Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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VN elected to UN human rights council with highest votes

At its 68th session on November 12, the United Nations General Assembly elected Vietnam as one of the new 14 members of the UN Human Rights Council for the first time.

VN elected to UN human rights council with highest votes
Delegates and representatives listen during the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review session of Israel at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva October 29, 2013. AFP

Vietnam got 184 votes of a total of 193, the highest among the candidates. Macedonia received 177 votes, ranking second, followed by Russia and China with 176 votes each, France with 174 votes, and the UK with 171 votes and Cuba with 148 votes.

The other seven members of the Council are Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Marocco, Namibia, South Africa and Mexico.

All the 14 countries will assume their roles as the new members of the Council starting January 1, 2014, ending the canvass that lasted for three years.

The fact that Vietnam has the highest votes can be seen as recognition by the international community for the country’s recent achievements in exercising civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told Tuoi Tre on Tuesday.

Vietnam’s new role as a member of the UN Human Rights Council marks a progress in the country’s implementation of its foreign policy, which pursues independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, diversification and multilaterisation of international relations.

“It also marks a great success of the Party and State in their external relation policy and reflects Vietnam’s increasing position in the international arena,” Minister Minh said.

During the 2014-2016 tenure, Vietnam is expected to directly contribute to the joint effort of the international community in accelerating and defending human rights globally.

Being a member of the UN Human Right Council also offers Vietnam a great opportunity to learn good experience from other nations to ensure the better exercise of rights of its citizens, the minister said.

“Protection and promotion of human rights is one of the large issues of glocal concern. It is also one of the three main pillars of the United Nations’ works, besides peace and security, and development.”

The Council consists of 47 country members representing all regions in the world. It is the UN’s main and most important body in promoting and protecting human rights all over the world.


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