Tuesday, July 27, 2010

UN officials reports on minority rights in Vietnam

Statement by the United Nations Independent Expert on minority issues, Ms. Gay McDougall, on conclusion of her official visit to Viet Nam – 5 to 15 July 2010

In my capacity as the United Nations Independent Expert on minority issues I have conducted an official visit to Viet Nam from 5 to 15 July 2010. The objective of my visit was to hold consultations on minority issues and to examine the human rights situation of Viet Nam’s numerous minority groups in conformity with my UN mandate. Under my mandate I am required to promote implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities* and to identify challenges as well as successful practices in regard to minority...

..The Government readily acknowledges that, despite a remarkable period of economic growth, progress towards the MDGs and highly positive results in respect to poverty alleviation and economic development in general, most minority groups remain the poorest of Viet Nam’s poor. The acknowledgment of the economic and social gaps that exist between the minority communities and the majority population, who identify themselves as the “Kinh” ethnic group, is an important step towards putting in place the measures required to close those gaps. Government programs over the past several years have established important initiatives to close those gaps through infrastructure projects, social protection programs and developments in the fields of health and education. The government should be commended for these programs and the improvements that they have made in the lives of minorities.

I understand the challenges facing the government in achieving the rights of non-Kinh ethnic communities, particularly those in the most geographically remote areas. I welcome the government’s affirmation of its commitment to tackling those challenges as a matter of high priority. It is critical that the Government ensures that its economic growth is achieved without negatively impacting on the lives of minorities or deepening their poverty and that they share fully in the benefits of growth and prosperity, while maintaining their distinct cultures and identities...

For full report, by Ms. Gay McDougall, July 21, click here.


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