Climate change impacts on human rights – Vietnam’s great concern hinh anh 1Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc (Source: VNA)
Geneva (VNA) – Vietnam will focus on dealing with climate change impacts on human rights and the rights of people with disabilities in 2016 – the last year of the country’s UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) membership, said Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the fringes of the UNHRC’s 31 st session in Geneva, Switzerland, from February 29 to March 2, the official said Vietnam has joined a group of countries that play a core role in the issue of climate change impacts on human rights.

The country has also coordinated with Australia and a number of countries and partners to organise a sidelines discussion on working environment for the disabled, he said.

Reviewing the country’s UNHRC membership performance over the past two years, the diplomat affirmed that Vietnam has joined hands with the international community and other UNHRC members to address challenges to human rights globally.

Apart from protecting its national interests, Vietnam has intensified its relations with countries and groups of nations, and introduced its human rights achievements to international friends, Ngoc said.

According to the Deputy FM, Vietnam’s open and constructive attitudes towards the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as well as its seriousness in realising recommendations have been highly appraised by the international community.

Regarding Vietnam’s plans thereafter its UNHRC membership, he said the country will continue to actualise its commitments to the council in a serious and responsible fashion, including the effectuation of UPR recommendations and preparations for the third UPR cycle in 2018.

Through the UN forum, Vietnam has learnt how to mobilise international support and prepare a contingent of competent officials to partake in other regional and international organisations and forums, Ngoc added.

He reported that efforts are being made for Vietnam’s bid to secure a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.

“We would consider running for the UNHRC membership again at a suitable time,” the Deputy FM said.

Asked about spotlights of the UNHRC’s 31 st session, Ngoc said the event attracted the participation of 90 countries worldwide in various thematic discussions and sidelines meetings.

Delegates compared notes on a range of issues relating to human rights such as impacts of migrant crises, extremism, terrorism and regional conflicts.

Reviewing the operation of the UNHRC since its inception ten years ago, many suggested the council combine its activities with global commitments such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said.-VNA