|Statement by Mr. LI Baodong, Alternate Representative of the Chinese Delegation, on Rights of the Child (Item 13) at the 58th Session of the Commission on Human Rights (Geneva)|
As a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, China has always attached primary importance to the protection of the rights of the child and worked along with other countries to build a world that is more suitable for children's growth. To this end, China implements conscientiously its obligations under the Convention and actively participates in other international instruments related to the protection of the rights of the child. Having signed the two optional protocols of the Convention, China is fulfilling domestic procedures for the ratification of the Protocol on the Sale of Children. The ratification of the Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts is also under positive consideration.
In May 2001, the Fifth Ministerial Consultative Meeting on the Development of the Child for East Asia and the Pacific Region was successfully convened in Beijing. The meeting was sponsored by the Chinese Government in preparation for the upcoming Special Session of the General Assembly on Children, with the adoption of the Beijing Declaration, a strategic document formulated to guide the development of children in the region for the next decade. The Chinese Government welcomes the Special Session on Children, and looks forward to positive results out of this Session. It is our hope that the Session will bring more benefits to children, not only by reaffirming the importance of improving the situation of children and promoting their development, but also by finding useful measures to meet this goal.
The Chinese Government has always attached great importance to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, not only because these are the obligations assumed by China as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international instruments on human rights, but more importantly, because the Chinese Government is convinced that, children represent the hope of a nation and the future of mankind. Safeguarding their rights would help ensure the sustainable and sound development of the humanity. To create a better environment for the growth of children, China formulated the National Programme for the Development of the Child for the 1990s in 1992, which is the first national plan of action devoted to children, thus providing the basic outlines for their development in such areas as physical and spiritual well-being and education etc. By 2001, China has by and large achieved all the objectives outlined in the national programme and those set out by the 1990 World Summit Meeting. Significant progress has been made in lowering child mortality rate, increasing vaccination rate, reducing child malnutrition rate etc. In May 2001, the Chinese Government promulgated the National Programme for the development of the Child 2001 – 2010, with even higher objectives and concrete measures covering a much wider scope. The government has also set up sound mechanisms to increase its annual input in the development of children, and to encourage wider participation of the civil society in this work.
Even though considerable progress in the protection of the rights of the child has been made, difficulties and challenges that still exist will not be overlooked. Children living in poverty, for example, are those who need more help. China will spare no effort in living up to our commitments to the protection and the promotion of the rights of the child. We are striving to create a peaceful and stable environment for children to develop and grow up in. We wish therefore not only to reaffirm the importance of all the rights to be enjoyed by each and every child, but also hope to work with the international community to build for them an even better world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.