Ambassador Osius’ Opening Remarks for the Human Rights Dialogue

Everywhere I go I make clear that the United States seeks a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam that respects the rule of law and human rights. My government is committed to the success of our comprehensive partnership.

Vietnam plays a key role in President Obama’s Rebalance Toward Asia.
Under the Rebalance, we are strengthening ties in trade, science and technology, military cooperation, education and Party to Party links.
We are doing new and exciting things together. For instance, we look forward to making the upcoming historic visit by General Secretary Trong to the United States a success.

We appreciate that our Rebalance policy lines up neatly with the Politburo’s policy calling for Vietnam’s Comprehensive International Integration.

We support you in making this integration a success. We are working together to allow Vietnam to make its first ever deployment of UN Peacekeepers.

Our trade experts are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership – the most far-reaching trade agreement in history. 17,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the United States and we are soon going to break ground on the Fulbright University Vietnam – an institution that will allow Vietnamese to get a world-class education in Vietnam.

As we have often said, our ability to enhance cooperation with Vietnam is directly related to your ability to continue demonstrating progress on human rights. But beyond that, I firmly believe that your ability to effectively integrate into the international community is also directly tied to a deepening commitment to improve human rights practices in Vietnam.

You have come so far in the years since reunification and since our two countries normalized relations. I am optimistic about how far you can go in the years ahead. We are not always going to agree, but so long as we can discuss issues in a spirit of mutual respect and identify ways we can work together I am confident we will make progress together. We Americans stand ready to work with you to improve your laws and institutions and to help you succeed. We have a very bright future together.