Viet Nam has been contributing to protecting and advancing the value of human rights in a direct, responsible and constructive manner through its membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2014-2016.
Vu Anh Quang, head of the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Department of International Organisations, spoke to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of World Human Rights Day on December 10.
He said that since Viet Nam joined the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the nation had devised careful plans to clarify policies and goals and a roadmap for UNHRC membership.
Previously serving as an observer, Viet Nam delivered more than 40 speeches covering issues of global concern at the UNHRC, as well as other specialised mechanisms, Quang said.
The number of speeches rose to 100 per year when Viet Nam joined the UNHRC, he said, adding that the country has made its voice heard on issues relating to the improvement of rights for vulnerable groups, the right to economics, social and cultural affairs, development, jobs and poverty elimination.
In addition, Viet Nam has also taken part in negotiating and consulting the contents of resolutions passed by the UNHRC with an aim of protecting national interests and viewpoints on human rights, along with commenting on content suitable for developing countries on the course of ensuring human rights.
Those contributions displayed Viet Nam's responsible, active and constructive participation related to issues of international concern, which is in line with the 11th Party Congress Resolution, the Political Bureau's Resolution 22 on international integration and the Party Central Committee's Resolution 28 on national defence strategy under new circumstances, Quang stressed.
That proactive and active participation had garnered appreciation from other countries, thus furthering Viet Nam's bilateral co-operation with other partner countries, the official said.
Regarding Viet Nam's laws and policies, Quang asserted that human rights in the country had been written into the Constitution and defended by laws.
The 2013 Constitution, adopted by the National Assembly on November 28, 2013 and enacted on January 1, 2014, built on and developed regulations mandating human rights and the right of citizens that conform to the content and spirit of international conventions on human rights, of which Viet Nam is a member.
Quang said that human rights, for the first time in Viet Nam's lawmaking history, had been acknowledged as a natural and inherent right that was recognised and implemented by the State.
He affirmed that the establishment of a legal system on human rights in Viet Nam had been carried out in a uniform and consistent manner, evidenced by the National Assembly's law and ordinance making programmes, as well as mechanisms to enact laws to ensure citizens' rights are better protected.
Many important codes had been promulgated or revised to create a comprehensive and sound legal foundation for the respect and enforcement of human rights in Viet Nam, the official said.
He cited the National Assembly's adoption or revision of laws and codes pertaining to human rights, including the Penal Code (revised), the Criminal Procedure Code (revised), the Civil Code (revised), the Civil Procedure Code (Revised), the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Viet Nam, and the Health Insurance Law.
These efforts had reflected Viet Nam's achievements across realms, especially in economics, politics, socio-cultural affairs, people's improved living conditions and their right to enjoy various rights and freedoms, Quang said.
Socio-economic attainments and increased co-operation and international exchanges had created material conditions and pooled resources for Viet Nam to ensure human rights are better exercised, he added.
Despite recent cuts in Government public spending, State budget allocations to social welfare programmes had risen in several areas, especially those supporting vulnerable groups, he noted.
In November 2014, the National Assembly of Viet Nam ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention against Torture. Ultimately, Viet Nam took part in seven of the UN's nine major conventions on human rights.
Viet Nam has been recognised by the UN and the international community for achieving six of the eight UN millennium development goals ahead of deadline and accomplishing the remaining goals on schedule.
The country aims to contribute to the building and approval of the UN agenda by 2030, vowing to fully implement sustainable development goals.