|Vietnam promotes human rights protection during COVID-19 pandemic|
|Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh addresses high-level segment of UNHRC’s 46th session|
|Vietnam active in discussion at UNHRC’s 38th session|
|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)|
Protecting human rights is the duty of every progressive, civilized country. The socialist political regime Vietnam is building is a regime of the people, by the people, and for the people. Since its founding as a socialist democratic country, Vietnam has consistently pursued the goal of promoting, protecting, and ensuring human rights.
Vietnam is honoured to be nominated by ASEAN countries with high consensus 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, according to the VNA.
Ensuring human rights amidst 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 Pham Binh 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 of all countries, thus triggering and exacerbating various human rights challenges.
However, he said, when the world is moving towards a “new normal” state, the pandemic is also a chance for it to build a better future, based on the capacity of adaptation and innovation, cooperation and solidarity at the local, national and global levels.
Ensuring a safe society against epidemics like COVID-19 is the best way to ensure that each and every member of the society can fully enjoy their human rights, Minh said.
|Illustration image on Vietnamnet|
He stressed that Vietnam continues 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.
Minh also shared that Vietnam has provided medical masks and supplies to support more than 50 countries and international partners in their response to the pandemic. Under Vietnam’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), Vietnam exerted efforts to boost solidarity, unity and cooperation in AICHR, including its efforts to ensure human rights amidst the pandemic. In May 2020, under Vietnam’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.
Vietnam – a responsible member of UNHRC
In November 2013, Vietnam was elected to the UNHRC and officially become a council member in the 2014-2016 tenure with high votes (184 yes votes out of 192 votes – the highest among 14 new members).
The country’s winning the election with high votes 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, Vietnam 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 Vietnam’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.
Vietnam has put forward many initiatives and engaged in promoting human rights such as promoting the rights of vulnerable groups and responding to climate change.
Vietnam 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.
The country’s 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.
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