Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen: Viet Nam's deft and resilient delivering on dual mission
|Ambassador of Denmark to Viet Nam Kim Højlund Christensen.|
2020 has undoubtedly been a difficult year, as the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique and serious challenges. Viet Nam has however managed to make the best out of the unprecedented circumstances, deftly and resiliently delivering on its dual mission as ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
As the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Viet Nam has worked to maintain and strengthen ASEAN’s centrality and connectivity in an uncertain world of a once-in-a-century pandemic and increasing great power rivalry. Further, Viet Nam has promoted cooperation with ASEAN’s partner countries in combating the pandemic. Initiatives such as setting up the COVID-19 Response Fund and establishing a forum to share experience, strategies, and ways to ease the impact of the global health crisis have been widely supported.
Viet Nam has also done very well as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. It has actively been raising ASEAN’s profile and voice at the UN including promoting the ASEAN-UN cooperation, taking advantage of its dual posts at these two organizations in 2020. During the very first month of a turbulent year, Viet Nam successfully delivered its rotating presidency role at the UNSC, effectively coordinating important discussions and resolutions, aiming at reducing tensions in the Middle East and helping people in Syria etc.
I would like to congratulate Viet Nam, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in particular, on a job very well done. As a fellow diplomat, I am fully aware about how much hard work had to be put in assuming two such important roles. Besides, the successful handling of COVID-19 has been a major achievement in 2020 that Viet Nam should be proud of.
As we are entering 2021, I believe Viet Nam will be able to make the most of its last year in the UNSC and promote the interests and positions of Viet Nam and ASEAN while contributing to global peace and developments.
In 2021 COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge. However, I hope that positive developments and the widespread use of vaccines internationally will allow Viet Nam to gradually open its borders in a safe way. That will certainly make the diplomacy work easier as important high-level visits and in-person meetings can then be realized. We are especially looking forward to that bright prospect as Viet Nam and Denmark are celebrating the 50th year anniversary of our diplomatic relations in 2021, why we hope to have a series of joint activities and exchanges of high-ranking delegations later this year.
Another crucial event in 2021 is the COP26, whereto we must all be ready to make significant contributions. As Viet Nam is already suffering from severe climate change impacts, e.g. saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta and devastating storms in the Central Region in 2020, you are very well aware of the seriousness and necessity to take action to combat climate change. Denmark was among the first development partners assisting Viet Nam in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and we will continue to give special attention to the green agenda in our cooperation with Viet Nam in the years to come.
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