ASEAN has renewed its commitment to protecting and promoting human rights at the 27th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which commenced in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 8.

The commitment was delivered by Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh on behalf of ASEAN, who also emphasised that the promotion of human rights needs to be adapted to each country and region’s situation.

Thanh added that ASEAN vowed to continue working closely with the High Commissioner and hoped the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights would ensure the neutrality and non-politicisation of its operations.

The Ambassador, head of the Vietnam delegation and ASEAN country coordinator at the UNHRC in 2014, congratulated the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, on behalf of ASEAN member states.

The new UN High Commissioners for Human Rights was present at the UNHRC’s 27th session, together with the heads of delegations from 47 UNHRC member nations, and representatives of over 100 observer countries and international organisations.

In his maiden speech, UN High Commissioner Al Hussein affirmed he would work closely with UNHRC member states and other actors, in return expecting their active cooperation.

Al Hussein underscored the importance of the UN mechanisms in protecting and promoting human rights, as well as the need to further enhance the roles of human rights organisations, UNHRC’s special procedures and the Universal Periodic Review.

The UN official said priority should be given to human rights issues in specific regions, particularly conflict zones, and with regard to global matters, such as sustainable development.

During the opening session, representatives from 90 countries and international organisations also congratulated the new UN official and affirmed their collaboration with the Office and UN Human Rights mechanisms.

The 27th session of the UNHRC is scheduled to run through September 26.-VNA