|Statement by Ms. MAN Anting of the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 66th Session of the General Assembly on Rights of the Child (Agenda Item 65)|
The Chinese delegation is gratified to note that thanks to the sustained efforts by the international community, governments and the civil society, continuous progress is being made in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. My delegation would like to pay tribute to relevant UN organs, governments and civil society organizations for their commitment to the welfare of children.
At the same time, we also note that in many places of the world, poverty, hunger, disease, natural disaster, child labor, drugs, sexual violation, and war and conflicts are jeopardizing children’s life and health and violating their rights. Protection of the rights of the child at the global level still faces many challenges. This requires the international community to take effective measures in close cooperation in order to eliminate the sources of the violation of the rights of the child.
The Chinese government always upholds the principle of “child first” and has implemented development strategies under this principle to fully safeguard the rights of children to life, development, protection and participation. As a result of our continuous work to enact and improve legislation on the protection of the rights of the child, we have now in place a quite complete legal system in this field. The final evaluation of the implementation of China Children’s Development Outline 2001-2010 carried out by my government this year concluded that the goals and objectives of the Outline have been largely achieved. For instance, children’s health and nutrition have kept improving; the mortality rates for infants and children under five dropped from 32.2 per thousand and 39.7 per thousand in 2000 to 13.1 per thousand and 16.4 per thousand respectively; the inoculation rate of vaccines covered by the national vaccination plan reached over 90%. More and more children have access to education. The gross enrollment rate for kindergarten rose from 35% in 2000 to 56.6%; net enrollment rate for primary school reached 99.7% and the gross enrollment rate for junior high school and high school are at 100.1% and 82.5% respectively.
Building on these achievements, my government issued in August this year the China Children’s Development Outline 2011-2020. It contains a series of general goals such as improving the primary health care system for urban and rural children, achieving greater equity in access to primary public education, and establishing and improving a proper children’s welfare system that benefits all. In addition, the Outline also designed indicators in specific areas. For example, mortality rates for infants and children under the age of five are to be kept under 10 per thousand and 13 per thousand respectively; inoculation rate of vaccines included in the national vaccination plan is to reach 95% using village/town as the unit; the coverage of nine year compulsory education is to be consolidated at 95%; high school education is to be made universal and reach 90% of gross enrollment rate; and in over 90% of urban and rural communities, a house for children will be built for each one of them so children and their families can have a place to play, get entertainment and have access to services in education, health, social and psychological support and referral.
The Chinese government highly values the important role of international human rights instruments in promoting and protecting the rights of the child. China has joined a series of international treaties aimed at protecting the rights of the child and has conscientiously fulfilled its treaty obligations. China took a constructive part in the whole process of drafting the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure and is pleased to see that the 17th session of the Human Rights Council adopted the draft protocol by consensus. My government is of the view that promotion and protection of human rights depends mainly on the efforts of national governments themselves and since the rights covered by the Convention on the Rights of the Child are largely in the realm of economic, social and cultural rights, the principles of “the maximum extent allowed by the resources of states parties” and “gradual realization” should be born in mind in promoting the realization of those rights. The Chinese government takes an active part in international cooperation for the promotion of the rights of the child and has carried out effective cooperation over a long time with international organizations such as the UNICEF and achieved positive results.
China is a developing country with a vast number of children. My government is deeply aware of the long term and difficult nature of its task of full realizing the rights of the child. China will continue to fulfill its international obligations, actively engage in international cooperation and join the common efforts of the international community to strive for the full and on-schedule attainment of the MDGs and for a world fit for children.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.