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Statement by Ms. ZHANG Dan, Counselor and Alternative Representative of the Chinese Delegation, at the Third Committee of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly on the Report of the Human Rights Council (Item 65)
New York, 5 November 2007


Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me to thank the President of the Human Rights Council for his introduction.

A year ago, we decided to establish the Human Rights Council to replace the Commission on Human Rights which was plagued by poor credibility. Since then, thanks to the positive efforts of all sides, the Human Rights Council has gone through the transition quite smoothly. The Council focused its effort in past year on the work of the institution-building while working to promote and protect human rights.

The greatest achievement of the Council in the past year is the adoption by consensus the institution-building package. Coming out of compromises made by all sides after long and painstaking consultations, the package embodies to the greatest possible extent the common understanding of all sides. While it is not perfect and does not fully satisfy anyone, it is the hard won result of our arduous work throughout the whole year. China took an active part in the relevant consultations and played a constructive role by showing maximum flexibility for the purpose of reaching consensus. We hope that the current session of the General Assembly will adopt this package by consensus, thus laying the foundation for the substantive work of the Human Rights Council.

As can be seen from its operation over the short period of only one year, the Council also faces enormous challenges. We must closely bear in mind that addressing human rights issues under the principle of objectivity, universality, equity and non-selectivity and adhering to the approach of dialogue and cooperation constitute the basic condition for the HRC not to repeat the mistakes of the CHR and the fundamental guarantee for the HRC to win the trust of the international community.

The Universal Periodic Review is an important new mechanism established by the Human Rights Council. It will review the human rights situation of countries in an objective, equitable and non-selective manner and serve as an important platform for dialogue and cooperation among countries on questions of human rights. Since the UPR will perform the important function of reviewing national human rights situations, we cannot overemphasize the need for caution in proposing country-specific resolutions. If it is indeed necessary, the resolution should respect the views of the regional group the country concerned belongs to and strive for the widest possible support, and the relevant outcome should aim at adoption by consensus.

Mr. Chairman,

As the Human Rights Council is about to start its normal operation, we must be fully aware that its future and credibility are totally in our hands. A Human Rights Council free from political manipulation and genuinely committed to the promotion and protection of human rights under the principle of objectivity, fairness and equality is the expectation of all countries in the world, and the hope of the cause of international human rights. We hope that the Human Rights Council could live up to the expectation and assume this glorious and historical duty.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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