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Cablegate: Vietnam: "Rights of Persons" Emphasized at the Consultative Group of Donors Meeting

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

170913Z Dec 01

2001HANOI03269 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ9351

PAGE 01 HANOI 03269 01 OF 02 170937Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00
INL-00 DODE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 EB-00
EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00
FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 LAB-01
L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05 MOF-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PC-01 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00
EPAE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 SWCI-00 /017W
------------------4C7090 170937Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5025
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 003269

SIPDIS

STATE PASS USAID ANE/LFORMAN AND AFERRARA
EMBASSY PHNOM PENH FOR USAID DIRECTOR LISA CHILES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ELAB ECON EAID VM RELFREE HUMANR ETMIN
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: "RIGHTS OF PERSONS" EMPHASIZED AT THE CONSULTATIVE GROUP OF DONORS MEETING


1. SUMMARY: AT THE CONSULTATIVE GROUP OF DONORS MEETING IN
HANOI ON DECEMBER 7-8, THERE WAS A WELCOME MESSAGE FROM
DONORS ON THE ISSUE OF "RIGHTS" WRIT LARGE. THE CONSISTENCY
AND THE CLARITY OF THE STATEMENTS BY BOTH INDIVIDUAL
DELEGATIONS AND NGOS ARE WORTH NOTING. WHILE IT IS CLEAR
THAT FOR THE TIME BEING, DONORS ARE NOT PREPARED TO STRICTLY
CONDITION THEIR ASSISTANCE SOLELY UPON IMPROVEMENT OF HUMAN
RIGHTS, THE ISSUE IS FIRMLY ON THE TABLE IN MANY DONORS'
MINDS AS A MEASURE OF VIETNAM'S REFORM AND DEVELOPMENT
EFFORTS. ALTHOUGH THE VIETNAMESE DID NOT RESPOND DIRECTLY
TO THE COMMENTS, THEY CLEARLY WERE TAKING IT ALL IN. THE
QUESTION REMAINS, HOWEVER, WHETHER ANY OF THIS WILL HAVE AN
EFFECT IN THE NEAR TO MEDIUM TERM. THE RESULTS OF THE
CONSULTATIVE GROUP MEETINGS ARE REPORTED SEPTEL. END
SUMMARY.

2. ALL IN AGREEMENT: DONORS AGREED THAT THE FIGHT AGAINST
CORRUPTION, BUILDING THE RULE OF LAW, AN INDEPENDENT AND
PREDICTABLE JUDICIARY, TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, THE
PROMOTION OF CIVIL SOCIETY, A FREE MASS MEDIA, PARTICIPATION
BY THE PEOPLE IN DECISION MAKING, AND HUMAN RIGHTS WERE ALL
"PILLARS OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE." SEVERAL DONORS MADE THE
EXPLICIT LINKAGE BETWEEN THE PROTECTION OF LEGAL RIGHTS AND
THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN A "DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY." A
NUMBER OF DONORS WELCOMED THE IMPROVEMENT IN "PERSONAL
FREEDOMS" AND THE MORE OPEN DIALOGUE ON HUMAN RIGHTS, AND
EXPRESSED HOPE THAT THIS WOULD CONTINUE AND GROW. SEVERAL
DONORS OPINED THAT ALL CITIZENS MUST BE ABLE TO FULLY
PARTICIPATE IN ECONOMIC AND CIVIC LIFE IF VIETNAM IS TO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03269 01 OF 02 170937Z
ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS ITS ON-GOING POVERTY ALLEVIATION
AND ECONOMIC REFORM PROGRAM. THE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK TOUCHED ON THE ISSUES THROUGH THE
CONTEXT OF "TRANSPARENCY" AND "GOOD GOVERNANCE", STRESSING
THAT GOOD GOVERNANCE UNDERPINS THE ENTIRE REFORM EFFORT AND
THAT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO FOCUS MORE ON TRANSPARENCY AND
GOVERNANCE ISSUES IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT ALL SECTORS OF
SOCIETY BENEFIT FROM ECONOMIC GROWTH AND POVERTY REDUCTION
EFFORTS. THE ENTIRE DISCUSSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AS RELATED
TO GOVERNANCE AND CHANGE WAS EXPLICITLY ADDRESSED IN THE
WORLD BANK'S CLOSING STATEMENT.

3. EUROPEAN UNION: THE EU WELCOMED THE GENERAL IMPROVEMENT
IN PERSONAL FREEDOM FOR THE INDIVIDUAL IN VIETNAM AND THE
MORE OPEN DIALOGUE ON HUMAN RIGHTS BETWEEN THE EU AND
VIETNAM. THEY ALSO COMMENTED ON THE NEED FOR INCREASED
EFFORTS TO ENSURE GREATER LEGITIMACY FOR THE GOVERNMENT,
ESPECIALLY IN RELATION TO ENHANCING POPULAR PARTICIPATION.
THEY NOTED THAT INCREASING ATTENTION IS BEING PAID IN THE EU
TO THESE DEVELOPMENTS. THEY ALSO RAISED THEIR CONTINUED
CONCERN REGARDING LACK OF FREEDOM OF OPINION AND OF
RELIGION, AS WELL AS THE SITUATION OF ETHNIC MINORITIES,
RESTRICTIONS IN FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND THE APPLICATION OF
THE DEATH PENALTY. THE EU OFFERED TO CONTINUE ITS DIALOGUE
ON THESE ISSUES AND TO ENHANCE ITS COOPERATION WITH VIETNAM
IN THESE FIELDS.

