Resident Coordinators in New York from which I have just returned. How are we to tackle the major global challenges facing all nations of the world? How are we to generate opportunity, prosperity and hope for current and future generations, especially in these challenging times when narrow nationalisms and patriotisms are in resurgence as never before since they emerged in Europe just before the Second World War from whose ashes the United Nations was born?

No one size fits all, and every nation has its own story to tell, its lessons to impart, and its wealth to share. All of these are critical to addressing the substantial global challenges of our time. But we must all recognize that just like globalization, multilateralism is here to stay and grow. In fact, they are strange but essential bedfellows. Accelerated climate change and climate related disasters, dealing with protracted regional and national conflicts, harnessing rapid technological advances, as well as many other critical, cross-border or transnational issues shaping our world ALL require multilateral and global action and solutions.

Multilateralism is therefore crucial to achieving our shared three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights for all, in a manner consistent with the principles and aspirations of the UN Charter, which all 193 Member States of the United Nations have committed to. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

While the role of the UN has evolved since 1945 and must continue to do so to remain relevant in the 21st century to ensure the achievement of peace and security, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the fulfilment of human rights for all human beings, its core and fundamental objectives remain the same, with the UN Charter remaining a timeless and inspirational document. Despite its many imperfections, which largely reflect the imperfections of its Member States, the United Nations is our only common global home. If it did not exist, we would have to reinvent it.

Three critical agreements have recently been reached through the UN, and with the active participation of Viet Nam and all Member States here present. 1) The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 2) the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and 3) the Addis Ababa Agenda on Financing Sustainable Development. With these indispensable and interrelated accords, the world has given itself the tools to tackle major global challenges, together as global citizens, as well as within our own countries.

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Indeed, every nation has its story to tell. And, Viet Nam's own story is filled with precious lessons and invaluable wealth. War and peace, tragedy and joy, hardship and well-being. Viet Nam has had a unique set of experiences that continue to unlock the potential that has led to remarkable social and economic progress in this country in less than a generation. According to the Government of Viet Nam, approximately 7.3 million people were lifted out of multi-dimensional poverty in only five years between 2012 and 2017, an extraordinary achievement.

The UN in Viet Nam is both proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to such significant results and continues to see and share these experiences as valuable to other countries and regions of the world as we continually work to share best practices and build partnerships globally.

Viet Nam, I am happy to confirm, is a strong supporter of multilateralism. It has been substantively involved with the UN, including through the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Human Rights Council, UNESCO's Executive Board, the UN International Law Commission, and most recently through its increased support for UN Peacekeeping Operations.

Viet Nam is also a leading advocate of the principles of multilateral cooperation at the regional level. The APEC meeting of 2017, the World Economic Forum on ASEAN of 2018, and Viet Nam's growing leadership role in ASEAN are testimony to this. It will Chair ASEAN again in 2020 and hopefully occupy a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council again for 2020-2021 for which it has been put forward as the uncontested candidate from this region.

As partners to Viet Nam, as the United Nations, it is a privilege to serve in this unique and beautiful country.

Distinguished Guests,

On the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations, we find ourselves at a crossroads, one where we can together shape the Organization to better support sustainable development through Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Secretary General is leading the UN through ambitious reforms. These will substantially change the way the UN operates globally, regionally and at country level. The UN's peace and security pillar, its management arrangements, and its development system are all undergoing substantive changes as I speak, with the overarching objective of eradicating poverty in all its forms and achieving sustainable development.

UN development system reform, the most significant in decades, which will formally go into effect on 1 January 2019, is not inward navel gazing, but is about becoming much more effective, coordinated, transparent and accountable, to better assist countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With 12 years of One UN experience and leadership, Viet Nam is uniquely placed to remain at the forefront of this new generation of UN development system reforms.

As the UN Country Team in Viet Nam present here, we are committed to implementing these reforms as agreed by all UN Member States through a UN General Assembly resolution on 31 May 2018. With the support of Viet Nam's leaders, and in collaboration with all partners, we will continue to strive for a United Nations which works for all, tirelessly striving to Leave No One Behind.

Through the UN and Government agreed "One Strategic Plan" for 2017-2021, our common partnership framework, the work of 18 UN entities operating in Viet Nam is brought together. My colleagues here, whom you know, represent these UN agencies, funds, programmes and specialized agencies. I wish to thank them, as the UN Resident Coordinator, for the dedicated service they are providing to the people of Viet Nam, together as a UN family.

The support currently provided by the UN family is focused on gender sensitive poverty reduction, social development and inclusive social services, good governance, justice and human rights, inclusive economic growth and social protection, as well as climate change, environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction and more. The UN has been working in close collaboration with the Government of Viet Nam for over 40 years, and with the support of all of you here present, seeks to contribute to a Vietnamese society which is greener, healthier, better educated, and more inclusive and empowered to reach its full potential within the overall framework of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As stated by the Deputy Secretary General during the recently held 2018 UN General Assembly, "At its core, the 2030 Agenda is a ground-breaking and inclusive global promise to eradicate poverty and achieve a better future for all on a healthy planet. Success will be measured in how well we live up to the commitment to leave no one behind. We need to ensure that we provide a voice and a platform for the most marginalized, vulnerable and excluded communities and individuals".

Viet Nam can lead regionally and globally on the Sustainable Development Goals as it did on their predecessor Millennium Development Goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please allow me to conclude on this occasion by thanking, on behalf of the entire UN Country Team, the Government and people of Viet Nam for their excellent partnership with and support to the United Nations System, both within this country and beyond.

We are privileged to work with both the "Whole of Government" and the "Whole of Society" of Viet Nam.

As stated in the preamble of the United Nations Charter: "We the peoples of the United Nations are determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large. We the peoples of the United Nations are determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom".

I thank you for joining us today in this commemoration and celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Thank you! Xin Cảm Ơn!

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