GENEVA — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has shown its strong commitment to promoting and ensuring the rights of children through a multitude of important documents, such as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025.
Ambassador Lê Thị Tuyết Mai, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva, made the statement while representing ASEAN member countries to address the 43rd session of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva on February 24.
Mai stressed that with the dogged determination to realise the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ASEAN members would continue close cooperation with the UN’s organisations to promote children’s rights, particularly in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, climate change and disease outbreaks.
The Vietnamese diplomat said that the move would undoubtedly help the bloc successfully concretise the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In his remarks on the opening day of the session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres laid stress on the progress in human rights since the establishment of the UN in 1945, while underscoring that ensuring human rights is a target and motive of global peace, security and development.
He voiced his concern over serious and large-scale violations of human rights such as social inequality, unequal treatment of women, and poverty, among others.
Guterres detailed a seven-point blueprint for positive change, calling for countries’ coordination in sustainable development, crisis prevention, gender equality, development of the digital age, and freedom of expression and civil society, among others.
Echoing the call, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that as threats to human rights, development and peace are on the rise, international cooperation should be put in place to ensure that future generations will live in peace and freedom.
Countries need to obey international regulations on human rights, and end unequal treatment to promote inclusive socio-economic development, she said, adding it is necessary to carry out the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and Paris Agreement.
Heads of states and high-level leaders will discuss various issues at the session, including human rights protection, promoting gender equality, and raising public awareness of the disabled and African-born people.
Besides several dialogues on rights of the disabled, prevention of child trafficking, freedom of religion and prevention of terrorism, the session will consider the adoption of some resolutions and national reports on human rights of 14 countries under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The session will run until March 20. — VNS