|Poor households and policy beneficiaries carry out procedures for preferential loans at transaction points in ethinic minority commune of Nậm Tỵ Commune, Hoàng Su Phì District, the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt
HÀ NỘI — With the message “Mutual Respect, Dialogue and Cooperation, Ensuring All Human Rights for All” for its three-year membership at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Việt Nam is sure to directly contribute to protecting and promoting human rights worldwide, one of the principle tasks of the UN.
Việt Nam was one of 14 countries elected by the UN General Assembly to the UNHRC for the 2023-25 term on October 11 during a meeting in New York. It was the only candidate from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and also the only Asian countries of the Francophone community.
This is the second time Việt Nam has been elected to the council, with the first time being in 2013 for the 2014-16 period.
Putting people at the centre of development has been a consistent strategic orientation and a thorough action philosophy of Việt Nam throughout the millennia-long history of its national construction and defence and its present national construction and development.
The documents adopted at all National Congresses of the Communist Party of Việt Nam have so far affirmed that the people are the most precious resource, and caring for their happiness is the highest target of the regime.
The most recent 13th National Party Congress underlined the need to maximise the human factor, taking the people as the core, the subject, and the major resource and target of development in order to build Vietnamese people with comprehensive development, strong connections and harmony between traditional and modern values.
Việt Nam has pursued this target since its first membership at the UNHRC for 2014-16. The country’s candidacy and election to the council for 2023-25 is a testament to its persistent policy of protecting and promoting basic human rights, as well as its wish to contribute more actively and practically to the UNHRC – the most important human rights body within the UN system.
This also reflects the confidence of international friends in Việt Nam, and the country’s role and position in the current context.
Many have expressed their support for Việt Nam’s candidacy for UNHRC membership.
Professor Carl Thayer from the University of New South Wales noted his belief that Việt Nam will make active and practical contributions once it becomes a UNHRC member.
Việt Nam is a developing country and has considerable experience in meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, it can provide practical policy advice on complicated issues relating to human rights when it is elected to the UNHRC, he explained.
Ambassador Saadi Salama, head of the Palestinian delegation to Việt Nam, said the country wishes to be a friend of all others to affirm the values of human rights, and described the candidature as an important opportunity for Việt Nam.
Việt Nam’s success in running for the seat also deals a heavy blow to slanderous allegations and ill-intentioned prejudices against the Southeast Asian nation ahead of the voting at the UN General Assembly.
Speaking at a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng said Việt Nam totally rejects the wrongful and unobjective information based on ill-intentioned prejudices that some foreign organisations have spread about Việt Nam’s human rights situation.
"As reiterated on numerous occasions, Việt Nam’s consistent policy is to safeguard and promote basic human rights," Hằng noted, adding that this has been enshrined in the 2013 Constitution and a number of related documents.
Việt Nam’s efforts and achievements in ensuring human rights have been recognised and highly appreciated by the international community, the official said.
Most recently, Việt Nam in March published its voluntary midterm report on the implementation of the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), demonstrating the strong sense of responsibility, transparency and commitment of the country towards UPR in particular and towards the implementation of international commitments on ensuring human rights as a whole, Hằng said.
"Việt Nam is willing to work with the UN Human Rights Council and its special procedures, while maintaining regular bilateral human rights dialogues with a number of countries. Việt Nam stands ready to provide information and discuss issues of bilateral interest in an open, candid manner, based on mutual respect," the spokesperson said.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink has also congratulated Việt Nam on its election to the UNHRC at a meeting with Vietnamese journalists in Hà Nội during a visit to Việt Nam.
He said he hopes that Việt Nam, as an important UNHRC member, will partner with the US to promote universal human rights and address related challenges facing the world.
As a member of the UNHRC in the next three years, Việt Nam has opportunities and stands ready to prove itself as an active and responsible member of the international community.
The country is striving to make more contributions following its success in fulfilling the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020-21. VNS