Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)
– Vietnam is running for election to the United Nations
Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in the 2023-2025 tenure with a hope to contribute
more to the world’s joint efforts to promote and protect 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.
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.
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
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