(Geneva, Switzerland, 27th February 2023)
Mr. High Commissioner for Human Rights,
I would like to congratulate Your Excellency upon your election as President of the United Nations Human Rights Council. I am confident that under your stewardship, our session will be a great success.
It is now seventy-five years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Humankind has since made great strides in realizing our aspirations of human rights. A multitude of international treaties and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action have been adopted. These instruments provide a strong foundation for the international community to further our awareness and act in greater concert.
Yet wars, conflicts, violence, poverty, inequality and injustice loom over the everyday life of millions of people. Natural disasters, epidemics, climate change, environment degradation, food and water insecurity are intensifying. The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed hard-earned progress made in ensuring human rights. The people in many places, especially vulnerable groups, are driven into harsh circumstances.
I wish to convey the deepest sympathy from the Government and people of Viet Nam to the Governments and peoples of Türkiye and Syria for the tremendous losses they have suffered due to the recent earthquake. Viet Nam has expeditiously provided assistance in terms of finance, search and rescue personnel and equipment, to help those affected soon return to a sense of normalcy.
I thank all member states for electing Viet Nam as a member of the Human Rights Council for the term 2023 - 2025. We are privileged and, at the same time, deeply aware of this hefty responsibility.
Viet Nam enters the Council with confidence backed by its heroic history, proud achievements in the Doi Moi and socio-economic development process and consistent policy of people-centred development. Viet Nam is determined to shoulder its international responsibilities on the basis of a foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification of international relations.
Having overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic instabilities, Viet Nam's 2022 GDP growth was 8.02%. 92% of its population is covered with health insurance. Viet Nam is among the leading countries in the region and the world in women participation in politics, with 30% of its National Assembly deputies being women. As a lower-middle income country, Viet Nam stands among countries with High Human Development Index. These provide a solid foundation for us to further improve the lives of our people as we work to realize our vision and aspiration of becoming a modern industrialized country by 2045.
Viet Nam is strongly committed to multilateralism, international law and the UN Charter. We will work hard to build bridges and promote cooperation at the UNHRC, in line with the theme of our membership - "Respect and Understanding. Dialogue and Cooperation. All human rights. For All".
Allow me to elaborate:
First, we all share the same aspiration for the promotion and protection of human rights, and a better life for all people in the world. At the same time, each country and each region may adopt a different approach suitable for their particular circumstances - their history, political system, culture, and socio-economic conditions. It is therefore vital to understand and respect these particularities, and seek commonalities, instead of politicalization, imposition, or interference.
Second, no country can single-handedly tackle issues of global proportions today. Dialogue and cooperation based on adherence to international law and the UN Charter are the best way for all countries to seek a common voice, identify priorities, share resources, and together deliver on the goals and targets under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related climate commitments while leaving no one behind.
Third, all human rights are universal, interrelated and interdependent, forming a unified whole, which requires a comprehensive approach. We must pay further attention to ensuring better enjoyment of the most essential and fundamental rights, such as the right to peace, the right to development, the right to education, healthcare, employment, non-discrimination and the promotion of social justice.
Fourth, the Human Rights Council needs to play a central role in the promotion of dialogue in the spirit of constructive engagement, equality and effective cooperation among nations, and on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. An effective, active, objective, harmoniously diversified, non-politicized and non-divisive Council shall be the nucleus holding the international community together.
With this in mind, Viet Nam proposes that the Human Rights Council adopts a document to reaffirm the values of and our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. This will be a concrete and meaningful action to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.
Bearing high conscientiousness and resolve of a member of the Human Rights Council, Viet Nam will contribute with the utmost sense of duty to the work of the Council for a better future for all humankind.
Thank you for your kind attention.