VIM - The following is the full address by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 75th anniversary of Viet Nam's Independence Day (September 2), held in Ha Noi on August 28, 2020.
Comrade leaders of the Party, State and Viet Nam Fatherland Front,
Excellency Ambassador Saadi Salama, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
Excellencies Ambassadors, Charges d’Affaires, and Chief Representatives of International Organizations in Ha Noi,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
1. On behalf of the Party, State and People of Viet Nam, I would like to convey my warmest welcome to the leaders, distinguished guests and all friends attending the Banquet celebrating the 75th Independence Day of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. Our grand event today is of tremendous significance, as showcased by the broad participation of the leaders of the Party, State, National Assembly, Government, Viet Nam Fatherland Front, the municipalities of Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps and dear friends.
2. On the Second of September, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh, the great statesman of our nation, proclaimed the independence of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam – now the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
On this historic occasion, the Oath to Independence resounded in the hearts of millions of Vietnamese. We pledged to stand united, to join our strength and be one mind, to hoist high the flag of yellow star upon red field in our revolutionary march, to overcome countless hardships and make needed sacrifice in order to secure our independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, right to self- determination and the right to pursue happiness. Such are the inalienable rights of all nations – yet we have had to undergo untold losses and ordeals to claim. Long been engraved in our hearts is the teaching of esteemed President Ho Chi Minh – “Nothing is as precious as independence and freedom.”
3. The revolutionary path over the past 75 years has been marked with glory. Viet Nam has taken great strides toward the goal of “wealthy people, strong nation, and democratic, just and cultured society”. Important achievements, including strong and sustained economic growth, higher living standards, secured social and political stability, safeguarded national defense and security, and improved laws and institutions, expanded international relations with proactive international integration, and active and responsible contributions to peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
These momentous successes of historic significance bear testimony to the strong will-power of our people and Viet Nam’s role as a trusted friend and partner of the international community. Such achievements bear the hallmark of the effective and invaluable assistance given by countries, friends, and international community, represented by many of you here. We will always remember and value such generous support.
Yesterday, on August 27, we received a congratulatory message from the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, highlighting Viet Nam’s contributions to the United Nations since its membership in 1977. The Secretary General commended Viet Nam on its leading role in fulfilling the United Nations Development Goals and maintaining peace and security. In his message, Secretary General Guterres stressed and I quote: “The 75th anniversary of Viet Nam’s Independence coincides with your Chairmanship of ASEAN and membership of the Security Council, demonstrating your strong presence on the global stage.”
On behalf of the Party, State and People of Viet Nam, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the kind sentiments, precious support, and effective cooperation from friends here and the international community, which we hope will continue.
Ladies and gentlemen,
4. The year 2020 has been an extraordinary year. Not merely a public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great global turmoil, inflicting untold damage to human well-being and lives. Impacts also include a serious global economic, trade and investment downturn, socio-political instability, and strong adversity to international relations.
The pandemic is expected to rage on in the foreseeable future, and combative measures are still required. As revealed by COVID-19, countries are interdependent, and international cooperation is of great significance.
5. Viet Nam is hit hard by the pandemic as we have a highly open economy and trade. In this battle, the Vietnamese Government and People, led by the Party, have joined hearts and minds in a phenomenal effort to resolutely combat this formidable foe, while steadfastly sustaining and reviving production and economic development, ensuring people’s life and livelihood, and leaving nobody behind.
As of today, Viet Nam is still able to successfully keep COVID-19 under control. Our balanced, effective, and low-cost model has earned international recognition and domestic support.
Though significantly impacted by COVID-19, our economy has remained stable and expanded by nearly 2% in the first half of 2020. Trade surplus reached some US$11 billion, while foreign investment inflow has rebounded after a stall in the first months. Viet Nam has placed 12th out of 66 emerging economies in the Financial Health Ranking of The Economist, counting itself among the “Safe” countries.
6. The Government’s focus is placed on performing an enabling role for development, reforms, economic restructuring towards sustainability and resilience, digital transformation, which is indexed by the satisfaction of the business community and the citizentry.
