Vietnam was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 tenure on October 11, 2022 at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
It was the only candidate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and also the only Asian candidate of the Francophone community.
Thailand’s Ambassador Nikorndej Balankura said Vietnam’s role in the UN as a whole has been very commendable, adding that in the past years, Vietnam has very successfully been a member of the Security Council and represented Asia and Southeast Asia in particular very well.
This is the second time Vietnam has won the seat. The country and 13 other new members of the UNHRC will start the three-year membership from January, 2023.
The election result shows that Vietnam’s active participation in the UNHRC’s activities and its strong commitment and efforts in promoting and protecting human rights have won the acknowledgement, trust and appreciation of the international community.
The presence of developing nations like Vietnam – a country which experienced wars for national liberation in the past and has recently gained remarkable economic achievements – in the UNHRC is of great significance, Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén said. The diplomat highlighted Vietnam’s outstanding achievements in economic recovery and development post COVID-19, notably the GDP growth rate of 8% in 2022 – the highest in Southeast Asia.
With the message “Mutual Respect, Dialogue and Cooperation, Ensuring All Human Rights for All” for its three-year membership at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Vietnam is sure to directly contribute to protecting and promoting human rights worldwide, one of the principle tasks of the UN.
Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam Tatiana Pugh Moreno said the fact that Vietnam has a legitimate voice in the UNHRC as one of the responsible members of international community, especially at present, is significant. The world is experiencing challenging times. Being aware of that, the Vietnamese Party and State raised a voice, which is welcomed by the international community.
Since Vietnam recorded outstanding achievements during its UNHRC membership for 2014-2016, the country has always put people at the centre of development.
The country’s winning the seat in the UNHRC for the second time reflects its consistent policy of protecting and promoting human rights and its wish to contribute more actively and pragmatically to activities of the UNHRC – the most important human rights body of the UN. This also mirrors international friends’ confidence in Vietnam as well as its role and position in the present context.
With all the things it has done for its people, Vietnam can be proud of itself, said Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Boubazine Abdelhamid, adding that he thinks Vietnamese people are very happy, and all must recognise that Vietnam is a very safe country.
Over the years, Vietnam has paid great attention to ensuring human rights. As of 2021, the country ratified and joined seven out of nine UN basic conventions on human rights. The consistent view of the Party and State of Vietnam is to place people at the centre and consider the people as the subject, the most important resource and the goal of development, ensuring all enjoy human rights. The policy has been demonstrated and institutionalised in the Constitution and laws, and concretised in socio-economic development policies and plans.
New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Tredene Dobson also said Vietnam is very well known for its contribution to international peace and security with increased support for international peacekeeping operations.
“Domestically, Vietnam has shown that with strong policy dedicated towards economic development, you can ensure and support people’s economic, cultural and social rights. And I really hope that Vietnam will bring that experience to the Human Rights Council,” said Dobson.
Vietnam managed to sustain economic growth during the most challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam noted.
According to the global 2021/22 Human Development Report (HDR), the nation climbed two places in the global rankings, from 117 to 115.
UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Ramla Khalidi has commended Vietnam for its achievements in poverty reduction and development, as well as the country’s commitments to sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“Vietnam has earned the respect of the global community and UNDP for its achievements in poverty reduction and human development,” she said in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
Congratulating Vietnam for becoming a member of the UNHRC for 2023-2025, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski noted that human right is an important area of bilateral engagement between Vietnam and Australia.
He expressed his desire to learn more about Vietnam’s priorities and objectives for its term on the Human Rights Council, as well as exchange views on how the two nations can strengthen their engagement with the international human rights system during their bilateral Human Rights Dialogue in early 2023.
The UN selected the theme of “Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All” for the 2022 Human Rights Day (December 10), which is also Vietnam’s objectives in ensuring human rights.
As a UNHRC member for 2023-2025, Vietnam will directly contribute to efforts in protecting and promoting human rights globally./.