President of the United Nations General Assembly Csaba Korosi announced that Vietnam was elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2023-2025. (Source: UN)
Being a diplomat who has spent lots of time working in multilateral diplomacy, as Vietnamese Permanent Representative to the United Nations during Vietnam's first term at UN Human Rights Council (2014-2016), would you please share your personal feelings at the latest good news about the country's multilateral diplomacy? At this point, what is the first thing you think of?
I am very excited, moved and proud. Congratulations, Vietnam! Congratulations, Vietnamese diplomats! The vote for UNHRC membership is one of the toughest and most competitive elections at the UN. Being elected to the UNHRC for the second time - the most important mechanism on human rights in the United Nations system, especially in the current context of the extremely complicated international situation, is a great honor for our country.
This is the international recognization for the great efforts and achievements that Vietnam has made in the protection and promotion of human rights, demonstrating the confidence of the international community to Vietnam and its consistent policy of “taking the people as the most important center, goals and driving force for the country’s development", "ensuring people to share the fruits of development" and believing in Vietnam's capacity to contribute to promoting and ensuring of human rights in the world, one of the three main pillars of the United Nations.
This is a new success, a very proud result of Vietnam's diplomacy, making an important contribution to protecting national interests and enhancing the country's position and prestige.
The Ambassador once shared that at the UN, although Vietnam is not a big country, and its economic potential is not as strong as many other countries, Vietnam is always appreciated, listened to and trusted, why?
Firstly, it is because of Vietnam’s international prestige and position. Vietnam is widely known as an example of the struggle for national independence, freedom and reunification; a story of successfully overcoming consequences of war, poverty alleviation, national constructing and development, and international integration; a country of peace, stability, dynamic development, having the independent foreign policy of self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, diversification and multi-lateralization of foreign relations; being a friend, a reliable partner and an active and responsible member of the international community.
Secondly, Vietnam has always been an active and responsible member of the United Nations in general, actively participating in UN mechanisms, including the UN Human Rights Council, actively contributing to UN activities on the three pillars of peace - security, development and human rights. Vietnam has always taken an overall, balanced, constructive, objective approach, focusing on dialogue and cooperation.
While promoting and protecting national interests, Vietnam always respects and takes into account other countries’ interest and promotes the common interests of mankind and is willing to share experiences and support other countries within their capabilities.
The joy of Vietnamese delegation members attending the UN General Assembly session to vote for new members of the UN Human Rights Council. (Photo: WVR)
This reality is clearly shown through 2 terms serving successfully of Vietnam as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council 2008-2009 and 2020-2021 as well as the first time a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 term.
According to you, what challenges does the current complex international context pose for Vietnam in ensuring human rights?
The current international context poses many challenges for every country in ensuring the human rights. Confrontation, siege, embargoes, violence measures and armed conflicts have happened complicatedly, negatively affecting peace, security, development and people's lives in many regions of the world.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn; rising energy, food prices and inflation in many countries; climate change, environmental degradation as well as other non-traditional security challenges are exacerbating division and inequality, erasing the world's development achievements over the years, and pushing back efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.
The complicated developments of the situation deepen the differences in views and approaches among countries and groups of countries, requiring the members of the Human Rights Council to make efforts to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, meanwhile promoting universal values. Members of HRC need to respect differences, avoid imposition, double standards and politicization, non-interference in internal affairs, and strive for the common goal of building a peaceful world where people have a prosperous and happy life.
The noble goal of the UN or the UNHRC is to make the life of every citizen much better. What is your expectation about Vietnam's contribution during this term at the UNHRC?
In 2013, Vietnam was first elected for the UNHRC for the 2014-2016 tenure. Vietnam has accumulated a lot of valuable experience in successfully taking on the role of a member of the UNHRC, leaving its imprints by promoting initiatives that are highly appreciated by the international community such as participating in the Core Group at the UNHRC on climate change and human rights, directly authored a number of resolutions on the effects of climate change to vulnerable groups such as women, children, etc. which were adopted by the UNSC through consensus.
Vietnam also co-authored and co-sponsored dozens of resolutions of the UNHRC during this period, focusing on the areas of economic, social and cultural rights, protection of vulnerable groups, and equality gender, anti-discrimination, removal of unilateral embargo measures affecting the enjoyment of human rights and farmers' rights, the democratization of international life and strengthening international solidarity, ensuring labor rights of the disabilities, ensuring a safe working environment for laborers at sea; on the impact of climate change on children's rights; on improving education in preventing and combating trafficking in women and girls, etc.
|Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Vietnam’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2014-2018) was extremely happy, touched and proud with the good news. (Photo: WVR/Nguyen Hong)
We have also actively promoted cooperation and dialogue among countries and groups of countries within the framework of the UNHRC, as well as among relevant countries, regional organizations and UN human rights mechanisms to address the specific concerns on issues related to human rights and humanitarian issues, ensuring the UNHRC operates in accordance with principles and procedures, without politicization and non-interference in the domestic of countries.
During the upcoming tenure, with the motto "Respect and Understanding. Dialogue and cooperation. Ensuring All Human Rights for All”, I believe that Vietnam will make many positive contributions to the Human Rights Council's activities and actively cooperate with other countries to promote the principles of the UN Charter and international law, enhance the performance of the UNHRC through dialogue, cooperation and mutual respect for comprehensively protecting and promoting human rights around the world on the basis of respecting sovereignty, non-interference in the domestic of countries.
Promoting the tradition of Vietnamese diplomacy and experience, we will have many practical initiatives, promoting the role of a bridge to promote dialogue and cooperation at the UNHRC in the spirit of objectivity and construction, sharing Vietnam's experience and referring to the good experiences of other countries, to contribute to the promotion of human rights associated with the UN's focus and common concerns of the international community such as sustainable development, respond to climate change, protect and promote the rights of vulnerable groups, gender equality and the advancement of women.
Certainly, Vietnam will fulfill its responsibilities at the UN well, deserving the international community’s trust and expectations, especially the UN member countries that have trusted and voted for Vietnam today.