Amidst the complex developments of the pandemic, Viet Nam’s engagement in diplomacy and international cooperation has been strong, innovative, flexible and diverse, with medical supplies and equipment provided to 40 countries and two international organizations. The Party General Secretary and State President, Prime Minister and President of the National Assembly have joined 30 virtual Summits and phone calls with the leaders of various countries and international organizations, such as the ASEAN, WHO, UN, G20, IPU and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Ladies and gentlemen,
7. In the pursuit of active international integration, Viet Nam has been effectively performing our roles as the 2020 Chair of ASEAN and AIPA, and a non-permanent UNSC member. We have put forward importance, timely initiatives and conducted a wide range of activities as the President of the UNSC this January.
In this endeavor, we believe in the followings:
- Globalization and international integration remain a key driver for mankind development, despite certain set-backs. Let us work together for a more sustainable, more humanitarian and safer globalization.
- Multilateral mechanisms are in need of reforms to be more effective, representative and responsive, with the United Nations at the core. Organizations such as ASEAN are part and parcel, working together for a fair and sustained world order. Viet Nam has been persevering in this pursuit.
- Peace, stability, cooperation and development are the aspiration of all nations and people, and to that end we are equal. All countries should uphold the rule of law and respect the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate interests of one another.
- Many small and medium-sized countries, including Viet Nam, have suffered greatly in their struggles for independence and national construction, and are currently making important contributions to the world. Their voice should be heard and respected.
- Strong cooperation is required for more effective prevention and containment of COVID-19, vaccine development and distribution, and for responding to future epidemics. At the same time, we must be vigilant to non-traditional security challenges such as pollution, climate change, and natural disasters.
Following the European Parliament (EP), in early June, the National Assembly of Viet Nam ratified the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Viet Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). The entry into force of the EVFTA and ongoing implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and other free trade agreements open up major opportunities for Viet Nam’s rapid economic rebound in the post-COVID-19 era.
8. Viet Nam is moving towards achieving the development tasks and targets set for 2020 and the period of 2016-2020, and preparing for the 13th National Party Congress, which shall set key strategic guidelines for national development until 2025 and 20230 with a vision to 2045. We remain fully committed to fulfilling our international roles, including those related to ASEAN this year and the UNSC in 2020-2021 tenure.
Viet Nam’s future is inseparable from peace, stability, cooperation and shared prosperity of the region and the world. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold in unpredictable ways, Viet Nam hopes to work closely with all countries to fight it effectively and foster recovery and economic development together.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished Ambassadors, Charges d’Affaires and representatives from international organizations,
9. Over the past months, your life in Viet Nam certainly has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many diplomatic events have been put off. Many among you have been unable to return home and reunite with your loved ones. I am fully sympathetic with you, and very much appreciate your empathy and solidarity with Viet Nam. I am glad to learn that staffs at Embassies and international representative missions are all safe. This is truly good news.
To the Vietnamese folk, spring brings the “Traditional Tet”, and the cool breezes of autumn heralds the “Independence Tet: The second of September, sacred and profound”. I am fully confident that in these historic autumn days, you will bear witness to the air of openness, of joy and of optimism of the people, Vietnamese and foreign businesses in the future of our country.
Let me thank you, and express my hope that you will continue to play your role as the vital bridge between us, and contribute further to the promotion of friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and her friends and partners all over the world.
10. I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm Viet Nam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralization of diplomatic ties and active international integration. We are a trusted friend and partner, and a responsible member of the international community, promoting cooperation with all countries on the principles of respecting independence, sovereignty, equality and shared interest and seeking to settle differences through peaceful means based on international law.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Despite the present hardship, we are optimistic that “The rain shall cease, the sun shall rise again.” I am fully confident in the bright future that Viet Nam and all countries in the international community share.
In the present air of both solemnity and friendship, let us share in the joy of the “Independence Tet” with the entire Vietnamese people in the celebration of the Independence Day – the Second of September. I propose a toast.
- To a peaceful and stable world that shall grow and prosper.
- To the peace, happiness and prosperity of Viet Nam and her people.
- To the good friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and all countries, international bodies, and friends all over the world./.