June 6, 2018
Today, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following statement regarding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation to Vietnam to the Special Outreach Session held in the context of the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018, in Charlevoix, Quebec.
“I am terribly concerned about Canada’s unjustified invitation to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to a special side meeting to discuss environmental responsibility without due consideration for the rampant corruption and illegal detentions by Vietnamese authorities following a severe environmental incident in 2016.
“It is highly irresponsible for the Government of Canada to engage Vietnam on the margins of the G7 meeting without fully understanding the aftermath of the April 2016 Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant incident that discharged toxic industrial chemicals polluting 200 km of Vietnam’s coastline, killing marine life and devastating a vital fishing industry.
“Canada should be fully aware that the Vietnamese communist authorities profited from the $500 million in reparations paid by the Formosa plant instead of compensating the victims of the pollution disaster with transparency and accountability.
“It is the shared responsibility of the attending world leaders and international organizations to pressure the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to immediately release all environmental activists and human rights defenders such as Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Mr. Hoang Duc Binh, Father Dang Huu Nam, and Mr. Nguyen Nam Phong who were sentenced, surveyed, intimidated, and brutally harassed for peacefully protesting the toxic spill for peacefully protesting the toxic spill.
“This unacceptable crackdown on environmental dissent, unaccountable governance, and lack of transparency continues to demonstrate that it is impossible to work with Vietnam on pressing global challenges without addressing its persistent human rights violations and political corruption.
“As the 2018 G7 president, Canada must clearly frame greater respect for human rights as a key theme in its international priorities with Vietnam.”
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“You can’t talk with Vietnam about mitigating environmental issues and combating climate change without first talking about protecting basic human rights.”
– The Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo
- United Nation High Commission for Human Rights Statement, February 2018
- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Statement, “UN experts condemn Viet Nam’s jailing of prominent blogger Mother Mushroom,” June 30, 2017.
- United Nation High Commission for Human Rights Statement, May 2016
- Senator Ngo Statement, “Senator Ngo Condemns Severe Human Rights Violations in Vietnam,” May 2016
- PMO News Release, “World leaders coming together at the G7 Summit to protect our oceans, seas and coastal communities,” June 1, 2018