At a meeting with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his visit to Switzerland in November, Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the U.N. Office in Geneva lauded Vietnam’s determination and efforts in protecting human rights and realizing the U.N. sustainable development goals (SDG).

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Director-General of the U.N. Office in Geneva Tatiana Valovaya

Earlier at an international consultation workshop on the draft mid-term report on the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) third cycle recommendations in October, U.N. Acting Resident Coordinator Kidong Park hailed Vietnam’s commitments and efforts in human rights protection and promotion.

The U.N. representatives’ comments showed that the international community recognises Vietnam’s efforts in ensuring people’s health, life safety and welfare amid the pandemic, which go along with endeavors to speed up sustainable and inclusive development with a cornerstone target of “not leaving anyone behind.”

Recently, the Government has issued Resolution No.128/NQ-CP on “Safely, flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling COVID-19.” After nearly two months of implementing the document, Vietnam has managed to put the pandemic under control across the country. Meanwhile, the economy has gradually recovered, and people’s life has returned to normal. The 26 trillion VND (1.13 billion USD) supporting package has helped employees and employers overcome difficulties and considerably contributed to ensuring social welfare for people.

Vietnam’ efforts to ensure human rights during the pandemic have also been demonstrated in the country’s drastic, synchronous and methodical implementation of the vaccine strategy, in which vaccine diplomacy plays the key role, heading to the goal of providing free-of-charge COVID-19 vaccination to all people.

A survey conducted by Latana research firm on people’s satisfaction with their government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which covered 52 countries and territories around the world, showed that 96 percent of Vietnamese people are satisfied with the Government’s COVID-19 prevention and control activities.

Vietnam is also working hard to effectively realise the U.N. SDGs so as to promote human rights. UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Vietnam Terence D. Jones affirmed that Vietnam is in the top group among the three groups of countries with fastest progress in implementing the SDGs and one of the countries with highest speed of reaching the goals in Asia.

U.N. Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjabana also spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements in SDGs implementation, especially in sustainable poverty reduction, with the rate of poor households reduced to 2.75 percent in 2020 from 9.88 percent in 2015, and the rate among ethnic minority groups has dropped by an average 4 percent per year.

Another imprint of Vietnam in the work is ensuring human rights amid climate change. At the 47th session in July, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution on climate change and human rights, which was initiated and compiled by Vietnam together with Bangladesh and the Philippines, focusing on vulnerable groups, especially the disabled and the elderly.

Director-General of the U.N. Office in Geneva Tatiana Valovaya underlined that Vietnam is a developing country but it has played a leading role and become a model in combating climate change.

Particularly, this year, Vietnam has for the first time built a voluntary mid-term report on the implementation of UPR third cycle recommendations to submit to the UNHRC.

Diana Torres, Assistant Resident Representative & Head of Governance and Participation Unit at UNDP Vietnam commented that through the report, Vietnam continues to make  excellent progress in ensuring socio-economic rights of its people, especially in social protection, health insurance, poverty reduction and gender quality.

She held that the compiling of the report is a positive effort reflecting Vietnam’s commitments on human rights issues at international level.

The promotion of human rights is the highest priority and the final target as well as the motivation of sustainable development in Vietnam. Efforts by the Party and State of Vietnam to ensure that all people enjoy their fundamental rights, especially amid the adverse impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, have manifested the country’s persistent and thorough policy on protecting and promoting human rights.

Source: VNA