GENEVA, March 7 (Bernama) — Vietnam that serves as a coordinator for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) at the UN Human Rights Council has affirmed the association’s commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, reports Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

“One of the purposes enshrined in the Asean Charter is to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of the Member States of Asean,” Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh said in his speech on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) at the council’s 25th session here Thursday.

Asean’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms has been witnessed upon the establishment of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, as the overarching institution responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in Asean, the Vietnamese Permanent Representative at the UN, World Trade Organisation and other international organisations in Geneva, said.

The Asean Heads of State/Government adopted the Asean Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) in Phnom Penh on Nov 18, 2012 and affirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the AHRD to advance the promotion and protection of human rights in the region, he added.

Furthermore, Asean Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children was established in 2010 in Hanoi and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Elimination of Violence against Children in Asean was adopted at the Asean Summit in Brunei in 2013.

“Asean Member States share a common interest in and commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms which shall be achieved through, inter alia, cooperation with one another as well as with relevant national, regional and international institutions/organisations, in accordance with the Asean Charter,” the diplomat reiterated.

Vietnam was elected by the UN General Assembly at its 68th session to become one of 14 new members of its Human Rights Council on Nov 12, 2013. Asean agreed to appoint Vietnam and the Philippines to serve as its coordinators at the 2014 UN Security Council on Feb 14.

Asean consists of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. — BERNAMA