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Vietnam commits to improving human rights

Released at: 22:06, 14/06/2016

Vietnam commits to improving human rights

Photo: Vietnam News

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh presents address to United Nations Human Rights Council.

by Ha Nguyen

Vietnam is preparing a master plan to implement the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations that the country has already approved in an attempt to better improve fundamental human rights for its people.

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh made the commitments during the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on June 13.

“Vietnam’s consistent policy is respecting and ensuring human rights as well as obtaining international support and assistance in the field,” said Ms. Thinh, who also highlighted the crucial role the UNHRC plays in addressing human rights issues on a global scale.

The greatest success of the council over the past decade, she said, was to promote dialogue and cooperation between countries, especially through the UPR.

“Vietnam twice made UPR reports and recognized the active contribution of the mechanism, especially in raising public awareness of human rights and promoting inter-sector coordination and people’s engagement,” she was quoted as telling the UNHRC session by Vietnam News.

Ms. Thinh then pointed to numerous challenges that directly affect the enjoyment of human rights, such as poverty, natural disasters, disease, terrorism, extremism, and cross-border crime.

She called on the international community to increase dialogue and cooperation to address the issues, saying this is how Vietnam has approached human rights issues over the past two years since joining the UNHRC and other UN forums.

“Vietnam hopes the UNHRC will support the country in carrying out the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, specifically climate change adaptation,” Ms. Thinh noted, adding that people in the central region, the central highlands, and the Mekong Delta are bearing the brunt of severe drought and saltwater intrusion.

Given that fact, Vietnam and other members from the UN Working Group plan to introduce a resolution on climate change and human rights at the session that focuses on children, she said.

She also noted that Vietnam has gained a great deal in the 15 years of implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stressing that the poverty rate was brought down to below 4.5 per cent in 2015 from 58 per cent in 1993. “In the next 15 years the country will concentrate on mitigating the negative impacts of natural disasters, coping with climate change, and narrowing the development gaps between rural and urban areas,” she affirmed.

More importantly, it will ensure that everyone can enjoy the national socioeconomic achievements, especially women, the elderly, children, ethnic minority groups, and the disabled, she stressed. “To do so, Vietnam is making a plan to realize the MDGs and integrating those targets into the country’s development policies and programs.”

As a member of the UNHRC, Vietnam will actively make more contributions and cooperate with other nations to promote the implementation of the MDGs, she added.

Established in 2006, the UNHRC group has 47 member countries.

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