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Statement by Counsellor YAO Shaojun at the General Debate on Human Rights of the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly

2017/10/30

Mr. Chairman,

In spite of the progress achieved in the international cause of human rights over the past year, serious challenges continue to exist. Poverty and other global issues remain intractable; xenophobia and intolerance are on the rise; and some countries are keen on politicizing human rights issues. The above-mentioned challenges must be overcome in order to promote the healthy development of the international human rights cause.

First, international peace and security must be safeguarded. Wars and conflicts are main root causes of large-scale violations of human rights. The United Nations should redouble its efforts in preventing conflicts, rebuilding peace, and combatting terrorism, so as to create a peaceful environment for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Second, the legitimate requests of the developing countries should be accorded due attention. With more than 700 million people in the world still mired in extreme poverty, we support the UN in setting as priorities poverty eradication and implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and hope to see the imbalance in the development of the two types of human rights rectified.

Third, the rights and interests of vulnerable groups must be respected. Recent years have witnessed an uptick in cases of discrimination and prejudice based on race, color and sex. UN human rights organs should pay special attention to the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children and persons with disabilities, and stay committed to combatting discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

Fourth, dialogue and cooperation should be advocated. Countries differ in social system, level of development and religious tradition. It is imperative to respect the path towards human rights development chosen by the people of a country, and engage in dialogue and cooperation to properly handle differences.

Mr. Chairman,

By combining the principle of universality of human rights with its national conditions, China has charted a course of human rights development with Chinese characteristics. We have provided basic livelihood for over 1.3 billion people, reduced population living in poverty by 800 million, created jobs for 770 million people, achieved 9-year compulsory education and full coverage of our social security system, and ensured the essential livelihood needs of 260 million elderly people, 85 million persons with disabilities and over 60 million people on subsistence allowance in urban and rural areas. In each of the past five years, more than 13 million jobs were created and people living in poverty reduced by over 13 million. Democracy and rule of law continue to make headway; human rights protection in the judicial field has scored major progress; and our people are enjoying a wider range of democratic rights and freedom according to law.

China, guided by the spirit of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning, and win-win cooperation, has been consistent in its comprehensive and in-depth participation in international human rights cooperation and has worked for the building of an equitable and rational international human rights system. We have been providing assistance, to the best of our ability, to other developing countries in poverty reduction, livelihood improvement, and safeguarding of people’s rights to survival and development.

Mr. Chairman,

With the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of CPC on October 24, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. China will be firmly guided by the aspirations of its people for a better life, join hands with all countries in the world to promote the healthy development of the international human rights cause, contribute Chinese wisdom and Chinese proposals to efforts to improve human rights, and promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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