Vietnam won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 term with 145 votes, despite the country’s egregious human rights abuses.
The Southeast Asian country was one of 14 new council members voted on by the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, holding its second election to the council. Vietnam was elected for the first time in her 2013 to her 2014-2016 term.
The 13 other countries elected to the council include Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Romania, South Africa and Sudan.
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On election to the Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 term. pic.twitter.com/ZFajw0Y2pr
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) October 11, 2022
International human rights groups were skeptical of Vietnam’s appointment to the council, given Vietnam’s dismal human rights record and diplomatic support for major rights abusers abroad. was done freedom house.
The communist-ruled country has arrested at least 48 journalists and activists for arbitrary crimes since it announced its candidacy for the UNHRC on 22 February 2021, according to a statement.
“We are especially concerned that Vietnam is mischaracterizing civil and political rights in the country as ‘more well protected’, especially given the continued harassment and arrests of activists and journalists. express.
According to the group, the government has arrested more than 100 human rights defenders in Vietnam since 2019.
“Our organization believes that before Vietnam seeks election to the HRC, it must first demonstrate a true commitment to upholding the highest standards of human rights protection,” they said.
On 3 October, UN Watch, the Human Rights Foundation and the Raul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights released a joint report. [pdf] It details abuses of UNHRC candidates including Vietnam, Algeria and Sudan.
Vietnam opposed resolutions supporting human rights victims in Belarus and Iran and did not support resolutions supporting human rights victims in Burundi and Syria during its 2014-2016 term on the council, the report said. rice field.
Vietnam has also backed unproductive resolutions that undermine individual human rights or address issues beyond the council’s mandate, it said.
“Unfortunately, when the United Nations itself ends up electing human rights abusers to the Human Rights Council, it indulges in the very culture of impunity to fight for,” said Raoul Wallenberg, director of the Center for Human Rights, Erwin. Kotler said. statement.