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VietNamNews

UNHRC rapporteurs say VN's religious freedom improving

Update: March, 13/2015 - 09:24
"Heiner Beilefeldt, UNHRC's Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and beliefs, said Viet Nam had made progress in observing freedoms, including the expansion of religious dignitaries, followers and worship facilities, in recent years." — Photo VNA

GENEVA (VNS) — Vietnamese representatives participated in dialogues with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)'s Special Rapporteurs on freedom of religion, belief and cultural rights on Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Heiner Beilefeldt, UNHRC's Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and beliefs, said Viet Nam had made progress in observing freedoms, including the expansion of religious dignitaries, followers and worship facilities, in recent years. Beilefeldt studied the current conditions in Viet Nam and wrote a report on the country's achievements and ongoing issues.

Viet Nam should continue refining legal regulations on religions and beliefs while clarifying allegations related to those freedoms, he said. He also expressed his willingness to continue working in Viet Nam as a special rapporteur.

Responding to Beilefeldt's report, Vietnamese representatives highlighted the reality of diverse religions and beliefs in Viet Nam, rejecting the more subjective assessments and affirming the country's willingness to co-operate and settle differences.

Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on cultural rights, visited Viet Nam in November 2013. He recognised the country's efforts to realise the Millennium Development Goals and improve economic, cultural and social rights. It has also made progress on access to education and culture for residents of rural and mountainous areas.

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

Representatives from Viet Nam 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.

Viet Nam also declared its commitment to continue improving the legal system while affirming the willingness to continue working closely with UNHRC officials. — VNS

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