|Statement by Hu Miao of the Chinese Delegation at the 70th Session of the General Assembly under the agenda item Rights of Children|
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
For all these years, the Organization has played an important role in establishing and strengthening the international mechanism for the protection of the rights of children. The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the General Assembly 26 years ago, in particular, laid a solid foundation in international law for the protection of the rights of children. On 1st October this year, Somalia became the 196th state party to the Convention, making it the most universally accepted human rights instrument in the world. We encourage those countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention as early as possible to ensure that there is no weak link when it comes to the international protection of children’s rights.
Thanks to the concerted efforts by the international community, much progress has been made in the protection of the rights of children. Between 1990 and 2015, global under-five mortality rate dropped by more than 50%. Between 2000 and 2015, some 6 million children survived malaria. And the dropout rate for school-age children has been halved worldwide. Important achievements have been accomplished in protecting children’s rights to life, health and education. On the other hand, the protection of the children’s rights is still confronted with various challenges, such as poverty, armed conflicts and discrimination. On this issue, China would like to make the following observations.
First, maintain world peace so that children everywhere will be spared of the scourge of turmoil and war. At the moment, extreme violence, armed conflicts and terrorism run rampant. There are frequent incidents where children are forced to get involved in armed conflicts, are deprived of their freedom for protracted periods of time or kidnapped en masse, resulting in many tragedies. The international community should make concerted efforts to create a peaceful and stable environment at both global and regional levels, and in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, insist on seeking the solution to regional and international disputes through peaceful means, prevent and put an end to armed conflicts and combat terrorism. Only by doing so can we fundamentally address the issue of children’s involvement in armed conflicts and ensure the attainment of their right to survival.
Second, promote common development as the fundamental way to realize children’s right to development. The just concluded UN Development Summit adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is a milestone in the cause of development. In its implementation, the best-interests-of-the-child principle must be given full consideration and priorities should be accorded to the children’s needs for survival and development. The implementation of the goals of promoting economic development and poverty reduction in developing countries should benefit tens of millions of children, thus ending child poverty.
Third, step up international cooperation so as to strengthen capacity building for the protection and promotion of the rights of children. The Chinese government supports the important role played by the UN system in enhancing international cooperation on the rights of children and the constructive participation of the civil society in the protection of children’s rights. We call upon the developed countries to continue with their technical and financial assistance to the developing countries. On September 27th, the Chinese President Xi Jinping made the following announcements at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: In the coming five years, China will help the developing countries to carry out 100 "Health Projects for Women and Children" and dispatch teams of medical experts on field tours; China will also implement 100 "Happy Campus Projects" to provide financial aid to girls living in poverty in order to improve their school enrollment rate. The Chinese government will continue to provide assistance to other developing countries to the best of its ability within the framework of South-South Cooperation.
About 280 million children live in China, making it one of the countries with the most children in the world. It has always been my government’s aspiration and goal to ensure a happy and satisfying life for every child. To this end, we have set up agencies dedicated to the welfare of the children, periodically formulated master plans on the work related to children, regularly strengthened child-related legislations, and continuously improved medical and healthcare services for children. We spare no effort to ensure the right to education for every child and harshly crack down on criminal acts that violate the rights of the minors. We stand ready to work with all parties to further strengthen cooperation and advance the cause of the protection of the rights of children.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.