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Việt Nam presents candidature for membership of UN Human Rights Council



Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh. — VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Keeping the society safe against pandemics is the best way to ensure each member can fully enjoy their human rights.

That was the message from Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh speaking during a High-level Segment of the 46th Regular Session of the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) via video conference on February 22.

Minh told the event that the COVID-19 pandemic had claimed the lives of millions, affected the well-being of billions around the world, and had strained public health and social security systems of all countries, triggering and exacerbating various human rights challenges.

However, “Việt Nam continues to put emphasis on the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of our people, even in this most difficult of times,” he said, adding that the country had tackled the pandemic head on, putting the people at the centre of all its efforts.

Prompt and determined actions had been taken to control outbreaks to protect the health and safety of the people as a matter of top priority. Efforts were also made to maintain economic growth and social welfare, to leave no one behind.

Thanks to the whole-of-government approach and the overwhelming support and solidarity of all people, COVID-19 had largely been controlled in Việt Nam, Minh said.

He went on to say that the Vietnamese economy continued to grow at almost 3 per cent in 2020 and timely support had been given to businesses and people affected by the pandemic, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women, children and people with disabilities.

“COVID-19 has left no country untouched,” he said.

“No one can be safe until everyone is safe. As part of the international community, we are all in this together. Therefore, international solidarity and cooperation is critical to help us rise above challenges and move forward.”

Minh used the occasion to offer thanks for the valuable support from partner countries, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and people around the world helping Việt Nam’s fight against the pandemic. He also shared that Việt Nam had provided medical masks and supplies to support more than 50 countries and international partners in their response to the pandemic.

As proposed by Việt Nam, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution proclaiming December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness to help raise awareness on the importance of preventing and responding to epidemics.

To further contribute effectively to joint efforts in protecting and promoting human rights, Việt Nam presented its candidature for membership of the Human Rights Council for the term 2023-25, he added.

The UNHRC’s 46th regular session is taking place from February 22 to March 23 to discuss measures to promote and protect humans rights in all civil, political, socio-economic and cultural aspects.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, chaired by President of the UNHRC Nazhat Shameem Khan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasised that human rights are the basis for connecting humanity, resolving conflicts and building sustainable peace and the UNHRC is the main global body to address challenges on human rights.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated human rights challenges and seriously affected vulnerable groups. He called for joint action in priority areas of anti-racism, anti-discrimination and anti-xenophobia, and gender equality.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stressed pandemic response measures should be carried out on the basis of ensuring human rights, the community’s trust and democratic institutions effectively. —



Training teleconference for NA election held amidst pandemic scenario




The national teleconference. VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Home Affairs held a nationwide teleconference on Thursday to discuss training for the election of deputies for the 15th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure, with more than 27,500 delegates taking part.

The participants were updated on the regulations for vote casting and documents used in the election, consultative process and nominations. A number of questions were also answered by leaders of ministries and agencies.

According to the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee, as of February 17, the first consultative conferences were completed at the central level and in 63 localities, with 1,076 nominated for seats at the legislature.

Eighteen provinces suggested increasing the number of local deputies while five provinces plan to have self-nomination cases.

Concluding the event, Minister of Home Affairs Lê Vĩnh Tân said to ensure the best preparations between now and election day (May 23), central agencies must promptly answer questions by localities and issue detailed guidelines on key tasks before, during and after the election.

Representatives from Quảng Ninh Province asked the Government to issue instructive documents regarding voters meeting in areas affected by the pandemic. They also mentioned the need to publish a guidebook on the election in the pandemic period, especially in hotspot areas. 

A representative of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee said the document guiding the organisation of voters meeting will soon be available. Meanwhile, the committee also asked the national election council and Ministry of Home Affairs to issue documents relating to the responsibility of the units making candidate lists, the implementation of voting rights of voters in quarantine areas, and how ballot boxes would be sent to quarantine areas if needed. —


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Việt Nam aims for GDP per capita of $5,000 by 2025, developed country status by 2045: 13th Party Congress’s Resolution




Party delegates voted to adopt the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress at the final session of the Congress held on February 1, 2021. — VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — The Communist Party is aiming for Việt Nam to reach GDP per capita of $5,000 by 2025 and to be a developed country by 2045. 

