|Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Third Committee of the 64th Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of Human Rights Instruments (Item 69A)|
(New York, 20 October 2009)
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the role of international human rights instruments in the promotion and protection of human rights. As of today, China has joined many important international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. China has already signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. At present, legislative, judicial and administrative reforms are under way in China with a view to aligning our domestic legislation with the provisions of the Covenant and paving the way for its ratification.
China fulfils in earnest its obligations under international human rights treaties and pays high attention to the submission of periodic reports to treaty bodies. China has submitted the initial report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, thirteen periodic reports on six occasions on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, six reports on four occasions on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, five reports on four occasions on the Convention against Torture, two reports on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the initial report on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. During the consideration of these reports, China engaged in good dialogue and communication with relevant human rights treaty bodies. The Chinese delegation believes that the preparation of reports is a process of reviewing and evaluating the efforts of the government in promoting human rights, as well as a good opportunity to seek inputs and improve our work. China, therefore, attaches high value to its cooperation with human rights treaty bodies.
Since the return of Hong Kong and Macao, the Chinese government has, in line with the principle of "one country, two systems", actively supported the governments of Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions in fulfilling relevant treaty obligations and protecting human rights.
At present, China is drafting the combined third and fourth reports on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and will submit the reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child by the end of this year or early next year.
China appreciates the positive role that various human rights treaty bodies have played in the promotion and protection of human rights, and supports their necessary reforms in light of the changing circumstances and their efforts to improve efficiency by streamlining procedures and harmonizing methodologies.
The current reporting mechanism is hampered by excessive complexity and heavy reporting burden. Overlapping mandates and duplication of work among different treaty bodies is another outstanding problem. Both the Secretary-General and Inter-Committee Meeting of Human Rights Treaty Bodies have made recommendations on the reform of treaty body system. China appreciates the reform efforts of OHCHR and other stake-holder.
China consistently attaches great importance to the role of human rights treaty bodies and has maintained excellent dialogue and communication with them. We have good interactions with the relevant committees during both the consideration of reports and follow up on concluding observations. China respects and gives positive consideration to the committees’ constructive recommendations and transforms them into practice in light of our specific national conditions. At the same time, the Chinese government has invited, on many occasions, experts of the committees to visit China to learn more about China’s efforts in fulfilling its treaty obligations and to make recommendations.
China believes that in general, all committees have complied with the principle of fairness, objectivity and neutrality in their work. It is worth noticing, however, that certain treaty bodies often exceed their mandates in the exercise of their duties. There are even cases of abuse of power by individual committee members. We are of the view that all treaty bodies should maintain the credibility and legitimacy of their work, strictly abide by their mandates and rules of procedure, and act cautiously when dealing with unverified information from unreliable sources. At the same time, the committees should base their concluding recommendations on the specific conditions of the states parties, make such opinions clearly targeted and practicable, and avoid politicization and selectivity in their work.
The Chinese government hopes that OHCHR and various treaty bodies will continue to strengthen communication and dialogue with states parties, and carefully listen to and respect their opinions. It is not only the responsibility of the treaty bodies themselves, but also the joint responsibility of all the states parties to continuously improve the working procedures and efficiency of human rights treaty bodies. China stands ready to work closely with other countries and continue to support the reform of human rights treaty bodies and the reporting mechanisms in light of the changing circumstances.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.