|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations on Human Rights (Agenda Items 68 b and c) at the Third Committee of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly|
Promotion and protection of human rights are a common goal of all countries. While great achievements have been made in international human rights cooperation over the last 60 years, some pressing outstanding issues remain to be solved.
Universal realization of developing countries’ right to development remains a challenging task. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the “Millennium Declaration”. In the past ten years, there has been some progress in the field of development. However, due to the international financial crisis and natural disasters, many developing countries are still faced with considerable difficulties in economic developments which seriously hamper their efforts to attain the MDGs.
Discriminations and biases exemplified by racism continue to pose a grave threat to human civilization. While old racism is yet to be eradicated, new forms of racism keep on emerging. Over the past year, there has been a surge of neo-fascism, neo-Nazism and discrimination against immigrants in some countries and regions.
International human rights work is still hampered by politicization and has repeated the mistakes of the former Commission on Human Rights on country-specific questions. Certain countries are still keen on naming and shaming other countries, which has led to many pointless confrontations. Human rights remain a tool for some countries to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.
In order to address the above-mentioned issues, China believes that countries should focus on the following work.
First. Attach greater importance to the right to development so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of economic globalization. The international community should pay more attention to economic, social and cultural rights such as the right to living, the right to food and the right to health and promote international cooperation in this regard. The developed countries should do more to honor their commitments in terms of development assistance, technology transfer, debt reduction and market access so as to create favourable conditions for the effective promotion of universal realization of the right to development.
Second. Work harder to eliminate discrimination and build a harmonious world. The international community should continue to pay special attention to the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities, migrant workers and indigenous people. It should work actively to promote the effective implementation of “Durban Declaration and Programme of Action”, push for effective implementation of “zero tolerance” policy towards racism at both national and international levels, and refrain from using any excuse to provide conditions for the existence and growth of any form of racism.
Third. Pay more attention to eliminating politicization and confrontation and maintain a good atmosphere for international human rights dialogue. Countries should make full use of the platform of the UN, take a constructive approach to the discussion and settlement of human rights issues, and avoid politicization, selectivity and double standard. Invariably resorting to criticism, pressure and sanctions will not help with the promotion and protection of human rights. Rather, it will lead to confrontation and escalation of tension. Differences among countries should be resolved through cooperation and dialogue.
According to GA resolution 60/251, the GA shall review the status of the Human Rights Council within 5 years. The Human Rights Council shall also review its own work. Currently, Human Rights Council has begun consultations on its review, the result of which will affect the future direction of multilateral human rights endeavors. China believes that the overall objective of the review should be to increase the efficiency of the Council and to enable it to deal with human rights issues in a more impartial, objective and non-selective way so as to be more in line with the principles and spirit of the relevant GA resolution. The review should not try to reinvent the wheel by re-launching negotiations on the basic institutional arrangement and rules of the Council. No major adjustments should be made to a mature operational model widely accepted by the member states. Parties should reach consensus through full consultations and avoid politicizing the review process.
Since the beginning of this year, a number of regions in China have been hit by severe natural disasters. Upholding the idea of governing for the people, putting people at the center and preserving human lives, the Chinese government has made great efforts in disaster relief and reconstruction, and has thus effectively promoted and protected the basic human rights of our people.
As a developing country, China faces a daunting task in its efforts to develop the economy and improve people’s livelihood. By the standards set by the government, tens of millions of Chinese people still live below the poverty line. My government is currently formulating the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Program on Poverty Alleviation through Development for the new decade, both of which will lead to further intensified efforts for poverty alleviation and development.
We are fully aware that China needs not only to further deepen economic reform, but also to continue with political and other reforms. We will improve people’s lives through economic development, and safeguard people’s democratic rights through promoting democracy and rule of law. China has made a series of important progress in democracy and rule of law in the past year. For example, our legislature considered an amendment to the Criminal Law to reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty; our death penalty sentencing procedure has been made more stringent; we experimented with community-based correction and rehabilitation throughout the country in order to minimize incarcerations; an amendment to the Electoral Law was adopted with a view to ensuring equal electoral rights of all citizens; and laws and regulations have been amended to remove discrimination against hepatitis B, HIV/AIDs and leprosy patients. In addition, my government has taken concrete measures to increase support for the development of regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. We are convinced that with the joint efforts of the government and all sectors of the society, our people’s basic rights and freedom will be further ensured.
While committed to improving its own human rights situation, China has provided sincere and selfless assistance of various forms to other developing countries. China has built schools, hospitals, drinking water facilities and stadiums, etc. for other developing countries. We have dispatched medical teams to nearly 70 countries. In this way, China has made great efforts to help ensure basic human rights in other developing countries. China will remain committed to cooperation and dialogue in international human rights arena and continue to make greater contribution to the healthy development of the international human rights cause.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.