Putting people in centre of development – Vietnam’s thorough policy: Op-Ed on human rights
|Vietnam makes active contributions to UNHRC’s 51st session. (Photo: VNA)|
The document of the most recent 13th National Party Congress underlined the need to maximise the human factor, taking the people as the core, the subject, and the major resource and target of development; and building Vietnamese people with comprehensive development, strong connections and harmony between traditional and modern values.
With that across-the-board goal, the candidacy for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) for the 2023-2025 term has demonstrated the country’s consistent policy of protecting and promoting basic human rights and its desire to make more positive and practical contributions to the operations of this agency.
Since the UNHRC was set up on March 15, 2006, Vietnam has always shown active and responsible engagement in its activities. The country left its strong imprint at the agency by successfully performing the role of a member of the council in the 2014-2016 period, contributing to protecting the national interest and enhancing the country’s position and prestige.
On November 12, 2013 (US time), with 184 "yes" votes out of the total of 192, Vietnam became a member of the council with the highest votes among the 14 new members. During the term, Vietnam was always a serious, responsible, responsive, active and constructive member of the agency, joining hundreds of discussions and the building and negotiations of UNHCR’s resolutions and decisions, contributing to ensuring the common values regarding human rights.
Along with seriously implementing the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, Vietnam has drastically realised recommendations that the country accepted.
As a member of the council, Vietnam always upheld the principle of dialogue and cooperation, avoiding confrontation and the politicisation of human rights issues. Western countries and developing ones highly valued the role of Vietnam at the UNHCR.
The country made substantial contributions to the encouragement of dialogue and cooperation, strengthening the efficiency, transparency and balance in the council’s operations, helping build the common values of the humankind.
Many initiatives raised by Vietnam have been lauded by the international community, and various resolutions compiled by Vietnam adopted by the council.
|Vietnam always upholds the principle of dialogue and cooperation, avoiding confrontation and politicisation of human rights issues. (Photo: VNA)|
Vietnam co-authored and co-sponsored dozens of UNHCR resolutions in the period, focusing on ensuring economic, social, cultural rights, protecting vulnerable groups, promoting gender equality, preventing discrimination, removing unilateral embargoes affecting the enjoyment of human rights, the rights of farmers, the democratisation of international life, and strengthening international solidarity.
At the same time, Vietnam also acted as a bridge for countries and groups of countries to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, aiming to promote the council’s balanced, progressive and people-centred approach to issues with differences such as reproductive health rights, the ending of violence against women, the elimination of gender-based discrimination and violence.
Being a member of the UNHCR in the 2014-2016 tenure helped promote the bilateral partnership between Vietnam and other countries, enhancing the international status of the country and improving the capacity of Vietnamese diplomatic officials in the field of protecting and promoting human rights.
After its first working term at the UNHCR with many achievements, Vietnam has continued to exert efforts to promote human rights. Recently, the country announced the voluntary midterm report on the implementation UPR third cycle recommendations, providing a panorama of its commitments and efforts in maintaining socio-economic stability and ensuring human rights, especially among the vulnerable groups amid the tough COVID-19 period.
As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in the 2020-2021 tenure, at the UN General Assembly’s session on December 7, 2020, with the co-sponsorship of 112 UN members, Vietnam for the first time proposed and hastened the approval of a resolution to take December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, contributing to the joint efforts of the world in enhancing awareness of the need to be prepared to respond to epidemics.
As the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam also performed the role of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) leader, while leading the formation of ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, building the operating regulations for the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies (RRMS) and forming the ASEAN Framework Strategy on Public Health Emergencies, ensuring the rights and heath for over 650 million people in the region.
At the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh announced Vietnam’s commitment to achieving net-zero emission by 2050, which is a historical milestone in the country’s policy to respond to climate change, making Vietnam one of the leading countries in emission cut commitments.
|At the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh announces Vietnam’s commitment to achieving net-zero emission by 2050. (Photo: VNA)|
Also acting as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 tenure, Vietnam always worked to promote the spirit of humanity, compassion towards the people, strengthening humanitarian actions, protecting civilians during and after conflicts.
At the 51st session of the UNHCR that took place from September 12 to October 7, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation and other international organisations in Geneva, highlighted Vietnam's priorities and commitments in its candidacy to the UNHRC for the 2023-2025 term, reaffirming the Party and State’s consistent guidelines and policies of putting people at the centre of the development and ensuring that they can share in the fruits of this process.
The Ambassador also spotlighted Vietnam's efforts, commitments and achievements, as well as its capacity to contribute to the international community in the protection and promotion of human rights in the world; and to promote dialogue and cooperation at the UNHRC in an objective and constructive spirit, in line with the UN's focuses and common concerns of the international community such as sustainable development, climate change response, protection and promotion of the rights of vulnerable groups, gender equality and the advancement of women.
|Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai highlights Vietnam's priorities and commitments in its candidacy to the UNHRC for the 2023-2025 term. (Photo: VNA)|
Vietnam participated in several joint speeches with other countries in the ASEAN, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the International Organisation of La Francophonie and the of Like-Minded Group (LMG) to discuss commonly-prioritised human rights issues, and took an active part in the consultation and development of draft resolutions of the 51st session.
Vietnam co-sponsored two annual resolutions on the right to develop and enhance technical cooperation, and build capacity in the field of human rights, thus contributing to promoting the priorities and interests of developing countries at the UNHRC.
Vietnam's active engagement in the council’s activities over the past years; the fact that it is one of the three key countries presiding over the introduction of the UNHRC's annual resolution on human rights and climate change; and its candidacy to the council for the 2023-2025 tenure demonstrate the country's people-centered policy with strong commitments and efforts to promote and protect human rights, especially in the year marking the 45th anniversary of Vietnam’s UN membership (September 20, 1977 – 2022).
Vietnam’s candidacy at the UNHCR for the second time is the continuation of the Party and State’s external policies, affirming that Vietnam is an active and positive member of the international community and the country’s efforts to make further contributions after the successful office tenure at the UNSC in the 2020-2021 term. This serves as a great chance for Vietnam to spread the message and thorough policy of taking the people as the core and motivation of development.