GENEVA (VNS)— Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh underlined the country's policies and laws designed to protect human rights, as well as its achievements in economic growth and poverty reduction, at the 22nd meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.
The minister also affirmed Viet Nam's intention to contribute more heavily to international co-operation in the field.
"Viet Nam is a party to most human rights international treaties and has implemented the recommendations it received during the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. Bilateral dialogues with many countries regarding human rights have also been initiated," he said. "Viet Nam is still a developing country striving to build a state ruled by law. Therefore, it has to deal with many challenges in the field of human rights and is poised to work even harder in order to protect people's economic, social, civil and political rights."
Minh added that the country's candidacy for the Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 term demonstrates its commitment to active, constructive and responsible participation in the work of the Council.
The minister expressed his concern that although the world has made unprecedented progress in the field of human rights over the last few decades, formidable challenges remained in all corners of the world. Poverty, malnutrition, disease epidemics, illiteracy and environmental degradation continued to take their toll, first and foremost on women, children, persons with disabilities, the poor, the elderly, migrants and minority groups, he said.
He called on other countries to end violence through political means, noting that over the last seven years, the Human Rights Council had effectively protected human rights around the world by adopting a holistic and balanced approach.
Within the ASEAN framework, efforts had also been carried out to promote human rights cooperation, Minh said, particularly through the creation of the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the Declaration on Human Rights, which was adopted last November.
The UN Human Rights Council's three-day meeting drew high-ranking delegates from 76 countries, including one president, two vice presidents, one prime minister, eight deputy prime ministers, 43 ministers, three secretaries of state and 17 deputy ministers.
"We need to redouble our efforts to overcome differences in security priorities and approaches to the disarmament of each country with a view to reaching solutions to substantive issues and meeting the demand of the international community," Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva yesterday.
Minh highlighted Viet Nam's consistent policy to uphold peace, oppose war and support all disarmament efforts.
He made the case that the country's commitment to peace and disarmament was clearly manifested in its diverse bilateral relations with other UN members, as well as its concrete contributions to multilateral forums and participation in regional and international co-operation mechanisms, such as the South East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty.
Viet Nam has acceded to or ratified all disarmament treaties negotiated and adopted by the conference and consistently supports the work of the conference, the Foreign Minister said. —VNS