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Statement by the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 69th Session of General Assembly on Agenda Item:Promotion and protection of human rights(a)(d)

2014/10/21

Madam Chair,

Human rights instruments are important achievements in the development of the international cause of human rights. China supports various human rights treaty bodies in continuing to promote the implementation of human rights instruments by states parties.

Last April, the 68th Session of the GA adopted a resolution entitled “Strengthening and Enhancing the Functioning of the Human Rights Treaty Body System” (A/RES/68/268), which contains provisions on some issues of common concern to states parties, including improving the consideration proceedings and concluding observations, enhancing the role of the conference of states parties, limiting the length of documents and strengthening capacity building. It has reflected the various positions and propositions in a relatively balanced manner, to which the China expresses its welcome. With regard to the resolution’s implementation and the future work of treaty bodies, the Chinese delegation would like to make the following comments.

First, the effective implementation of the resolution hinges on the communication and cooperation among state parties, human rights treaty bodies and the OHCHR. Parties should engage in full consultations in an open, transparent and balanced manner to promote the full implementation of all the provisions of the resolution and avoid selectivity, with a view to enhancing dialogue and cooperation between treaty bodies and states parties.

Secondly, paragraph 17 of the resolution contains the important provision of “providing advisory services, technical assistance and capacity building in consultation with and with the consent of the state concerned”. The activities of the OHCHR in support of states parties’ capacity building should be in line with the latter’s actual situation and needs. Their views should be fully respected.

Thirdly, treaty bodies should continue to pay attention to effectively reducing the burden of states parties within the scope of the convention. While states parties are obligated to comply with the reporting obligation under the convention, any request beyond the provisions of the convention and without the consent of states parties will unnecessarily increase their burden and make it harder for some countries to implement the convention. The treaty bodies should limit the reporting obligations to the scope of the convention. We propose that treaty bodies and states parties actively explore more effective modalities to reduce unnecessary burdens for states parties in this regard.

Fourthly, the supervision and accountability of human rights treaty bodies should be strengthened. All responsible international institutions should be subject to a supervision and accountability regime while fulfilling their mandated functions, and human rights treaty bodies are no exception. Treaty bodies should be accountable to the conventions and assembly of states parties and carry out their work on the basis of the principle of objectivity, impartiality and independence. They should avoid exceeding their mandates, and more importantly, they should avoid politicization or selectivity in the field of Human Rights. The Chinese delegation has taken note of the content of para 35 to 39 of the resolution regarding the guidelines on the independence and impartiality of members of the human rights treaty bodies (the Addis Ababa Guidelines). We will follow closely and actively participate in the consideration and review of the said guidelines with a view to strengthening the institutional building for the supervision and accountability of the treaty bodies and better implementing the relevant provisions.

Finally, NGOs can play a useful role in promoting human rights. The Chinese government supports the NGOs’ regulated participation in the consideration of treaty bodies in accordance with the general principle of the UN system based on the ECOSOC resolution 96/31. Meanwhile, it is necessary for treaty bodies and their secretariats to screen the information submitted by the organizations and individuals that apply to participate in their deliberations in order to ensure the veracity and reliability of the information.

Madam Chair,

The Chinese government commends the human rights treaty body system for its efforts in promoting compliance with human rights instruments and the development of the international human rights cause. The Chinese government has fulfilled its treaty obligations in good faith and engaged in cooperation and dialogue with treaty bodies in a spirit of sincere cooperation. Over the past two years, the Chinese government conducted dialogues with the Committee on the Right of the Child and the Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We will also have dialogues with CEDAW and the Committee against Torture. China treats the conclusions of the treaty bodies seriously and submits government comments on the relevant conclusions so as to enable the treaty bodies to have a full understanding of the position of the Chinese government. At the same time, based on our national situation, we have actively implemented the viable recommendations in the conclusions.

The Chinese government is ready to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with various treaty bodies, continue to actively fulfill its convention obligations, and make greater contributions to the international cause of human rights.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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