EU and Vietnam conduct Seminar on Religious Freedom and Belief
The Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam hosted a one day seminar on matters relating to freedom of religion and belief on June 14, 2012.
This international seminar, entitled Religions in Vietnam in the Context of International Integration, is part of a series of activities, focusing on human rights issues, facilitated under the EU funded "Vietnam - EU Strategic Dialogue" program.
The seminar drew great attention since it is the first of its kind in the EU-Vietnam cooperation on human rights. Participants included authorities from local and central sections of the Committee, members from a number of Ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Security, scholars from various universities, research institutes and representatives of the international community and the different religious groups present in Vietnam.
The seminar was opened by Mr Bui Thanh Ha (Deputy Head of the Committee for Religious Affairs) and Mr. Juan Jose Almagro Herrador (Advisor, EU Delegation to Vietnam), addressing the importance and potentials of an international dialogue on matters relating to human rights and in particular to freedom of religion and belief. Human Rights, embracing the freedom of religion and belief, are the core values of the European Union.
The first two sections of the seminar focused on international and national standards, highlighting the current situation in Vietnam and abroad, while the third and the last section addressed issues on the implementation of standards and the challenges associated with it.
Apart from Vietnamese speakers from ministries, government and research institutions, Prof. Dr. Jeremy Gunn, a senior expert on religious and human rights, presented the international standards, protection mechanisms and structures ensuring the freedom of religion and belief in the EU and other parts of the world. With 20 year working experience on religious affairs around the world, Prof. Gunn highlighted the challenges of implementation of these matters, as well as presented some practical examples from other countries.
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Photo Credit: VOV News
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