The numbers confirm significant efforts in ensuring human rights in Vietnam

WVR - 44 laws have been passed, including many important legal documents related to human rights, a 25% increase in GDP per capita, an extensively organized preventive healthcare network, and a health insurance coverage rate reaching 92%... These specific figures demonstrate the substantial efforts made to safeguard human rights in Vietnam.
Thứ trưởng Ngoại giao Đỗ Hùng Việt chủ trì họp báo công bố Báo cáo quốc gia theo cơ chế rà soát định kỳ phổ quát chu kỳ IV. (Ảnh: Nguyễn Hồng)

Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet chaired the press conference to announce Vietnam's National Report under the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. (Photo: WVR/Nguyen Hong)

On the afternoon of April 15, at the Government Guesthouse, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an international press conference to announce the National Report under United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet chaired the press conference.

At the press conference, Deputy Minister Do Hung Viet reported that Vietnam had officially submitted its fourth UPR cycle report to the UNHRC, and currently, the full report in both English and Vietnamese has been published on the Ministry’s website. Vietnam is scheduled to attend a dialogue session on the national fourth UPR cycle report at the UNHRC on May 7.

Accordingly, the report provides an overview of the protection and promotion of human rights in Vietnam across various sectors since the last review and examines the implementation of the recommendations that Vietnam accepted in cycle III.

Among the notable points: as of January 2024, out of the 241 recommendations accepted by Vietnam in cycle III, 209 recommendations (86.7%) have been fully implemented with results, 30 recommendations (12.4%) have been partially implemented, and 2 remaining recommendations are under consideration for implementation when appropriate.

According to the Deputy Minister, the updated specific figures and evidence in the report affirm Vietnam's considerable efforts in ensuring human rights. From 2019 to the end of November 2023, Vietnam continued efforts to build a rule-of-law state with 44 laws passed, including many significant legal documents related to human rights and citizens' rights, embodying the provisions of the 2013 Constitution, and ensuring compatibility with international treaties to which Vietnam is a member. Additionally, Vietnam has been reviewing to amend and supplement some laws in accordance with international commitments.

Since 2019, the GDP per capita has increased by 25%, the poverty rate among households has decreased by 1.5% annually. The preventive healthcare network has been extensively organized nationwide closely linked with primary healthcare, enhancing capabilities, with the health insurance coverage rate increasing from 81.7% in 2016 to 92% in 2022, the percentage of households using sanitary water sources in Vietnam reached from 98.3%, an increase of 0.9 percentage points compared to 2018, 90.69% of operating industrial zones have centralized wastewater treatment facilities (an increase of 13 industrial zones compared to 2019); 85% of disabled individuals in difficult circumstances receive social assistance, care, and functional rehabilitation.

After 26 years of Internet connectivity, Vietnam has modern telecommunications technology, with a high Internet penetration rate. As of September 2023, Vietnam has more than 78 million Internet users (ranking 13th in the world in terms of user numbers, an increase of 21% compared to 2019), the number of mobile broadband subscriptions is 86.6 million (an increase of 38% compared to 2019). There are about 72,000 associations active in Vietnam, regularly actively participating in addressing significant economic and social issues of the country.

Since the last review, Vietnam has joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 98 on the application of principles of the right to organize and collective bargaining (2019) and ILO Convention No. 105 on the abolition of forced labor (2020), and participated in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM – 2020).

Vietnam actively contributes to the global community's efforts in promoting human rights worldwide with practical, specific initiatives and actions, especially in its capacity as a member of the UNHCR for the 2023-2025 term.

Vietnam has achieved positive accomplishments in ensuring human rights in reality. The media in Vietnam operates freely. The press is continuously developing, becoming a forum for the people's speech, for social organizations, a tool for monitoring the implementation of policies and laws, and protecting the lawful rights and interests of the people.

Besides these results, the Report also identifies existing challenges and from there outlines Vietnam's priority directions and cooperation needs in the coming time to ensure better enjoyment of human rights for the people.

According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, the process of building the Report was conducted comprehensively and transparently with contributions from state agencies, political-social organizations, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations, development partners, and the people. Contributions made directly at consultation workshops organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or some ministries and sectors, or sent directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were all considered and appropriately incorporated.

"The National Report of Vietnam is a joint product of all relevant parties, responsible for implementing UPR recommendations and benefiting from the results of this process; it is not solely of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the agencies participating in the drafting Inter-Agency Group. This is significant, affirming that the UPR process in Vietnam takes place according to the principles of transparency, construction, equality, dialogue, and cooperation," the Deputy Minister affirmed.

The Deputy Minister hopes that countries will study this Report carefully and prepare to participate in the upcoming Dialogue Session of Vietnam based on the principles of the UPR, making constructive recommendations that Vietnam can absorb, accept, and implement effectively.

At the press conference, Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet answered questions from reporters, representatives of foreign diplomatic agencies in Vietnam related to the advantages and challenges in implementing the recommendations accepted in the third cycle and building its fourth UPR cycle report, the participation of related parties in the UPR process in Vietnam, commented on the report of the United Nations agencies and related parties about Vietnam under the fourth cycle of the UPR mechanism; shared the relationship between performing the periodic review and the responsibility of being a member of the UNHCR for the 2023-2025 term, as well as Vietnam's priorities and initiatives during this term.

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