GENEVA — The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) convened the second week of its 46th regular session from March 1 to 5, with debates on promoting civil and political rights along with economic, cultural, and social rights, including the rights of the child and of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The online debates with UN specialists in charge of the areas assigned by the UNHRC, including child trafficking and abuse combat, the right to food, the rights of PWDs to participate in sport, the freedom of religion or belief, and cultural rights, saw the participation of many countries and international organisations like UN Women, UNICEF, and UNESCO.
During the debates, Ambassador Lê Thị Tuyết Mai, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, the World Trade Organization, and other international organisations in Geneva, highlighted the Vietnamese Government’s policies, efforts, and achievements in promoting human rights, including the rights of the child, the rights of PWDs, cultural rights, and the right to food.
She said that amid the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, Việt Nam’s successes in containing and responding to outbreaks, while maintaining high economic growth compared to the world’s average, in addition to providing support for vulnerable groups in society have clearly reflected the clear-sightedness and effectiveness of the Government’s policies and the country’s human rights commitments under international treaties.
At panel discussions, representatives of Việt Nam also emphasised the country’s consistent implementation and outstanding work in ensuring children’s rights, PWDs’ right to participate in sport, the right to food, and cultural rights.
Mai said the promotion and protection of human rights, including cultural rights and the right to food amid the pandemic, have provided spiritual support for people and helped improve the effectiveness of the COVID-19 fight.
Apart from containing the coronavirus outbreak and boosting post-pandemic recovery, Việt Nam also organised the annual national sports tournament for PWDs in December 2020 and is preparing for the ASEAN Para Games, slated for December this year.
At general debates, Việt Nam called on countries and the UNHRC to enhance co-operation and dialogue to promote human rights in reality instead of basing on imprecise and unverified information to criticise certain states.
Việt Nam and other ASEAN countries delivered a joint speech at the discussion about the right of PWDs to participate in sport, in which they highlighted ASEAN’s efforts to hold the ASEAN Para Games to foster solidarity, a noble sporting spirit, and humane values among PWDs in the region.
The UNHRC’s 46th regular session opened on February 22 and is scheduled to last through March 23 and adopt about 30-40 draft resolutions. — VNS