Human rights shall not be above national sovereignty (Part 2 and end)

29/07/2017
In terms of collective rights and those of vulnerable social groups, in conformity with the international community’s stance, human rights cover the right to development. Accordingly, everyone has the right to make social contributions and to enjoy the benefits of economic, social, cultural and political progress while human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be fulfilled. Vulnerable social groups are made up of children (under the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child), women (under the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)) and persons with disabilities (under the 2007 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)). All of these conventions were already signed and ratified by Vietnam. Theoretically and practically, vulnerable social groups depend on the State laws and policies for the fulfilment of their rights. As such, the claims that “human rights are above national sovereignty” and “human rights are borderless” are either politically motivated or derived from an abyss of ignorance.
Second, what are the political motives for such claims as “human rights are over national sovereignty” and “human rights are borderless”? In fact, they aim (1) to form the psychological, theoretical and legal basis for inciting individuals and organizations (including online “virtual organizations”) to continue their illegal activities to jeopardize national security and public order or to engage in subversive activities, if possible, while slandering the Vietnamese Communist Party’s leadership as dictatorial, totalitarian and riddled with poor human rights records. (2) to incite the Vietnamese expats abroad, especially those committing high treason against or bearing animosity towards the Vietnamese revolution, to undermine our great national unity. This can be epitomized by California State Sen. Janet Nguyen, a Vietnamese American, who discredited our resistance wars against the colonialists and imperialists and called on the US Government to cut back ties to Vietnam for its “poor human rights records”. In her speech at the State Senate session in February, 2017, Janet Nguyen criticized late State Sen. Tom Hayden and his then- wife, actress Jane Fonda, for their role in the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s. The presiding senator had repeatedly interrupted her comments before
telling security to remove her from the floor (a number of online newspapers reported that Nguyen were gently nudged toward the door by several sergeants-at-arms). It goes without saying such claims as “human rights are above national sovereignty” and “human rights are borderless” aim to step by step undermine Vietnam ideologically and politically and its great national unity before culminating in Vietnam’s socio-political instability and the removal of the Vietnamese Communist Party’s leadership as the ultimate motive.
Third, what is our Party and State’s stance on the relationship between national sovereignty and human rights?
In its very first Political Platform in 1930 (which is comprised of the Brief Political Platform and Brief Policy), our Party outlined the path for the Vietnamese revolution, which was to achieve national independence and social liberation simultaneously, bringing human rights and citizens’ rights to all the Vietnamese.
When Vietnam embarked on its Doi Moi period, in July, 1992, the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat (the 7thtenure) issued Directive No. 12-CT/TW, asserting that “human rights are a value shared by humanity. They result from the long-fought struggle by the working class and all peoples around the world against barbarous oppression and ruthless exploitation”, and “human liberation (including the fulfilment of human rights) shall be inextricably linked with national, class and social liberation. Only under the flag of national independence and socialism as a prerequisite can human rights be fulfilled to the fullest”.
Inheriting from its precursors,  the 2011 Political Platform has incorporated democratic values into human rights, rights and obligations of citizens, setting forth the goal for the State  “to build a prosperous life for its people, a strong country and an equitable, democratic and civilized society, to ensure the people’s rights as masters in all spheres and the wellbeing, freedom and happiness of all citizens as well as conditions for their all-round development...to build a law-ruled socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people under the leadership of the Communist Party with friendly and cooperative relations with all countries around the world”. Institutionalizing  the 2011 Political Platform, the 2013 Constitution reserves the whole Chapter II for “Human rights, fundamental rights and obligations of citizens” in conformity with the UN’s fundamental covenants on human rights.
In accordance with the above-mentioned stance, under the Party’s leadership, our State soon signed international covenants on human rights. In 1982, Vietnam signed the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. So far, Vietnam has been a signatory to all international covenants on human rights. As such, it is our Party’s stance that human rights are inextricably linked with the social regime; national independence is a precondition for human rights.
The 12 National Party Congress continues to affirm the “supremacy” of nation interest over other goals. This lays a foundation for Vietnam’s relations with other countries and international organizations, including the UN. Nowadays, Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with over 180 countries and territories, including the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, grounded in respect for the UN Charter, each other’s respective legal and political systems, including human rights.

To conclude, as for our Party, State and democracy, human rights serve as both a goal and driving force for the cause of national construction and protection. To respect and ensure human rights is not only responsibility but also sovereignty of our State. There is no question of “superiority of human rights to national sovereignty” or “borderless human rights” as claimed by hostile forces, those committing high treason against or bearing animosity towards the Vietnamese revolution, and opportunists at home and abroad./.


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