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Speech of Pratibha Mehta, United Nations Resident Coordinator at the Ministry of Justice’s New Year Reception for development partners

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  • Date: 6 March 2015
  • Event: Ministry of Justice's New Year Reception for development partners
  • Venue: Ministry of Justice, 60 Tran Phu Street, Hanoi

Excellency Minister of Justice Mr. Ha Hung Cuong;

Vice Ministers of Justice;

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors, development partners and members of the diplomatic community;

Distinguished representatives of key justice institutions in Viet Nam;

Ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you for the honor to address you today on the celebration of the New Year of the Goat. We congratulate the Ministry for bringing justice agencies and development partners together to enjoy your friendship and generosity in this festive event.

We greatly appreciate the strong relationship between the Ministry of Justice and the United Nations in Viet Nam, a collaboration that began over 20 years ago. Much progress has been achieved during this time, and the Ministry's leadership and strong engagement is highly appreciated.

Minister Cuong, we commend your advocacy for the rule of law and legal reform in Viet Nam, and appreciate your Ministry's vital role in helping to make the human rights guarantees of the 2013 Constitution come to life. Viet Nam took a bold step forward in recognizing the rights of the LGBT community by removing prohibitions against same sex marriage in the Law on Family and Marriage. We also recognize your strong advocacy for inclusive participation as debates are ongoing over revisions to key laws such as the Penal Code, the Civil Code, and the drafting of the Law on Access to Information. As you prepare the report on the ICCPR, we hope that voices from all members of society will be included. We would like to congratulate the Ministry for its contribution to the ratification of, both, the Convention Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this is evidence of your commitment to observe international human rights standards. In 2014 Viet Nam accepted 182 of the 227 recommendations made by Member States during the Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council. The Ministry of Justice has an extremely important role and has much work ahead as these UPR recommendations and the international conventions are implemented in Viet Nam. We hope that the process will involve NGO, civil society and other stakeholder participation and we congratulate you on your commitments to ensure that principles of Rule of Law, due process, and accountability become the foundation of Viet Nam's justice system.

The transition from MDGs to SDGs in 2016 represents another opportunity for the Ministry to actively support Viet Nam's rising status in the international community. The Rule of Law is a key pillar to social stability and for ensuring that the tremendous human development achievements made by Viet Nam are sustained. We are confident in your Ministry's capacity to help Viet Nam meet the important goals it has set for itself as its relationship with the international community blossoms.

The United Nations will remain as a strong supporter of the efforts of your Ministry, the Government and key institutions to fulfilling these commitments. We look forward to an ever-growing participation by all members of society in Viet Nam's progress in the year ahead.

We wish all of you are blessed with the wisdoms and qualities that characterize the Goat: Patience, Peacefulness, and Artistry.

I wish you all good health, happiness, and great success in 2015.

CHUC MUNG NAM MOI!

Xin Cam On!