joining the Human Rights Council in 2014, Vietnam has been one of the Council
members least supportive of the mandate to respond to country situations.
Voting Record in 2016
Voting Record in 2015
Vietnam’s voting record highlights its hostility towards the Council’s mandate to address country situations and respond to emergencies. It was one of very few members to oppose the resolution on North Korea, despite the gravity of the situation on the ground. It also voted against the resolutions on Iran, Belarus and Sri Lanka, and on the latter, supported a hostile non-action motion aimed at adjourning the substantive debate before the vote. After abstaining twice on the resolutions on Syria, it rejected the September 2014 resolution on the situation.
At the same time, Vietnam supported all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT). The contrast between Vietnam’s votes on the resolutions on the OPTs and its votes on all other situations raises serious questions about double standards and selectivity in its approach to the Council.
Vietnam’s lack of support for the Council’s mandate to address country situations is further evidenced by the fact that it belongs to a small group of members that failed to co-sponsor any country-specific resolution. In its few interventions during country-specific plenary debates, Vietnam generally adopted a congratulatory tone towards governments concerned. It emphasized its support for the principles of sovereignty, constructive cooperation and genuine dialogue, and failed to raise concerns for violations by states of their international human rights obligations.
Vietnam should commit to fully implementing the Council’s mandate to address and prevent situations of violations, and base its positions on an assessment of the situation on the ground, the needs of victims, and the international obligations of the government concerned.