Book Introduction: “Multilateral Diplomacy in Contemporary International Relation”
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Editor: Dr. Luu Thuy Hong

Publishing House: National Politics - Truth Publishing House, H.2015

Number of pages: 239

Entering the 21stcentury, humanity has witnessed rapid and profound changes in the world and region. Many global issues arise that increase interdependence among nations. Therefore, multilateral diplomacy has increasingly affirmed its position as an effective diplomatic channel to handle and resolve multinational, inter-regional and global issues.

In contribution to the provision of reference for researches on multilateral diplomacy - current trends and development practices of the diplomatic channel in the coming years, the National Politics - Truth Publishing House published the book Multilateral Diplomacy in Contemporary International Relations edited by Dr Luu Thuy Hong - lecturer at the National Academy of Journalism and Propaganda.

Through its three-chapter content, based on basic knowledge on international relationship system in general and multilateral diplomacy in particular, the book analyzes actual evolution of this diplomatic channel in the world and in Vietnam. It then forecasts the coming trends of multilateral diplomacy in the next decade and proposed policy-oriented recommendations for the country’s diplomacy.

The book consists of 3 chapters:

Chapter I. Overview of International Relationship and Multilateral Diplomacy

International relationship system is a lively whole consisting of actors and interrelationships in a certain structure. Along with the changes in global and regional situations, the old international relation system is gradually replaced by new ones. To date, the history of international relation has been witnessing the existence and perfection of the contemporary international relation system. It is a system with diversification of actors and changes in the actors’ role. It has a special power structure, called “multicentric (multipolar), not uniformed, and of all levels”. Among its operation principles, the interaction between dependence and self-control is proving the differences of the contemporary international relation system against its older ones. It has been becoming more complex, intertwined and overlapped.

Mutilateral diplomacy has long emerged in the history of international relation as a diplomatic approach of at least three actors to resolve a common issue which was based on agreed interest. In the new system, multilateral diplomacy has changed with many new features under the influence of different drivers as globalization, technology innovation, global issues, post-Cold War leadership. Such differences include (i) increasingly diversified objective, (ii) increased influence international relation and stronger membership, (iii) higher binding, (iv) independence, and (v) no longer meaning against each other which further support for bilateral diplomacy.

Chapter II. Contemporary Multilateral Diplomacy in Fields and Practices of Vietnam

Changes in the global and regional situations not only lead to appearance of new issues but also aggregate older tensions in terms of security-politics, economics and culture-society. The “hub” of geopolitics has shifted from Europe to Eurasian continent with a new arm race of 21st centure, especially the proliferation of nuclear weapon. The deeper integration of all nations enables an ever high-connected global economy, with speedy globalization and liberalization of world economics and risk of inequality and increasingly cultural hegemony, etc.

Under such complexity, multilateral diplomacy with its new emerging features is gradually affirming its critical role. This is well-illustrated in multilateral diplomacy in fields of security-politics, economics and culture-society in the international life with movement of great influence. Through multilateral diplomacy, global mechanisms and institutions are established, adjusted or completed to ensure political security and sustainable development of economics, culture and society. Multilateral diplomacy also creates a close bond among its actors within the system to handle arising issues. However, multilateral diplomacy in contemporary international relation still shows several drawbacks, specifically as (i) unequal power of actors leading to dominance or influence from larger players in international relations, (ii) loose and out-of-date mechanism of multilateral diplomacy causing delay in handling international issues, not meeting the demand of the times.

The practice of multilateral diplomacy in Vietnam shows a positive and active spirit as well as the right policy of CPV and its state, resulting in its achievement in three aboved mentioned areas. However, it also reveals issues of basic research, forecasting, policy formulation, or human resource quality which need to be addressed quickly and thoroughly.

Chapter III. Multilateral Diplomacy in the Coming Decades and Recommendations for Vietnam

Based on the descriptions, analysis and evaluation of the current practice of multilateral diplomacy in the international relation through (i) security-politics, (ii) economics, and (iii) culture-society along with practical contact in Vietnam, Chapter III presents forecast of the development trends of multilateral diplomacy through an analysis of the impact factors, including: advocacy prospect of international relations (increasing multipolarity, and comparative forces adversely affect the United States); development trends of international community (globalization, science-technology innovation, difficulty in controlling global issues, direction for resolution of financial crisis); the current great power of multilateral diplomacy. In the coming decades, multilateral diplomacy will develop at a relatively high degree, becoming the leading force in dealing with arising issues within international relations and global community. However, due to significant differences among members in diplomatic relations, issues settling are only relative. Multilateral diplomacy plays an important role in setting power order within the system although it is still governed by major powers, but at a more limited level than the current one.

From the analysis of multilateral diplomacy of Vietnam in the past and prospect forecast for the future, the author has made recommendations in related to knowledge (basic research and strategic forecast), human resource quality, policy mechanism, key partners and areas of focus to effectlively strengthen multilateral diplomacy of Vietnam in the next 10 years.

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Website of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics sincerely introduces to readers.

Translator: Thanh Ha/ Proofreader: Ngo Tuan Nghia

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