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Statement by Ambassador ZHANG Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, after the adoption of the draft resolution on Human Rights Council
2006/03/15

2006/03/15

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation would like to make a explanatory statement on draft resolution L48 after its adoption.

The outcome of the Millennium Summit adopted in September last year requested us to establish the Human Rights Council as soon as possible. After more than 30 rounds of consultations in the past 5 months, the General Assembly has finally adopted the draft resolution on Human Rights Council today, which officially announces the creation of the Council. This has been an arduous course full of disputes and challenges. In order to fulfill the noble task entrusted on us by heads of state and government, delegations of all countries have made enormous and tireless efforts during consultations. They have shown the spirit of sincerity, mutual respect, seeking common ground and making compromise. The Chinese delegation has also taken an active part in and made its contribution to this process. On behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to avail this opportunity to thank and congratulate you, Mr. President, the distinguished ambassadors of South Africa and Panama, the co-chairs of the consultations over the past several months, as well as all other delegations.

Mr. President,

The creation of Human Rights Council marks a historic moment. From now on, the Commission on Human Rights will be replaced by the Human Rights Council. The United Nations human rights body will be upgraded from a functional commission of the ECOSOC to a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly. The status of human rights will be further promoted within the UN system. The international community and people all over the world lay great expectations on the Council. They all hope that the Council will play its due role, and enhance more effectively all human rights and fundamental freedoms at global level.

Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation appreciates the fact that L48 has reaffirmed important human rights principles, i.e. in promoting and protecting human rights, it is necessary to respect historical, cultural and religious backgrounds of different countries and regions, and enhance dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions. The draft resolution also emphasizes that civil, political, economic, social, cultural and the right to development are interlinked and equally important. In particular, in its preamble and executive paragraphs, the draft resolution indicates on several occasions that the human rights issue should be dealt with in an impartial and non-selective manner to avoid double standards and politicization, and promote genuine interactive dialogue and cooperation in the field of human rights. The Chinese Delegation is of the view that the above principles shall become the guidelines for the future work of the Council so as to avoid the reoccurrence of political confrontation at the Commission on Human Rights.

In addition, L48 has solved the long-standing problem of under-representation of Asian countries at the Commission on Human Rights by redistributing regional seats based on the principle of equitable geographic distribution. According to the draft resolution, the Council will guide the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights according to the General Assembly in its Resolution 48/141. L48 points out that participation of NGOs in the work of the Council shall be arranged according to ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31. The Chinese Delegation supports and appreciates the above elements.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation also wishes to indicate that L48 has failed to fully reflect the concerns of many developing countries, including China, over some issues. First, it does not provide effective guarantee to prevent the political confrontation caused by the country specific resolution, which has become a chronic disease of the Commission on Human Rights. Second, the universal periodic review to be developed by the Council may overlap with the work of human rights treaty bodies and special mechanisms, thus increasing report burdens for developing countries. Third, according to our understanding, recommendations by the Council are limited to the General Assembly. The Chinese side will further express its above concerns during further consultations after the Council is established.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government always attaches great importance to the issue of human rights. While enhancing and protecting human rights of its own people, China has taken an active part in and supported international human rights cooperation and dialogue. We are in favor of a greater UN role in the field of human rights. China therefore supports creating the Human Rights Council based on the outcome of the Millennium Summit and improving the status of human rights in the work of our Organization. In future, with the conclusion of the Commission on Human Rights and the establishment of Human Rights Council, UN reform in the field of human rights will continue. The Chinese side is ready to adopt an active and open attitude, cooperate closely with all other parties, and take a vigorous part in the work of the Council to ensure that the human rights body of the United Nations will truly cease confrontation and engage in dialogue and cooperation, thus achieving fairly rapid and healthy progress in the field of human rights, a noble cause ardently advocated by people of all countries.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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