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Statement by H.E. Ambassador SHA Zukang, Head of the Chinese Delegation, on Item 7 at the 58th Session of the Commission on Human Rights

2002/03/22
Mr. Chairman,

Since the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development and the Declaration and Program of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, agreement has been reached among the overwhelming majority of countries that the right to development (RTD) is an inalienable human right. Nevertheless, in spite of some efforts by the international community, most external obstacles to the realization of the RTD for the developing countries still remain. The ODA provided by the developed countries has been decreasing, and with more additional conditions attached. In the process of economic globalization, many developing countries are confronted with greater difficulties and at the risk of being further marginalized. This situation runs counter to the objectives established in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.  

The realization of the RTD depends on joint efforts of the international community and the states. While discussing the issue at the international level, we should focus on the responsibilities of the international community. The international community should effectively safeguard the right of equally participation of the developing countries in making international rules. The international community should change the irrational international economic, trading and financial order, at least it should refrain from setting up new obstacles to the development of the developing countries. The developed countries should make good their commitments with real earnest on ODA, debt relief, capacity building and the realization of sustainable development in developing countries, thus making tangible contribution to the realization of the RTD. While South-South cooperation is conducive to the realization of the RTD, it cannot replace North-South cooperation due to the limited economic strength of developing countries. The developed countries should not overemphasize the importance of South-South cooperation as an excuse to shy away from their own international responsibilities.

States bear the primary responsibility for the realization of the RTD. As countries vary from one to another, only the government and people of that particular country know their national conditions best. Each country has the right to choose its own path of development and to set its own priorities in the light of its prevailing conditions. There does not exist a single uniform model for development, and hardly is there a successful case of development by accepting an externally imposed model. In this respect, the developing countries have already had too many painful lessons. What they need is international cooperation and sincere assistance based on equality and mutual respect, instead of preaching, finger-pointing and so-called monitoring.

Mr. Chairman,

In accordance with relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights shall and can play an important role in the realization of the RTD. We appreciate the emphasis laid by the High Commissioner Mme. Mary Robinson on the importance of the RTD on many occasions, and acknowledge the efforts of her Office in assisting the work of the Working Group on the RTD as well as the independent expert and in organizing seminars on the RTD. We hope the Office of the High Commissioner will continue the results-oriented research and activities and will enhance coordination with relevant UN organs so as to make more contributions to the realization of the RTD.

Mr. Sengupta, the independent expert on the RTD of the Commission on Human Rights, has submitted 4 reports of systematic studies on the RTD and some recommendations, which have enriched the discussions on relevant issues in the Working Group and the Commission. In his 4th report, Mr. Sengupta pointed out that the international community should provide assistance to the developing countries not only in terms of financial resources, but also in terms of technology transfer, market access, reform of the operational rules of the trading and financial institutions and the creation of international mechanisms that could meet the special needs of the developing countries. The Chinese delegation shares entirely these views and hopes that Mr. Sengupta will continue his studies with a focus on making operational recommendations on issues such as identifying and overcoming international obstacles to the realization of the RTD.

Mr. Chairman,

The 3rd session of the Working Group on the RTD conducted in-depth discussions on such issues as the obligations of the international community and states for the realization of the RTD. In spite of different views on such issues as the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism for the realization of the RTD, the atmosphere of the session was on the whole constructive. The Working Group reached common views on some issues, adopted conclusions by consensus, and agreed on the recommendation to the Commission to extend the mandate of the Working Group for 2 years. The Chinese delegation wishes to thank in particular H.E. Ambassador Dembri, chairman of the Working Group, who has made unremitting efforts for the success of the session and shown extraordinary diplomatic experience and profound knowledge in his chairmanship.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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