Vaccine diplomacy - A wise and effective strategy

13/12/2021| 16:36

The “vaccine diplomacy” was one of the most effective Viet Nam’s foreign policy instruments of adapting country’s diplomacy to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and it has been underway at all levels, especially high level.

Vaccine diplomacy - A wise and effective strategyDeputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung and Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan received the vaccine batch from Romanian representative-Romanian Ambassador to Viet Nam Cristina Romila at the handover ceremony. (Photo: Tuan Anh)

Concerted efforts and smooth coordination between parliamentary diplomacy and government diplomacy sent the world the image of an open and proactive Viet Nam that is a responsible member of the international community and ready to cooperate and share experience with others to surmount COVID-19 together and boost post-pandemic development.

Hundreds of high-level phone talks and meetings have gone with Vietnamese leaders discussing ways to step up vaccine cooperation and vaccine access with domestic and foreign partners.

Among these, I recall the phone talks between the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis and President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, held on July 14, 2021 and the bilateral meeting between the Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, and the Foreign Minister of Viet Nam Bui Thanh Son, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on September 26, 2021. On both occasions, the Romanian dignitaries affirmed Romania’s willingness to stand side by side with Viet Nam in repelling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Viet Nam has also played an active role in United Nations (UN) and ASEAN fora in the field of the pandemic fight. It closely coordinates with other countries to improve ASEAN self-reliance in vaccines by building a regional supply chain and joining the other ASEAN’s member efforts to accelerate the establishment and operation of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).

Viet Nam’s discourse values the role of UN agencies and other multilateral institutions, particularly the COVAX Facility in promoting fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and medications.

I praise the clear and consistent foreign policy of Viet Nam to promote and strengthen the solidarity, upholding a high sense of responsibility and stepping up the cooperation at UN system. As unconditional supporters of multilateralism and of the rules-based international order-with the UN at its core-Romania and Viet Nam supported the initiatives of the UN system, aiming at offering a global solution to the pandemic.

In this respect, both countries welcomed the Resolution United response against global health threats: combating COVID-19 adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2020.

Vaccine diplomacy is a very crucial part of the Viet Nam’s vaccine strategy. I believe that securing vaccine supply is the first and decisive step for the successful implementation of the vaccine strategy.

The strong vaccine response of the government to quickly vaccinating its population was a remarkable effort. Viet Nam has managed to acquire significant numbers of vaccines and the country's capacity for vaccination has been significantly strengthened.

Vaccine diplomacy - A wise and effective strategyForeign Minister of Viet Nam Bui Thanh Son had a meeting with the Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on September 24, 2021.

In my opinion, timely and efficient vaccination roll-out is the key to maintaining production activities and the recovery of the economy. I consider that the government’s decision to abandon the “zero COVID-19” strategy and implement a new strategy of adapting flexibly to and living safely with COVID-19 was an important and timely decision for the national economy as well as national businesses and foreign investment.

Viet Nam’s vaccine diplomacy has so far obtained highly positive outcomes and it contributed to the Government’s concerted efforts and successful implementation of the dual goals of pandemic fight and economic recovery and development.

In my view, valuable achievements were obtained on both levels, internal and external.

At the domestic level, it achieved strengthened cooperation and coordination among ministries and sectors, at all levels, to further promote vaccine diplomacy for accessing vaccines, treatment drugs and medical supplies. Externally, it strengthened Viet Nam’s ties with partners and promoted multilateral diplomacy based on the principles of solidarity and international coordination. On the foundation of the two countries’ solid friendship, the Romanian Government donated 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Viet Nam.


Ambassador of Romania to Viet Nam