The goals are part of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress held from January 25 to February 1, the entirety of which has just been released by the Office of the Party Central Committee.

The Resolution noted the highlight of the 12th tenure was the successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in significant economic achievements – including stable macroeconomics, controlled inflation and high GDP growth, while people’s living standards were improved. The fight against corruption, loss and waste was intensified, while the socio-political situation remained stable, foreign relations deepened and Việt Nam’s profile on the international stage grew.

However, numerous shortcomings – including slow modernisation and industrialisation, shifting in the growth model, limited competitiveness and quality and productivity of the economy, inadequate adaptation to climate change and environment protection demands, drawbacks in Party building and rectification, that science and technology has not been the driving engine of socio-economic growth and the lives of certain groups of people remain difficult – of the 12th tenure have been identified in the Resolution.

The achievements of 35 years of implementation of đổi mới (Reform), 30 years of implementing the 1991 Party Platform and in the 10 years of implementing the 2011 Revised Party Platform have proved that the country’s path towards socialism is consistent with Việt Nam’s practical situation and the times’ development trends, with the Party’s righteous leadership the leading factor in Việt Nam’s revolutionary victories, the Resolution reads.

Amid rapidly shifting and complex developments in the global scene, the Party Platform continues to serve as the ideological flag to gather the collective strength of united peoples for the goal of a “prosperous-people, strong-nation, democratic, equitable, and civilised” Việt Nam.

Development vision and orientations

In the coming years, the challenges and opportunities of a complicated world demand the entire Party and Vietnamese people to “unite” and continue to have major changes in mindset and make correct and timely forecasts of the situation to prepare and deal with any circumstance, to “bring the country forward on the path of rapid, sustainable development” and the attainment of many orientations, goals, and tasks.

The Resolution lists major guiding orientations of the years forward, including “persistent and innovative” implementation of Marxist-Leninism and Hồ Chí Minh ideology, persistent pursuit of socialism and independence and upholding national interests based on the principles of the United Nations’ Charter and international law and the spirit of equal and win-win co-operation, with national defence and security in mind.

It also aims to enhance patriotism, the spirit of resilience, national unity and people’s aspirations to develop a prosperous and happy nation, promoting socialist democracy, enhancing the quality of human resources and promoting innovation and science and technology – especially the achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – in service of the country’s sustainable and rapid development.

In addition, Party building and governance are goals, working towards a streamlined and effective Party system with quality cadres and civil servants.

The “general objectives” are identified as improving the Party’s leadership and ruling capacity; building a pure, strong and comprehensive Party and political system; consolidating and raising people’s confidence in the Party, the State and the socialist regime; fomenting aspirations to develop a prosperous and happy country; promoting the will and strength of national solidarity; promoting comprehensive and synchronous đổi mới (reforms), industrialisation, and modernisation; building and firmly defending the Fatherland, maintaining a peaceful and stable environment; and striving to become a developed country with socialist orientations by the middle of the 21st century.

The “particular objectives” are set on Việt Nam becoming a developed nation with a modern industrial base and leaving the ranks of lower-middle-income countries by 2025 – the year marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the south and national reunification. By 2030, when the Party celebrates its 100th founding anniversary, Việt Nam is hoped to become a developing country with a modern industrial base and upper-middle incomes. By 2045, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Việt Nam, now the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam, Việt Nam is hoped to become a developed, industrialised nation with high income.

In 2021-25, the Resolution sets a target for average GDP growth of 6.5-7 per cent, GDP per capita by 2025 reaching $4,700-5,000, the contributions of total factor productivity (TFP) in economic growth reaching 45 per cent, the labour productivity increase hitting 6.5 per cent a year, urbanisation reaching 45 per cent, the ratio of processing and manufacturing industries in the GDP exceeding 25 per cent, and the digital economy accounting for 20 per cent of the country’s GDP.

In this time frame, the Resolution aims for agricultural labour ratio staying at 25 per cent, the ratio of trained labour reaching 70 per cent, urban unemployment kept at below 4 per cent, the rate of multidimensional poverty maintaining a decrease of 1-1.5 per cent year-on-year, aiming for 10 doctors and 30 hospital beds for every 10,000 people, striving towards 95 per cent of the Vietnamese population being covered under the State’s health insurance, life expectancy reaching 74.5 years, and the ratio of communes obtaining new rural standards reaching at least 80 per cent, including 10 per cent meeting the requirements of exemplary new rural standards.

