Vietnamese representatives actively participated in dialogues with United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s Special Rapporteurs on freedom of religion, belief and cultural rights on March 10-11 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Heiner Beilefeldt, UNHRC’s Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, recognised Vietnam’s achievements in observing the freedoms, including the expansion of religious dignitaries, followers and worship facilities in recent years.

He acknowledged the cooperative and favourable conditions Vietnamese authorities have given him during his stay in Vietnam to study and develop a report on the country’s progress in the field.

Beilefeldt suggested that Vietnam continue refining legal regulations on religions and belief while clarifying allegations related to the freedoms.

He also expressed his willingness to continue coordinating with Vietnam as a special rapporteur.

Responding to Beilefeldt’s report, Vietnamese representatives highlighted the reality of diverse religion and belief in Vietnam, rejecting the more subjective assessments and affirming Vietnam’s willingness to cooperate and talk to settle differences in issues of mutual concern.

Meanwhile, Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on cultural rights, who visited Vietnam from November 18-29, 2013, recognised the country’s efforts in realising the Millennium Development Goals and improving economic, cultural and social rights, especially the increased access to education and culture for rural and mountainous area residents.

She also acknowledged improvements in legal frameworks and space for artist creation rights.

Representatives from Vietnam hailed Shaheed’s positive reviews while expressing concern about a number of inaccurate and partial statements included in the report.

The representatives clarified legal frameworks and efforts by the nation to increase the exercise of their people’s rights to culture, including performance activities and new art forms.

Vietnam also declared its commitment to continue improving the legal system while affirming the willingness to continue working closely with UNHRC officials.-VNA