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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the Third Committee of the 56th Session of the G.A on the Issue of Human Rights (Item 119 b, c, d, e)

Mr. Chairman,

The protection and promotion of human rights constitute a common goal for people of all nations.   To achieve this goal, we should work together to establish a peaceful and secure international environment, gradually narrow the gap among countries in terms the level of development, attach equal importance to the two categories of human rights and solve disputes on the issue of human rights among countries through dialogue and cooperation.

I. International peace and security stand as a precondition for the protection and promotion of human rights.  It has been demonstrated in the past as in the present that without a peaceful and secure environment, no protection can be possibly provided by for either civil and political rights or economic, social and cultural rights.  It is the tragic experience of large-scale human rights violations during the two world wars in the last century that prompted the establishment, in the Charter of the United Nations, of the purpose of maintaining international peace and security as well as the principles of respect for sovereign equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.  

Regrettably, however, the existing hot-spot issues, including the Middle East issue, remain unsolved and are even going from bad to worse.   This is harmful not only to international peace and security but also to the basic human rights of the local people.  We sincerely hope that Palestine and Israel will resolve their disputes through peaceful negotiations and realize durable peace in the Middle East in accordance with relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

In today's world, factors threatening international peace and security are becoming more and more complicated.  The September 11 incident has been not only an enormous disaster to the American people but also a new challenge to international peace and security.  The Chinese Government has all along condemned and opposed terrorism in all its forms and steadfastly supported cooperation in the international community against terrorism.  We believe that it is the protection of human rights that has made it necessary to combat terrorism and therefore activities against terrorism should be carried in a manner that conforms to the purpose of protecting human rights.

II. It is of great significance to the realization of universal human rights to narrow the gap of the level of development among countries.  Underdevelopment has seriously restrained developing countries' capacity and means to protect and promote human rights. With the rapid development of economic globalization, this situation is deteriorating with each passing day. Today, the international community has widely recognized the right to development as an important human right. And the Human Rights Commission