2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dec 10, 2007

Ha Noi – On International Human Rights Day and less than one month before the start of the 60th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations in Viet Nam vowed continued support to Viet Nam to further meet its human rights commitments.  

"Viet Nam has made tremendous social and economic progress, and shown leadership by ratifying several key international human rights treaties," said UN Resident Coordinator John Hendra. "As Viet Nam rapidly moves to middle income status, it is important that future growth be as inclusive as possible so that all Vietnamese women, men and children fully benefit from Viet Nam's progress. The United Nations system stands ready to both assist Viet Nam in meeting its international commitments and in its continued efforts to enable all Vietnamese people to enjoy their rights enshrined nearly 60 years ago in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."  

The theme for International Human Rights Day 2008, "Dignity and justice for all of us," reinforces the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a commitment to universal dignity and justice. The UDHR and its core values -- inherent human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality -- apply to all people.  

Viet Nam was one of the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and has also ratified other important international human rights instruments.   

“We have seen enormous progress for children in the country but more work needs to be done to make Viet Nam fit for children,” said UNICEF Representative Jesper Morch on the 18th anniversary of the CRC. “Formal mechanisms need to be created for meaningful participation of children, whether on a macro scale at the national level or on micro scale in their communities, schools and families.”   

Recently Viet Nam took an important step in complying with the CEDAW by passing the Law on Domestic violence. Ms. Suzette Mitchell from UNIFEM reiterated that, “Viet Nam has made significant progress complying with CEDAW, but to ensure that women - particularly rural women and those from ethnic minorities - are able to fully participate in political life, profit from education and health care services and be part of the labour market, additional CEDAW provisions need to be fulfilled for women.”  

On October 22nd, 2007, Mr. Le Luong Minh, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the UN, signed the landmark UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Implementation of this treaty will help more than 5 million Vietnamese with disabilities participate more fully in society through more inclusive policies, better work opportunities, and protection from discrimination.  

Since its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been regarded as a triumph, as it brought together, under the same banner, countries with political, religious, cultural differences, and even conflicts. The most translated document in history, it prohibits all forms of discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property, birth, opinion or other status.
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Mission of the United Nations in Viet Nam
The United Nations, in partnership with the government and people of Viet Nam, works to ensure that all Vietnamese people enjoy an increasingly healthy and prosperous life with greater human dignity and expanded choices. Collectively and through its individual agencies, the United Nations cares and creates opportunities for the poor and most vulnerable, and for youth, to whom the future belongs.
In accordance with the United Nations Charter and Millennium Declaration, the United Nations advances the principles of equality and social justice, while providing impartial advice, technical expertise, access to global knowledge and local experience to meet Viet Nam's development challenges.

Contact informationMs. Constance Hybsier, United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), (84 4) 942 1495 ext. 168,  constance.hybsier@undp.org
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, UN Communications Team, 84-4-822-4383 ext. 118,

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