Vietnam among 12 Countries Elected to Serve New Terms on UN Human Rights Council

The UN General Assembly elected a dozen new countries on Thursday to serve on the Human Rights Council.

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Vietnam was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 tenure on October 11 at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, VNA reported.

Vietnam among 12 Countries Elected to Serve New Terms on Human Rights Council
The Vietnamese delegation at the at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York after hearing the election result. Photo: VNA

After the ballots were cast and counted, Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi named Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Romania, South Africa and Viet Nam to serve for three years, beginning January 1, 2023.

The Council, tasked with the responsibility to uphold and advance human rights globally, consists of 47 member States, elected via secret ballot by the majority of General Assembly members.

Their selection is based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats are distributed among regional groups of States from Africa (13); Asia-Pacific (13); Eastern European (6); Latin American and Caribbean (8); and Western European and others (7).

This is the second time Vietnam has been elected to the UNHRC. The country was elected to the council for the first time in 2013 for the 2014-2016 tenure.

Vietnam’s success in winning a seat at the UNHRC for the 2023-2025 tenure demonstrates the country’s continuously consolidated and heightened position and reputation in the international arena, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu has said.

Hieu told the press right after the election result was announced that this also reflects the international community’s acknowledgment of human rights achievements Vietnam has recorded.

Vietnam among 12 Countries Elected to Serve New Terms on Human Rights Council
A meeting of the 77th UN General Assembly. Source: UN

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, also stressed the significance of the UNHRC and the high competitiveness among the candidates, especially those from Asia-Pacific.

With the message of “Mutual Respect. Dialogue and Cooperation. Ensuring All Human Rights, for All” for its three-year membership at the council, Vietnam will directly contribute to protecting and promoting human rights worldwide – one of the three main tasks of the UN, he affirmed.

Vietnam will promote priorities identified through dialogue and cooperation, especially the protection of vulnerable groups and the guarantee of human rights in response to global issues, Giang continued.

Such moves will contribute to addressing shared concerns and urgent issues facing humankind, while opening up opportunities for Vietnam to exchange experiences and pool international support to help Vietnamese people better enjoy human rights and citizens’ rights, according to the ambassador.

Vietnam has always actively and responsibly participated in the activities of UNHRC since the council was established in 2006.

Vietnam’s successful fulfillment of the UNHRC membership in the 2014-2016 term has contributed to protecting national interests and improve its international position and reputation.

The country has joined the HRC Core Group on Human Rights and Climate Change and proposed a number of resolutions on climate change impacts on vulnerable groups, which were approved by the council.

Vietnam was also the co-author and co-sponsor of tens of the council’s resolutions during the period, focusing on rights in economy, social affairs and culture, the protection of vulnerable groups, gender equality and discrimination combat, among other issues.

The country acted as a bridge promoting cooperation and dialogue between countries and groups of nations in order to accelerate the UNHRC’s fair, progressive approach towards people in such areas as reproductive health, the fight against violence against women, and gender-based violence.

Vietnam promoted dialogues within the framework of the UNHRC, between relevant countries, regional organizations, and UN mechanisms on human rights to address the specific concerns on human rights and humanitarian issues.

The above-said contents will continue to be the Southeast Asian country’s priorities in the 2023-2025 term.

Vietnam among 12 Countries Elected to Serve New Terms on Human Rights Council
The Vietnamese delegation at the at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Photo: VNA

Talking to the VNA, members of the Canada – Vietnam Friendship Association, Philip Fernandez affirmed that under the challenge-tested leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Vietnamese people have been enjoying equal economic, political, and social interests. In other words, they have been protected.

Meanwhile, Steve Rutchinski, another member of the friendship association, said Vietnam has actively engaged in humanitarian activities as part of the UN peacekeeping missions and won recognition by the international community, helping establish itself as a respected country.

That Vietnam was elected to the UN Security Council twice demonstrates other countries’ trust in the Southeast Asian nation. It was also elected to the UN Human Rights Council for 2014 – 2016 and is now nominated for a seat in the council for 2023 – 2025 by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), showing its role as a force for peace and stability in the international arena as well as other countries’ respect for it, he opined.

Rutchinski said the international community needs a legitimate voice from Vietnam, adding that members of the friendship association thank the country for contributing to common peace.

Hannah Nguyen