4. FINLAND: FINLAND ARGUED FOR THAT ONE OF THE KEY
PREREQUISITES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS A PARTICIPATORY
GOVERNMENT. IT NOTED THE GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY DECREE BUT
STRESSED THAT THE SPIRIT OF DECREE MUST BE IMPLEMENTED SO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03269 01 OF 02 170937Z
THAT ALL CITIZENS, INCLUDING WOMEN, ETHNIC MINORITIES AND
THE DISABLED, WITH THEIR DIFFERENT VIEWS, HAVE A REAL SAY IN
HOW THEIR SOCIETY IS ADMINISTERED.

5. SWEDEN: SWEDEN FOCUSED ON THE PROMOTION OF CIVIL SOCIETY,
FREE AND INDEPENDENT MASS MEDIA, PARTICIPATION IN DECISION
MAKING, POLITICAL PLURALISM AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AS
THE CORNERSTONES OF A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. THEY LINKED THOSE
ISSUES TO CREATING A CLIMATE OF CONFIDENCE FOR ECONOMIC
ACTORS, TRADERS AND INVESTORS. SWEDEN OFFERED ASSISTANCE TO
VIETNAM TO CONDUCT A STUDY ON THE SUCCESS OF IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY DECREE AT THE COMMUNE LEVEL AS
WELL AS FOR A STUDY ON ANTI-CORRUPTION EFFORTS. IT
APPLAUDED THE GVN'S EFFORTS AT CREATING A MASTER PLAN FOR
ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM, BUT URGED THE GVN TO USE THE SAME
ENERGY IN DRAFTING A MASTER PLAN ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE
REFORM. SWEDEN PUSHED FOR GREATER LEGAL REFORM, STRESSING
THAT LEGAL REFORM WILL HAVE TO DIRECTLY EMPHASIZE THE
STATE'S OBLIGATIONS TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS, PARALLEL WITH
THE PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS.

6. NGOS: THE NGOS NOTED THE NEED TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS,
LABOR RIGHTS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT. THEY HIGHLIGHTED THE
NEED TO INCREASE LOCAL ASSOCIATION RIGHTS, FOSTER A MORE
PARTICIPATORY GOVERNMENT, AND IMPLEMENT GRASS ROOTS
DEMOCRACY.


7. OTHERS: DENMARK RAISED THE NEED FOR IMPROVED HUMAN
RIGHTS AND NOTED THAT ALL STAKE HOLDERS NEED TO BE INVOLVED
IN DISCUSSION OF FUTURE REFORMS, SUCH AS INCREASING
PARTICIPATION OF CIVIL SOCIETY. NEW ZEALAND LINKED THE NEED
FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE TO ACHIEVE REFORM GOALS, INCLUDING LEGAL
REFORMS, AND STRESSED THAT HUMAN RIGHTS DEPEND ON GOOD
GOVERNANCE. NORWAY APPLAUDED THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE
ALTHOUGH IT STILL HAS CONCERNS OVER THE STATE OF HUMAN
RIGHTS IN VIETNAM. IT ALSO ECHOED THE EU STATEMENT ON
PROGRESS. SWITZERLAND STRESSED THE NEED FOR THE PROMOTION
OF A CIVIL SOCIETY, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GRASSROOTS
DEMOCRACY ACT, AND ACTIONS TO RECTIFY GENDER INEQUALITY.

8. THE VIETNAMESE RESPONSE: THE GVN REPRESENTATIVES AT THE
CG DID NOT RESPOND TO DONOR INTERVENTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
BUT NEITHER DID THEY DID PROTEST THEM, ASSERT THAT THEY DID
NOT BELONG IN A DISCUSSION OF DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE, OR
REQUEST THAT MENTION OF IT BE DELETED FROM THE DRAFT OF THE
PROCEEDINGS. IN HIS RESPONSE TO THE SESSION ON PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION REFORM AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN WHICH MOST OF
THE POINTS ABOVE WERE RAISED, MINISTER FOR PLANNING AND
INVESTMENT TRAN XUAN GIA, THE SENIOR GVN OFFICIAL PRESENT
FOR THE WORKING SESSIONS, AGREED THAT IMPROVING GOVERNANCE
AND TRANSPARENCY WERE IMPORTANT ISSUES.

9. COMMENT: ALTHOUGH THE VIETNAMESE DID NOT RESPOND
DIRECTLY TO THE COMMENTS BY DONORS, THEY CLEARLY WERE TAKING
IT ALL IN. THE QUESTION REMAINS, HOWEVER, WHETHER ANY OF
THIS WILL HAVE AN EFFECT IN THE NEAR TO MEDIUM TERM. END
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03269 02 OF 02 170937Z
COMMENT.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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