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Statement by Ms. GUO Xiaomei of the Chinese Delegation at 3rd Committee of UNGA 61st Session on the Agenda Item of Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children (Item 62)

2006/10/11

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation is pleased to note that, thanks to the unremitting efforts of the international community, national governments and civil society, our work in promoting and protecting children's rights has made continuous progress. Here, we'd like to express our appreciations to governments and the relevant UN agencies for the tremendous amount of work they have done in this respect. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the Independent Expert for the Secretary General's Study on Violence against Children, Committee on the Right of the Child, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict for their reports submitted to this meeting.

At the same time, we must not lose sight of the various challenges we still face at the global level in the protection of children's rights. Poverty, hunger, disease, disasters, child labor, drugs, sexual exploitation, violence, wars and armed conflicts are still taking a heavy toll on the life and health of tens of thousands of children, thus denying them their rights. For this reason, it's necessary for the international community to enhance cooperation and take effective measures to further promote and protect children's rights and eliminate the root causes of the abuse of children's rights. In this connection, the Chinese government calls on the developed countries to assume more responsibilities and obligations by providing the developing countries with financial and technical help in our joint effort to create a favorable environment for the healthy growth of the world's children.

Mr. Chairman,

Respecting the old and caring for the young has been a long tradition in China. With the Chinese children making up one fifths of the world's total, the Chinese government bears important responsibilities for and has done a lot in promoting and protecting their rights. China has put in place a domestic legal system for the protection of children's rights, which consists of the Constitution, the Law on Civil Affairs, the Law on Adoption, the Law on the Protection of Minors, and the Law on Compulsory Education. In addition, we have also set up a nation-wide comprehensive institutional system for children's affairs, which includes all relevant governmental departments with the Working Committee of the State Council on Women's and Children's Affairs playing a leading role. At the moment, guided by the Ten Year Program of the Development of Children for 2001-2010, the Chinese government is working towards the fulfillment of commitments made at the 27th Special Session of the UNGA on Children by taking concrete measures in such fields as children and health, children and education, children and legal protection, and children and environment.

Since the 60th session of the GA, China has registered new progress in the protection of children's rights. In June this year, China has completed the revision of the Law on Compulsory Education of the People's Republic of China. Having come into effect on September 1 this year, the revised law contains clear provisions on securing resources allocation and their optimal utilization for compulsory education, and on measures to ensure a balanced development of schools. The law will greatly contribute to the development of China's compulsory education.

Currently, China is in the process of revising the Law of the PRC on the Protection of the Minor and the revised draft was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in August this year. The draft articulates the principles of "children first" and "the maximum interests of children" and confirms the rights of the under-aged to life, development, protection, participation and education, among others.

Mr. Chairman,

China ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child as early as 1991. Following that, we have acceded to and ratified the ILO Convention Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action For the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption successively. We are now actively considering the ratification of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

The Chinese government has all along faithfully honored its obligations under various conventions. From 19-20 September 2005, The Committee on the Rights of the Child considered the 2nd report by China on the implementation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and our 1st report on the implementation of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. The Committee highly appraised these reports and made recommendations for China's future efforts in advancing the cause of children. The Chinese government is taking concrete steps to implement these recommendations, and is engaged in fruitful cooperation with UNICEF on follow-up to the consideration of our reports by the Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

China values and respects the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and is willing to continue its sincere cooperation with this body. At the same time, we hope that the Committee, while upholding the principle of objectivity and impartiality, will treat with caution information coming through various channels so as to prevent misinformation from misleading and disrupting its work.

Mr. Chairman,

China is in the middle of economic and social transition and is still faced with serious urban and rural disparity, big development gap among different regions as well as various difficult social problems. The Chinese government knows full well that it still has a long way to go in the protection of children's rights. We will continue to work hard and join the efforts of the international community in building "a world fit for children".

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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