In terms of environment, by 2025, the goals are to have 95-100 per cent of the urban population and 93-95 per cent of rural population having access to clean and hygienic water, 90 per cent of urban waste properly collected and treated, 92 per cent of active industrial-processing zones outfitted with proper wastewater treatment facilities; 100 per cent of all businesses polluting the environment punished; and upholding the national forest coverage at 42 per cent.

The 13th tenure has “six central tasks”, with the first being Party building, building rules-based socialist State, with effective, corruption-free governance. The second task is controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring COVID-19 vaccination coverage, while engaging in economic recovery, pursuing the transformation of growth model and economic restructuring, implementing national digital transformation strategy, raising labour productivity and innovation, and third is upholding independence, improving the effectiveness of foreign affairs and international integration, building modern and elite armed forces, and maintaining peaceful and stable environment for development.

The fourth central task is inspiring patriotism among the people to develop a prosperous and happy nation, promoting the role of cultural values and the strength of Vietnamese people in nation-building and defence, with detailed policies to develop the culture of ethnic minority groups, carrying out social policies and ensuring social security for the people, raising living standards and happiness indexes of the Vietnamese people. Fifth is perfecting the legal system, institutions, and policies to promote socialist democracy. The final central task is to strictly manage, reasonably and effectively use land and natural resources, protecting the environment, and implementing adaptation measures to cope with climate change and natural disasters.

Breakthrough strategies

To achieve the goals, the Party sets three major breakthrough strategies – completing development institutions, developing human resources, and building modern infrastructure.

Regarding institutions, the Party identifies the need to improve development institutions for a socialist-oriented market economy; reforming State governance towards modernity and competitiveness; improving the legal system and institutions to create a favourable, healthy, and fair business and investment environment for all sectors of the economy where innovation can foster; mobilising, managing and using all resources – especially land, finance, public-private partnership – for development purposes; bolstering reasonable decentralisation, while enhancing inspections and keeping powers in check via the legal system.

For human resources, the Party wants a priority on high-quality human resources for leadership and management and key positions, based on “comprehensive and radical transformation of education and training quality in tandem with recruitment and incentive policies”; promoting research, transfer, application and development of science and technology, innovation; promoting the aspirations for national development, people’s sense of unity and national pride in nation-building and defence efforts.

The Resolution also states the demand for “modern and synchronous” social and economic infrastructure, with a focus on national key transport projects, climate adaptation projects, and information and communications projects to serve national digital transformation and the development of a digital economy and society. —


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Ambassador runs for re-election to International Law Commission




Ambassador Nguyễn Hồng Thao. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s permanent missions to the United Nations (UN) in New York and Geneva recently sent diplomatic notes to the UN and countries informing them of the candidacy of Ambassador Nguyễn Hồng Thao to the International Law Commission (ILC) for the 2023-27 tenure, marking the official start of the Vietnamese candidate’s campaign for re-election to the UN law organ.

In 2016, Ambassador Thao became the first Vietnamese to be elected as an ILC member. During the 2017-2022 tenure, he has promoted ILC’s research results, delivered speeches and joined discussions at the ILC.

He has also helped express developing nations’ interest in new and non-traditional topics and joined in discussions on topics such as protection of the atmosphere and environmental protection in armed conflicts. Notably, he has strongly supported the ILC’s research on rising seawater level and the addition of the issue to the committee’s long-term working agenda.

With in-depth knowledge about laws on the sea and the environment, he made significant contributions to the first report of the research group on rising sea level in relation to international law last year. 

Apart from valuable professional contributions, Thao has also played a role in fostering connections among ILC members to promote exchange between legal researchers and practitioners of international law at home and abroad. He also spoke at many universities and prestigious seminars in the region. In 2018, he was elected as the Second Vice Chairman of the ILC on the occasion of its 70th founding anniversary.

Due to his dedication to the progress of international law, he was nominated for a seat at the ILC for the 2023-2027 tenure, becoming one of the 10 candidates of Asia-Pacific. The ILC election will take place in New York in November 2021.

Ambassador Thao is a senior Vietnamese diplomat with 40 years of experience. He earned a doctorate degree in law from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and is now also teaching international law at the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam. —


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