|Statement by Counselor Yao Shaojun at the Third Committee of the 70th Session of the GA at the Interactive Dialogue with the President of the UN Human Rights Council|
Ambassador Omar Hilale, Ambassador Joachim Rücker,
The Chinese delegation has taken note of the introduction by Ambassador Rücker, President of the Human Rights Council. In the past year, Ambassador Rücker has guided discussions in the Council and the related organizational efforts, and has played a positive role in promoting a constructive dialogue among the parties, with his rich diplomatic experience. I wish to express my appreciation for his effort.
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Human Rights Council. A review of its work for nearly a decade shows that the Council has played a positive role and accomplished a great deal in advancing the promotion and protection of human rights by the UN system, though it has also fallen short in many areas. On the Council’s work in the future, China would like to share the following views:
Firstly, HRC’s working atmosphere should be improved. No country should use human rights issues to interfere in the internal affairs of another country or, worse, to use them as a geopolitical tool for exerting political pressure. The Council should act in keeping with GA Resolution 60/251 and the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity as established by its own institution-building package, conduct its work through constructive dialogue and cooperation, abandon politicization and double standard that currently exist in the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms, and put a end to “naming and shaming”.
Secondly, diversity should be respected when it comes to countries’ efforts to advance human rights, and all types of human rights should be promoted in a balanced manner. Due to varying historical and cultural traditions, levels of socio-economic development and social systems, different countries face different challenges and priorities in the human rights area. The Council should respect the choices made by countries regarding their path of development and model of human rights protection in light of their national conditions and their people’s will, work constructively to promote exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations, religions and social systems, strike a balance between the promotion of civil and political rights and social, economic and cultural rights, in particular the right to development, and enhance technical cooperation and capacity building in the human rights arena.
Thirdly, prudence is needed in taking forward the reform of the Council’s working method. The Council’s intergovernmental character and the working principle of member state ownership should be upheld. Initiatives and processes for reforming the Council’s working method should be highly transparent and democratic, and should involve full consultation with the Council members. The ideas put forward must not aim at reviewing the Council’s status or doing it under other pretexts, nor should they prejudge the outcome of the next cycle of reviews.
The Chinese delegation wishes to raise the following questions: First, how can the President of the Council further his role in removing double standard in the field of human rights and in opposing politicization? Second, how can the Council reverse the current situation of emphasizing civil and political rights while overlooking economic, social and cultural rights, in particular the right to development? Third, what is your comment on the phenomenon of the spreading of Agenda Item 4 (national human rights situation) into items 10 and 2 (report of the Secretary-General and that of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)?
Thank you, Ambassador Hilale and Ambassador Rücker.