Vietnam successfully defended its report under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) last year, said Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, adding that follow-up activities are already under way in the country.

“This year Vietnam will continue to actively cooperate with the United Nations system and actively prepare for the visits of special procedure mandate holders, including the Independent Expert on Extreme Poverty, Independent Expert on Minority Issues, Independent Expert on Foreign Debt, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health,” he said.

He confirmed that the country will continue to conduct annual human rights dialogues with several countries as means for promoting better understanding on issues of mutual interests and sharing experiences on the promotion and protection of human rights, on the basis of equality, respect, goodwill and constructive dialogue.

Deputy FM Minh also called on the HRC to uphold the principles of universality, transparenc­­­y, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity.

The Council should serve as a forum for constructive dialogue and cooperation among countries to share experiences in how to best promote and protect human rights, he said.

Mr Minh proposed that the Council focus on issues of great interests to the international community, including the impact of the global economic and financial crises, climate change, pervasive poverty and diseases on the enjoyment of human rights.

The review process of the Council’s work should be carried out in a transparent manner, based on open dialogue for all member States to take part in, he noted.

He took the occasion to introduce Vietnam’s achievements in coping with the crisis, maintaining economic growth and improving social security, education, health care and employment, thus providing a continued strong basis for the full enjoyment of human rights in the country.

“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,” he said.

The same day, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the UN, WTO and international organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Vu Dung delivered a speech in the capacity as President of the ASEAN Committee at the debate on the draft of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training.

Radio Voice of Vietnam - March 3, 2010