Vietnam has been doing its utmost to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and freedoms for its population, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong affirmed when addressing the high level segment of the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on March 3.

Following is the full text of his Statement.

“Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, on behalf of the Vietnamese Delegation, I wish to congratulate H.E. Ambassador Joachim Rucker on your position as the President of the Human Rights Council. I am convinced that Mr. President and the Bureau will ensure the success of the High Level Segment of the 28 th Session and the work of the Human Rights Council throughout 2015, contributing to the credibility of the Human Rights Council as the most important body in dealing with human rights at global level.

Mr. President,
Vietnam highly values the role of the Human Rights Council and believes that the Human Rights Council, after almost 10 years since its establishment, has been playing a central role in promoting the respect for and the protection of human rights in all countries. Based on a balanced and comprehensive agenda, the Human Rights Council has significantly helped raise the international community’s awareness and build a more objective and comprehensive approach on human rights. Furthermore, the Human Rights Council has, basically, provided timely responses to the international community’s major concerns on human rights, including crisis and serious violations of human rights in the whole world. It is particularly noted that, the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, though still new, has provided an effective mechanism for Member States, big or small, to review and engage in comprehensive dialogues on their situation of human rights, and helped ensure the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in a cooperative and constructive manner.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, Vietnam has actively and constructively played its role with the highest responsibility, and wishes to substantively contribute to the work of the Council. We support dialogues and cooperation, uphold international laws, promote consensus, work to reduce confrontation and imposition of opinion in discussions at the Council. In this endeavor, we wish that the Human Rights Council, its subsidiary bodies and the Secretariat will further improve their effectiveness while ensuring transparency and impartiality, respecting fully the General Assembly resolution 60/251, the Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and 5/2. This is definitely the key to reducing confrontation and politicization that sometimes dominate discussions at the Council. Vietnam would also expect the Council and its subsidiary bodies to better support developing countries, given their various challenges in socio – economic development, and in ensuring the human rights in practice. Furthermore, we believe that the Council should pay more attention and allocate additional resources to issues related to the rights of vulnerable groups, particularly women, children, ethnic minority groups, aging and persons with disabilities… This is the area on which Vietnam would place emphasis in the coming years at the Human Rights Council.

Mr. President,
Vietnam shares the views that the full enjoyment of human rights is the common aspiration of humankind, also the universal value and standards that all of us strive for. Human rights have a close link with other global issues, particularly the question of peace, security and development. Given ongoing discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how to address the interdependence between peace, security, development and human rights is a burning issue of strategic importance. We believe that the Post-2015 Development Agenda should be comprehensive, taking into consideration of specific circumstances of each state, its capacity and level of development, while maintaining the balance between growth, sustainable development and promotion of human rights in accordance with recognized standards. Vietnam will continue to take active part in this process.
Mr. President,
Vietnam has placed the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms one of the three pillars of the Doi Moi and our national development. We have been doing our utmost to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and freedoms for our population. Indeed, our achievements in socio – economic development and our cooperation with international community have facilitated the protection and promotion of human rights in practice. Our efforts and achievements in human rights have been widely recognized, particularly during dialogues of the 2 nd Cycle of our Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council. Last year, notwithstanding domestic difficulties partly due to the global economic crisis, Vietnam made great efforts to gradually recover its economy, alleviate poverty, ensure social security and other fundamental rights of our people, particularly those living in far, remote and extreme difficult areas.

Additionally, Vietnam has been implementing actively, proactively and with the highest level of responsibility our UPR’s accepted recommendations, as well as the voluntary pledges we had made in support of our candidacy to the Human Rights Council. As a demonstration of our strong commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights in accordance with the international standards, in 2014, Vietnam ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, presented its National Report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. At present, we are intensively preparing for our National Report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

We are fully aware that much needs to be done to ensure the full enjoyment of all aspects of human rights for our people. Our highest priority currently is to improve the legal system, policies and institutions to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights, particularly build legislations on human rights to implement the Constitution as amended in 2013. Due to budget constraints, there will be challenges ahead in ensuring fundamental rights for our people in practice, including rights of labors, social security of vulnerable groups such as women, children and persons with disabilities. We look forward to continued cooperation and support of the international community and the U.N. entities on this matter.

Last but not least, I wish to reaffirm the strong commitment of the Government of Vietnam to the protection and promotion of human rights, and to cooperation with all Member States, international organizations and other related parties in the sprit of dialogue, cooperation toward an effective, transparent and credible Human Rights Council.

I thank you, Mr. President.”-VNA