Cooperation is needed to ensure effective response to COVID-19: Diplomat

Minister Counselor Nguyen Phuong Anh, deputy head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations in Geneva, underlined the need for countries to strengthen solidarity and close cooperation to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She made the statement on September 14 at a dialogue on human rights all over the world, which was held virtually as part of the UN Human Rights Council’s ongoing 48th session.

Anh thanked the international community for timely support to Vietnam in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when the country is facing a very serious fourth wave of infection due to the emergence of new variants.

The Vietnamese diplomat affirmed that Vietnam is determined to put people at the centre of policies, strengthen health response capacity to the COVID-19 pandemic, implement social and financial support programmes to ensure the basic human rights of the people. 

Protecting and realising human rights for all in the post-COVID-19 context required a shift in approach and priorities, therefore, Vietnam calls on the UN Human Rights Council to join the post-COVID1-9 recovery mission to achieve the sustainable development goals, she said.

Addressing the opening of the 48th session, which saw the attendance of head of the Vietnamese permanent mission Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet emphasised that climate change has become “the greatest challenge to human rights in our era.”

It has seriously affected a broad range of rights, including the right to adequate food, water, education, housing, health, development, and even lives, she said. 

Bachelet also reviewed the impacts of climate change on many countries and regions, including those in the Sahel region, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Central America. She called for countries to take strong action to respond to climate change. 

Regarding the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachelet highlighted the importance of adopting human rights-based approaches and choosing policies that can address inequality and encourage innovative solutions related to the environment to build greener economies in the post-COVID-19 period.

The 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council opened on September 13 and lasts until October 8. 

As many as six thematic discussions and 37 dialogues are expected to be organised during the session. The Council is scheduled to consider and approve the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of 15 countries and the appointment of special procedure mandate holders as well as 25 draft resolutions.

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