The southern province of Bạc Liêu yesterday agreed to let the relatives of 26 children under two years old, who were among the 375 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from South Korea on March 14, into their quarantine facility at a student's campus in Bạc Liêu City to take care of them. The repatriation shows Việt Nam's commitment to protecting and promoting all human rights and fundamental freedoms of its people, which aligns with UNHRC's purposes. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is running for election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in the 2023-25 tenure, hoping to contribute more to the world’s joint efforts to promote and protect human rights.
Việt Nam is honoured to be nominated by ASEAN countries to become the bloc’s candidate for a seat in the UNHRC – the UN’s inter-governmental agency comprising of 47 members in charge of promoting and protecting human rights around the globe.
Ensuring human rights amid the pandemic
Addressing a High-level Segment of the 46th Regular Session of the UNHRC via video conference last February, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of millions, and affected the well-being of billions around the world, and has strained public health and social security systems in all countries, triggering and exacerbating various human rights challenges.
"However, when the world is moving towards a 'new normal' state, the pandemic is also a chance to build a better future, based on the capacity of adaptation and innovation, cooperation and solidarity at the local, national and global levels," he said.
"Ensuring a safe society against epidemics like COVID-19 is the best way to make sure each and every member of the society can fully enjoy their human rights."
He stressed that Việt Nam continued to “put emphasis on the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of our people, even in this most difficult of times,” adding that the country has tackled the pandemic head on, putting the people at the centre of all its efforts.
The diplomat also shared that Việt Nam had provided medical masks and supplies to support more than 50 countries and international partners in their response to the pandemic. Under Việt Nam’s proposal, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution proclaiming December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness to help raise awareness on the importance of preventing and responding to epidemics.
In 2020, as the Chair of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), Việt Nam exerted efforts to boost solidarity, unity and cooperation in AICHR, including its efforts to ensure human rights amidst the pandemic. In May 2020, under Việt Nam’s initiative, the commission for the first time issued a joint press release related to the pandemic reflecting the cooperation and unity within the bloc.
Việt Nam– a responsible member of UNHRC
In November 2013, Việt Nam was elected to the UNHRC and officially become a council member in the 2014-16 tenure with high votes (184 yes votes out of 192 – the highest among 14 new members).
The country’s win demonstrated its position and prestige reflected through its great achievements in ensuring human rights, particularly in the fields of ensuring civil, political, socio-economic and cultural rights, and at the same time showing the international community’s expectation for the engagement of the country.
During the three years of the first tenure as a UNHRC member, Việt Nam participated in the council’s activities and programmes fully and responsibly. The country attended all annual high-level meetings of the council, during which Vietnamese delegates participated in not only plenary sessions but also thematic discussions on issues of Việt Nam’s priorities such as the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, the impact of climate change on human rights, and the implementation of international commitments on human rights.
Việt Nam has put forward many initiatives and engaged in promoting human rights such as promoting the rights of vulnerable groups and responding to climate change.
Việt Nam was also ASEAN’s coordinator at the UNHCR. The country fulfilled the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the council in 2014 and is carrying out recommendations of the third UPR.
Running for election to the UNHRC is a step implementing its Party and State’s foreign policy and is a good chance for it to increase its position and prestige and strengthen its relations with other countries. — VNS