Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh. —VNA/VNS Photo
GENEVA — The 46th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), held at the UN office in Geneva, concluded on Wednesday.
The session consisted of 51 meetings held in both face-to-face and online formats. Apart from high-level meetings, there were a number of dialogues and panel discussions about human rights issues.
During the 46th session, the UNHRC discussed and approved the universal periodic review reports of 14 countries and about 30 resolutions, including one resolution on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely, and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh led the Vietnamese delegation at the session.
Addressing the high-level segment that began the session on February 22, he highlighted the country’s policies, efforts and achievements in protecting and promoting human rights amid the pandemic, noting that Việt Nam has concurrently managed to contain the outbreak, care for people’s health, sustain economic growth, and guarantee social security.
Minh also briefed participants about Việt Nam’s contributions to the world’s concerted efforts in response to the pandemic such as providing face masks and medical supplies for more than 50 countries and international partners. It also proposed the date December 27 be designated as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, which won the UN General Assembly’s unanimous approval.
Particularly, the Deputy PM and FM also spoke about Việt Nam’s bid to run for a seat in the UNHRC for the 2023 – 2025 tenure in its capacity as a candidate of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with a wish to make more effective contributions to the world’s common efforts in human rights promotion and protection.
The Vietnamese delegation actively gave opinions at panel discussions and dialogues, in which it underlined the country’s policies, engagement in international cooperation, and achievements in poverty reduction and human rights promotion and protection so as to realise the Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking at many meetings, Ambassador Lê Thị Tuyết Mai, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation, and other international organisations in Geneva, emphasised the country’s consistent implementation of and outstanding achievements in ensuring human rights.
She also called on countries and the UNHRC to enhance cooperation and dialogue to practically promote human rights in reality instead of being based on imprecise and unverified information to criticise certain states.
The Vietnamese delegation, along with the delegations of the Philippines and Bangladesh, co-authored a joint speech about climate change and human rights which received support from many countries.
Noting climate change has greatly affected the enjoyment of human rights and eroded peace, security, and development, the speech appealed for more financial and technical assistance for developing countries to cope with climate change.
The delegation of Việt Nam also played an active role in drafting documents and co-sponsored some resolutions that the UNHRC adopted at the session, including one on ensuring all countries’ equitable, affordable, timely, and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Representatives of Việt Nam and other ASEAN countries also delivered joint speeches of the bloc at some dialogues and discussions about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the enjoyment of human rights, the role of poverty alleviation in promoting and protecting human rights, the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in sport, human rights agencies and mechanisms, and technical cooperation and capacity building.
Việt Nam’s participation in the 46th session demonstrated the country’s sense of responsibility, active cooperation, consistent policy implementation, and achievements, as well as ASEAN’s viewpoints and common accomplishments in human rights promotion and protection, thereby joining other states to ensure the UNHRC’s activities accord with fundamental principles of international law. — VNS