Vietnam contributing to ensuring human rights in the world

04/03/2016


 On the sidelines of the 31st Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc offered an interview, reviewing two years of Vietnam’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council.
Reporter: How do you assess Vietnam’s participation in the UN Human Rights Council?
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc: After two thirds of its tenure as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Vietnam has demonstrated its image and role in the leading UN human rights council, and improved its status in the international community.
Although this is the first time Vietnam has participated in the UN Human Rights Council, it has proved to be an active and responsible member. Together with other members of the council, it has successfully resolved a number of international issues and challenges in human rights.
Every year, Vietnam sends a high-level delegation to attend the Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council. In this forum, Vietnam reaffirms its message of protecting and promoting human rights in the country as well as tries its best to contribute to common efforts to deal with human rights issues around the globe. At this session, the participating Vietnamese delegation delivered reports in general discussion sessions and symposiums on such issues as sustainable development, impacts of climate change on human rights, and implementation of international commitments on human rights. On the sidelines, Vietnam and Australia also hosted a seminar on creating favorable conditions for people with disabilities to work, and presided over a session on the impacts of climate change on people’s health. Via such activities, we were able to express our interests and priorities, learn lessons and experiences from international friends, and call on international organizations and countries to support Vietnam’s efforts to ensure human rights for its people.
Vietnam has also shown its active image and high sense of responsibility when it seriously implemented the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the most important regime of the UN Human Rights Council. The UN has highly valued Vietnam as it has shown great efforts and high sense of responsibility in working on reviews and reports and holding dialogues with other countries on human rights, as well as seriously implementing our already-accepted international commitments to human rights. Particularly, the Vietnamese Prime Minister approved the General Plan to implement 182 out of the 227 proposals and recommendations from the UPR in order to coordinate closely and comprehensively among ministries and sectors in executing the commitments.
At this point, Vietnam is acting as ASEAN’s coordinator in the UN Human Rights Council, and is a member of several subgroups on invalids’ rights and the impacts of climate change on people. With its high credibility in the Asia-Pacific Group, Vietnam has been the region’s representative since the beginning of 2016, working on regional human rights situations, and petitions related to human rights submitted by subgroups.
What is more, Vietnam often holds dialogues in a constructive and frank manner with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and expert speakers on human rights of the UN Human Rights Council. We also welcome special speakers and experts of the UN Human Rights Council to Vietnam.
Reporter: As the Human Rights Council often deals with complex and sensitive issues, how does Vietnam react and what has Vietnam contributed to dealing with such issues?
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc: The world’s situation has become more and more complicated over the past years, which has indeed had an intense impact on human rights. The UN Human Rights Council is the place for countries and groups of countries with shared interests to strongly debate various tough human rights issues related to conflicts, extremism, migration crises, epidemics and climate change. Although the UN Human Rights Council handles these issues well, it is sometimes politically influenced and pressured by one or by groups of countries during discussions. Some countries focus heavily on civil and political aspects but bypass socio-economic development issues; therefore, the agenda of sessions is more or less affected and discussions are seen as incomprehensive.
Vietnam underscores dialogue and cooperation with the aim of promoting and ensuring human rights on the basis of mutual exchange and respect while participating in the UN Human Rights Council. Over the past two years, we have exploited various mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council to highlight our viewpoint. In fact, we consider that ensuring human rights is the responsibility of each country, and that the people of the country should have the right to decide appropriate approaches to protect and practice human rights in accordance with the country’s own historical, cultural and economic situation. The UN Human Rights Council and the UN as a whole should create good conditions for nations to better ensure and practice human rights in their countries.
In this spirit, Vietnam frequently calls for dialogue and cooperation among countries in dealing with common affairs of the UN Human Rights Council. According to Vietnam’s viewpoint, the current circumstance requires dialogue and cooperation between and among countries to successfully implement resolutions and give a timely response to issues on human rights around the world. Vietnam aims to bridge gaps between members of the UN Human Rights Council, and has indeed made good results over the past two years.
Dialogue and cooperation have also opened good opportunities for Vietnam to affirm its position and contribute more to the region, developing the world and the international community as a whole. Vietnam has made large contributions in the past two years in such areas as the equal right of development, anti-violation and anti-discrimination, combatting human trafficking, and the rights of children, women and people with disabilities. Vietnam has so far participated in crafting more than 30 resolutions on these issues, contributing to raising common awareness of human rights.
Reporter: Vietnam is participating in many multilateral mechanisms. So how does Vietnam’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council support its multilateral relations activities?
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc: Together with its participation in various regional and international forums, Vietnam’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council has reconfirmed the growth of Vietnam’s diplomacy sector, especially in multilateral relations. Via the participation in international mechanisms, including the UN Human Rights Council, Vietnam has improved its status in the international arena.
First, since Vietnam’s joining the UN Human Rights Council, other countries often ask us for consultancy on various international issues. Even major powers send their special envoys to Vietnam or Vietnamese delegations in Geneva and New York to consult us on issues of the UN Human Rights Council. Vietnam’s opinions are listened to and recognized by them.
Second, as Vietnam actively participates in multilateral forums and underlines the spirit of dialogue and cooperation in the UN Human Rights Council, Vietnam can consolidate its foreign policy “Being a friend and reliable partner of countries in the international community.” Over the past two years, we have promoted and strengthened friendly relations with all the 46 member nations of the UN Human Rights Council, as well as observing nations across the world. Vietnam has been seen as a factor to narrow differences and seek balanced solutions for issues in the UN Human Rights Council.
Third, the membership of the UN Human Rights Council has provided good conditions for Vietnam to promote its position in international human rights forums from the regional level to the UN General Assembly. Vietnam has become mature in dealing with multilateral affairs, and in fact, it has transferred from its participation to the process of compiling documents of the UN and other international organizations. Specific contributions of Vietnam in human rights have been widely recognized by countries in such major international forums as the Summit for Sustainable Development and COP21 on climate change.
Fourth, with its joining the UN Human Rights Council and actively participating in international human rights activities, many countries across the world have highly valued Vietnam’s efforts, achievements and practices in human rights. Particularly, the USA recognized Vietnam’s progress in human rights in the Joint Declaration on Common Vision between Vietnamese General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and US President Barack Obama during the Vietnamese Party chief’s visit to the USA last year. The issue of human rights is also mentioned increasingly in relations and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries.
Alongside the abovementioned positive results, we should comprehend that there are difficulties and challenges in joining the UN Human Rights Council. But we should also affirm that our joining the UN Human Rights Council has been the right decision. By doing so, we have had a better chance to protect our national interests, improve the national position in the international arena, and facilitate our multilateral relations activities.
In the time to come, Vietnam as a member of the UN Human Rights Council will strive to improve the practice of human rights in the country for the sake of the Vietnamese people’s prosperity and happiness, and also heighten its responsibility to contribute more to ensuring human rights in the world

