Statement by H.E. Mr. Le Luong Minh at the High Level Segment of the Nineteenth Session of the Human Rights Council
Madam High Commissioner,
At the outset, on behalf of the Vietnamese Delegation, I wish to congratulate you, Madam President, on your success in leading the work of the Human Rights Council. I would like also to express our high appreciation of the contributions made by the High Commissioner to the cause of protecting and promoting human rights in the world. The Council can be assured of the fullest cooperation of my Delegation.
The Human Rights Council is meeting this year in the context of phenomenal changes taking place in many regions of the world, in the Middle East and North Africa in particular, posing great challenges to the maintenance of peace, development and the protection and promotion of human rights. The global economic and financial crisis has been causing serious consequences in every aspect of life of the people in almost every nation. Political and social instabilities have yet to abate, but have shown a trend to increase and widen in a number of regions, leading to crises and internal conflicts. Even people living in the more prosperous nations are suffering from want. These factors have adversely affected efforts aimed at ensuring the full enjoyment of all human rights, especially the basic rights such as the right to life, the right to food, the right to adequate housing, the right to decent work and the right to development. As always, in such situations, people of developing countries are first to suffer.
One of the most striking phenomena is the turbulent and violent situations in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The developments in these countries have brought home the fact that the promotion and protection of human rights can only be sustainably implemented on the foundation of peace, stability and development. While happy to note that peace and normalcy have been restored in other affected countries, we are deeply concerned with the escalation of tension and violence in Syria resulting in the loss of so many innocent lives. We call upon all parties concerned to show goodwill, demonstrate constraint and conduct constructive dialogue to find a prompt political solution in line with the aspirations of the Syrian people. We support all international efforts aimed at contributing to national reconciliation, restoring peace and stability in Syria and share the view that any solution to the present situation in Syria must be based on the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law, particularly the principles of respect for national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-coercion and non-interference.
As a supreme organ of the United Nations established to replace a body having lost its legitimacy for the outdated manner it conducted its work, the Human Rights Council must truly be a forum to promote cooperation and dialogue among nations on the basis of the principles of transparency, democracy, objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity, avoiding the application of double standards. The Council must manage to avoid the very major mistake leading to the failure of its predecessor, which is the politicization of human rights issues. Furthermore, the root causes of the recent and ongoing turbulent situations in developing countries point to the need for the Council to assure a balanced implementation of economic, cultural social rights and political rights.
In this vein, Madam President, we note with satisfaction that over the past few years, the Council has proved itself more effective, serving as a forum of dialogue and cooperation for all countries in dealing with all human rights issues in a comprehensive and more balanced manner and on the basis of equality. We would support efforts aimed at strengthening the Universal Periodic Review mechanism which is based on the principle of equal treatment of all member states. Last year, the General Assembly completed the review of the Council’s work and functioning by adopting resolution A/65/L.78 supplementing resolution 60/251 in further strengthening the Council and improving its effectiveness. Viet Nam will continue to engage itself in a constructive manner with other countries in implementation of these two important resolutions.
Viet Nam remains strong on its commitments to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights for its people. In implementing people-centred and pro-poor development policies, we continue to invest in areas that matter the most to the people These policies have enabled us to achieve remarkable progress in poverty reduction, education, healthcare and employment, improving the livelihood and social welfare for the citizens. In the context of great difficulties resulting from the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, over the past four years, the country has managed to maintain an annual economic growth rate of about 6% which provides a strong basis for the enjoyment of human rights for the people. Legislative, administrative and judicial reforms continue to be high on the agenda with a view to further strengthening human rights in laws, regulations and practice, including the right to oversee the implementation of laws, access to information, etc. Socio-economic development, assurance of social equity and building a law-governed state remain the three pillars of our development strategy.
As part of the foreign policy aiming to serve its major objective of comprehensive integration, Viet Nam has been engaging in human rights dialogue and cooperation with international partners. At the regional level, we are working with the other countries members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote the activities of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), particularly in drafting an ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights. Last year, we received the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights and the Special Raporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and are now expecting the visits by the Special Raporteur on the right to food and the Special Raporteur on the right to education. We believe such interaction together with the regular dialogues we are conducting with several countries do contribute effectively to the betterment of mutual understanding which is essential for any appropriate solution of human rights issues of mutual concern.
The protection and promotion of human rights is the responsibility for all countries. While upholding the purposes and objectives enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human rights, as a candidate endorsed by the regional organization, ASEAN, for membership on the Human Rights Council for the term 2014-2016, Viet Nam is committed to working with the international community to build a world which will be more secure, more prosperous and more just for everyone.
I thank you, Madam President./.
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