Vietnamese Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong proposed measures to promote respect for international law while addressing a plenum of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-141) on October 15.
The IPU-141, themed “Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation”, is taking place in Belgrade, Serbia, with the participation of 80 top legislators and heads of delegations and more than 1,700 parliamentarians from 150 member parliaments, along with representatives of international organisations.
In her speech, Phong noted complex security and political developments, racial and religious conflicts, non-traditional security risks, and increasing terrorism, extremism and insular nationalism around the world. She attributed the situation to the increase of unilateral actions that are not based on legal orders regulated in universal international conventions and violate the common principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, which are threatening peace that humankind has been striving to maintain.
The situation needs coordination at multiple levels, including the engagement of multilateral institutions and particularly the IPU, the Vice Chairwoman said.
She applauded the IPU-141’s theme, which highlights the IPU’s resolve and actions to enhance the role of international law – the principle to regulate international relations and the basis to boost global governance and equal cooperative ties among countries, regardless of how big or small they are.
The official emphasised that Vietnam persistently pursue a foreign policy of independence and self-reliance, and respects multilateralism, the rule of law and the common principles of international relations. It pays special attention to the maintenance of international order based on rules, common agreements and conventions among countries.
The country always adheres to regulations of universal international agreements such as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and settles disputes by peaceful measures on the basis on international law, Phong said, adding that it has also taken part in many multilateral treaties within the framework of the UN and other international organisations.
Vietnam will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, ASEAN Chair in 2020 and Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for 2019-2020, she said.
Therefore, the country will continue helping to promote multilateralism and fair and equal dialogue, settle global issues and regional conflicts, and foster peace on the basis of international law, while enhancing regional cooperation in perfecting mechanisms for ensuring equitable and balanced interests for all relevant parties, the Vice Chairwoman noted.
Suggesting ways to boost respect for international law
, she said respect for the UN Charter, as well as the compliance with international law and common principles and standards of conduct, must be reinforced at global, regional and national levels.
It is necessary to expand and bring into play the role of cooperation, dialogue and information sharing mechanisms to improve mutual understanding, trust and respect to seek peaceful solutions to regional disputes and urgent challenges, Phong said.
Parliaments should also step up the ratification and participation of international treaties and agreements and multilateral legal documents; align their countries’ laws with international treaties they have engaged in; and increase monitoring the implementation of important agreements reached through multilateral negotiations, she said.
Phong also called for parliamentary diplomacy to be supported and the IPU’s role to be further promoted for the sake of global peace and democracy.
Additionally, she underlined the need to strengthen the IPU’s cooperation mechanisms with its member parliaments, the UN and international organisations, with a focus on sustainable development, poverty reduction, nutrition, gender equality, youth participation, management and sustainable use of natural resources, and connectivity among countries and parliaments in making policies on climate change response.
Sharing the Vietnamese official’s view, other delegates at the IPU-141’s plenary session also highlighted the importance of international law while condemning the violations and disregard for it, saying those actions are harmful to peace, security and development cooperation.
They stressed the IPU’s tasks and role in supervising and maintaining international law, asking the union to form sustainable mechanisms and solutions to ensure strict adherence to international law, especially the UN Charter, the International Human Rights Conventions, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the UNCLOS, because it is the only legal tool to resolve conflicts and disputes.