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All comments [ 10 ]


John Smith 4/3/16 13:19

Viet Nam had made many achievements in ensuring human rights in civil affairs, politics, economics, culture and society which had been recognised by the international community.

Gentle Moon 4/3/16 13:20

The promotion of human rights and the active participation of the people in all aspects of the country's socio-economic life were important factors that led to the success of Viet Nam's renewal process

LawrenceSamuels 4/3/16 13:22

Viet Nam participates in the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-16 tenure to make a positive contribution to the international community's joint efforts to promote and protect human rights around the world

Jane smartnic 4/3/16 13:23

Viet Nam believed it was capable of undertaking the role as a member of the UN Human Rights Council

yobro yobro 4/3/16 13:24

I know that Vietnam committed to contributing to the council's activities to improve its effectiveness, transparency, objectiveness and equality on the basis of dialogue, co-operation, equality and mutual respect

Love Peace 4/3/16 13:25

The country's participation in the convention showed its respect and strict implementation of its human rights commitments within the framework of the universal periodic review (UPR), as well as the commitments it made when it voluntarily nominated itself for the UN Human Rights Council

MaskOf Zero 4/3/16 13:41

peace, stability and development remain the strong aspirations of the international community, which lay the foundations for the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Only Solidar 4/3/16 13:42

In its first year as a member of the Human Rights Council, Viet Nam has taken up its role with the highest level of responsibility and substantively contributed to the work of the Council

Pack Cassiopian 4/3/16 13:43

The legal frameworks have been further strengthened while various socio-economic programmes are implemented to ensure social security and improve the people’s living standards.

Deck Hero14 4/3/16 13:44

Viet Nam is strongly committed to working with member states to ensure that the Council will continue to fulfill its mandates in the interest of each and every human being.

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