|Statement by Ms. ZHANG Dan, Counsellor of the Chinese Delegation, at the Third Committee of the 65th Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of Human Rights Instruments (Item68A)|
The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the role played by international human rights instruments in promoting and protecting human rights and has so far acceded to twenty-five instruments in this field, including core instruments such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two Optional Protocols, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. China has already signed the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is now in the process of legislative, judicial and administrative reforms so as to align our domestic laws with the provisions of this convenant, thus paving the way for its ultimate ratification.
The Chinese government strictly observes the obligations under all international treaties to which it is a party and treats the reporting obligation with utmost seriousness. We believe that, diligent preparation of reports on the implementation of human rights treaties is not only a good way to take stock of and evaluate activities carried out by the government for the promotion of human rights, but also a great opportunity to receive advice and improve our work. So far this year, China has submitted the 3rd and 4th combined report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the second report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as the first report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
At present, China is in the midst of preparing the first report on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the 7th and 8th combined report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Since China the return of Hong Kong and Macau, the Chinese government, in line with the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, has actively supported the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SAR) in fulfilling their treaty obligations and protecting human rights. The above mentioned reports submitted this year by China all contained information prepared by the governments of Hong Kong and Macau SARs.
The Chinese government pays great attention to and has actively participated in the international rule-setting in the field of human rights. Late last year, the Chinese delegation participated in the first session of the working group with the task to explore the possiblity of elaborating an optional protocal to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to provide a communications procedure. During the session, Chinese delegates engaged in extensive and in-depth discussions with their counterparts on various issues.
China commends the active role played by human rights treaty bodies in the promotion and protection of human rights and has been keen in recommending Chinese experts to participate in the work of those bodies. Whether it is during consideration of reports or in the follow-up to conclusions and recommendations, the Chinese government has always maintained good communication and dialogue with the treaty bodies, respected their constructive recommendations and worked hard to adopt and implement those recommendations in light of our national circumstances.
In our view, the work of the committees must be conducted according to the principle of fairness, objectivity and neutrality. However, it should be noted that from time to time, some treaty bodies have gone beyond their mandates in the exercise of their duties, so much so that there have even been cases of abuse of power by individual committee members. We believe that all treaty bodies should strictly abide by their treaty mandates and relevant rules of procedure, and carry out dialogue with States Parties in the spirit of cooperation and in line with the principle of objectivity and fairness. At the same time, we hope that conclusions and recommendations by the committees should be made with due consideration to the specific conditions of the States Parties. The recommendations need to be targeted and practicable so as to avoid politicization of and selectivity in treaty monitoring.
China is in favor of necessary reforms of treaty bodies in light of the changing circumstances and commends the efforts made by the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights and others in this regard. We hope that the Office and other treaty bodies will continue to strengthen communication and dialogue with States Parties and fully heed and respect the views of the latter. This year, the Chinese government, in response to the initiative of the OHCHR, submitted China’s Core Document which was prepared following the Harmonized Guidelines on Reporting under the International Human Rights Treaties, Including Guidelines on an Expanded Core Document and Treaty-Specific Targeted Reports.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.