Speech at launching ceremony of the National Report under the 2nd cycle Universal Periodic Review

03 Dec 2013

Speaker: United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Pratibha Mehta
Date:  3 December 2013
Event: Launching ceremony of the National Report under the 2nd cycle Universal Periodic Review
Venue: Inter-Continental Hotel, 1A Nghi Tam street, Tay Ho, Ha Noi

Mr Hoang Chi Trung, Director General of the Department of International Organizations, MOFA;
Honorable participants;

It is a great honour for me to be with you at this launching ceremony of the national report under the second cycle of the universal periodic review.

I would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam for completing and sharing the final report with the media, diplomatic community, civil society and development partners. The Government’s assessment on how Viet Nam has been concretely working on the implementation of the recommendations and the development of the human rights situation is a useful way for all citizens to learn more about the Government’s assessment of the human rights situation and challenges in the country.

One of the most important benefits of the UPR mechanism so far has been that it provides for an inclusive platform for all stakeholders to come together and identify strengths and gaps in the human rights protection system, and to identify solutions together on how to overcome remaining challenges.

I am very pleased that the Government of Viet Nam is using the UPR mechanism in the way it was originally conceived, as a dialogue mechanism amongst all partners of society to discuss human rights issues and challenges.

The inclusive nature of the UPR process is also demonstrated by the submission of a civil society stakeholder report to the Human Rights Council by three coalitions of Vietnamese CSOs who carried out their own independent assessments of the human rights situation - it is a demonstration that the civil society wants to engage. Just recently, some national and international non government organizations have been invited together with the Vietnamese delegation to Geneva to exchange their views with journalists and diplomatic missions in the informal UPR pre-session which was organized by UPR Info, a Geneva based non-profit and non-governmental organization. Civil society organizations are also encouraged to attend the State review process as observers in the Human Rights Council. Taken together, all of these platforms are opportunities to jointly discuss human rights issues and the way forward.

I would also like to take this launching ceremony as an opportunity to also congratulate the Government of Viet Nam for its election to the Human Rights Council for the term 2014-16. This election attests that the Government of Viet Nam has increased its engagement with international human rights mechanisms over the past few years.  Viet Nam’s candidacy has been supported by its voluntary pledges. These voluntary pledges, for example, included a commitment to continue to improve its legal and judicial systems, build a rule-of-law state and to strengthen national institutions protecting human rights, including the possible establishment of a National Human Rights Institution. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Viet Nam has committed to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. In this respect, we look forward to hearing about Viet Nam’s priority areas and how it will contribute to ensure the Human Rights Council upholds the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.
In line with the voluntary pledges made by the Government, I would like to encourage the Government to consider the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution and to ensure the participation of all groups of the society, including marginalized, excluded and discriminated people at different stages of its work in the Human Rights Council.
 
The UN in Viet Nam is committed to supporting national efforts to ensure, protect and promote human rights through our One UN Plan for 2012-2016.

I would like to offer full support of the UN to facilitate regular dialogues such as today to discuss a UPR follow up action plan to strengthen human rights in Viet Nam.
 
Thank you.