|Statement by H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the Third Committee of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children (Item 66)|
|New York, 17 October 2007|
The Chinese delegation is pleased to note that, as a result of the continuous efforts by the international community, national governments and the civil society, the cause of promoting and protecting the rights of children is making steady progress. We commend the large amount of work done in this regard by national governments and the relevant UN agencies.
At the same time, it is also clear that at the global level, the protection of children's rights is still confronted with numerous challenges. Lives and health of millions of children continue to be harmed and their rights violated by poverty, hunger, disease, disaster, child labour, drugs, sexual assaults, violence, wars and armed conflicts. There remains a need for the international community to strengthen cooperation and take effective measures to further promote and protect children's rights. In order to effectively protect the rights of the child, it is necessary for national governments to take legislative, administrative and judicial measures and work to improve their national economic and social conditions. Attention should also be given to the removal of the root causes for the violation of children's rights. The Chinese government calls upon the developed countries to shoulder a greater share of responsibilities and duties and help the developing countries by providing funds and technologies in a joint effort to build a sound environment for the healthy development of children throughout the world.
With its children making up one fifth of the world's child population, the Chinese government bears a major responsibility in the promotion and protection of children's rights. In its efforts to implement the MDGs, it has consistently upheld the principle of "Child First" and worked to fulfil its international commitments by doing its utmost to enhance the life, development, protection and participation of the Chinese children. In 2001, the Chinese government promulgated the Programme for the Development of Chinese Children (2001 – 2010) and started its implementation. The Programme is both our national plan of action for the promotion of the cause of children and part of China's follow-up actions in implementing the MDGs and the objectives of the Special Session on Children. The evaluation on the implementation of the Programme done by the National Working Committee on Children and Women in 2006 shows that the implementation of the Programme is satisfactory until 2005.
China has now put in place the basic domestic legislative and regulatory system for the protection of children's rights, which consists of the Constitution, the Civil Code, the Adoption Law, and the Law on the Protection of Minors and the Compulsory Education Law. Also established is a relatively complete national institutional system for the work related to children headed by the National Working Committee on Children and Women with the participation of other relevant governmental departments.
The Chinese government has also adopted specific action plans to address the key issues and major difficulties in children's development. It has strengthened the services to and protection of orphaned, disabled and homeless children, found appropriate ways to protect the rights of migrant children, engaged in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, worked to help and care for AIDS orphans, and taken concrete measures to protect children, especially girls, from abuse, exploitation and violence.
It was back in 1991 when the Chinese government ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since then, it has ratified and joined the Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. This year the Chinese government is working actively to move forward the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts. The initial studies for the ratification of the protocol have now been completed, and we hope that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will consider the ratification of the Protocol in the near future.
The Chinese government has been fulfilling in earnest its obligations under various conventions, and has already submitted two reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the initial report on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The Committee on the Rights of the Child gave high appraisals to our reports and made certain recommendations for the further promotion of the rights of the child. The Chinese government is taking a series of specific actions to implement the recommendations, and continues to engage in effective cooperation with UNICEF on the follow-ups to the consideration of the implementation reports. Last June, the newly revised Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Minors was promulgated and went into force. The revised law has incorporated the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, established the principles of "Child First" and "The Best interests of the Child", and confirmed that minors enjoy such basic rights as the rights to life, development, protection, participation and education. These provisions will play a positive role in promoting the cause of child protection in China.
China is in the midst of economic and social transition with gaps between the urban and rural areas, differences among regions, and various social problems still quite pronounced. The Chinese government understands clearly that much needs to be done in the protection of the rights of the child. It will continue its efforts to build together with the international community "a world fit for children".
Thank you, Mr Chairman.