Joint Press Release of the Annual Viet Nam-EU Human Rights Dialogue 2020

Viet Nam and the European Union held their Annual Human Rights Dialogue in Ha Noi on February 19.
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joint press release of the annual viet nam eu human rights dialogue 2020
Vietnam-EU: Annual Human Rights Dialogue 2020.

The Viet Nam and EU delegations expressed their mutual appreciation of the sustained progress in the partnership between Viet Nam and the European Union, which was further strengthened by the recent approval of the EU - Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU - Viet Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) by the European Parliament.

Both sides outlined their commitments to the protection and promotion of human rights within the European Union and Vietnam and to overcoming challenges in this area for the betterment of their peoples and societies. The Viet Nam and EU delegations elaborated their respective approaches, efforts and achievements in the EU and Viet Nam since the last Dialogue in protecting and promoting human rights.

In that context, the EU welcomed Viet Nam’s progress notably the robust social-economic development, the recent adoption of the revised Labour Code, the measures to effectively implement newly ratified International Labour Organisation Convention 98, and the steps taken towards ratification of Conventions 105 and 87.

The two delegations also exchanged views and concerns on the rule of law, the promotion of economic, social, cultural rights, labour rights, land rights, rights of vulnerable groups. Particular emphasis was made by the EU on the importance and effective protection and promotion of civil and political rights, freedom of expression, association and assembly. Both parties highlighted that all human rights are universal, interrelated and indivisible and should be treated on an equal footing.

Among issues of mutual interests are gender equality, rights of the child, domestic violence prevention, human rights of LGBTI persons and combating trafficking in persons and supporting trafficked survivors. Both sides noted the important roles played by the media, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders to make a positive contribution to each society, including in the context of PCA and EVFTA.

The EU reiterated its position on the death penalty, encouraging the further reduction of criminal offenses subject to capital punishment and proposed to further engage on exchanging information on this issue.

The discussion also covered human rights issues at multilateral fora and the possibilities of cooperation in this area, including the fulfilment of international human rights commitments, especially the implementation of UPR accepted recommendations and obligations under treaties to which Viet Nam and EU Member States are parties. The two delegations expressed their satisfaction at recent cooperation activities, such as EU JULE, the Projects on ILO Convention implementation in EVFTA context. In that context, the two delegations discussed Viet Nam’s priorities in its term as United Nations Security Council non-permanent member 2020-2021 and as ASEAN Chair 2020, especially those related to climate change and vulnerable groups.

Through productive, frank and constructive discussion, both sides highlighted the importance of continued cooperation and dialogue in this field, including through the annual rounds of the Viet Nam – EU Human Rights Dialogue, contributing to the flourishing bilateral partnership, for the best interests of their peoples.

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