First Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs Le Cong Phung: Viet Nam Won’t
Be Last in ASEAN to Set Up a National Human Rights Commission
Viet Nam will eventually create its own national human rights
commission, H.E. Le Cong Phung, first deputy minister of
the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Viet Nam, assured the Working Group for an
ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (Working Group) on July 29,
2007 at their meeting on the sidelines of the 40th ASEAN
Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Manila, Philippines.
H.E. Le Cong Phung (center) engages
the Working Group
The Working Group said that it was encouraged by Le’s
statement and expressed its support. It is one of the
Working Group’s advocacies to assist ASEAN member-states
in setting up their own national human rights commissions.
To date, only Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and
Thailand have national human rights commissions in ASEAN.
Cambodia, which had just formed a joint committee that
will draft a law enabling the creation of a national human
rights commission, is seen to be next in line.
It would indeed be a significant milestone if, like
its neighbors, Viet Nam establishes a national human rights
commission by 2010. Not only will it be the ASEAN chair
that year but the Vientiane
Action Programme (VAP) – which, among others,
calls for networking among national human rights commissions
in the region – is also ending then.
“We will continue to engage Viet Nam for the creation
of the proposed national human rights commission and for
other human rights initiatives,” said Working Group
Co-Chairperson Marzuki Darusman.