|Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Liu Zhenmin at 3rd Committee of UNGA 61st Session on the Implementation of Human Rights Instruments (Item 66a)|
The Chinese delegation is of the view that international human rights instruments have played a positive role in promoting and protecting human rights and my government has always attached great importance to such a role of international human rights instruments. Today, China is state party to many important international human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. China has also signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and is currently studying the ratification of these two instruments.
The Chinese government has always been conscientious in fulfilling its obligations under international human rights instruments. To date, China has submitted the initial report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, nine reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, six reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, five reports on the Convention against Torture and two reports on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. China has also submitted its initial report on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. During the consideration of these reports, the Chinese government held dialogue and exchanges with the relevant human rights treaty bodies. The Chinese delegation believes that careful preparation of reports on the implementation of relevant human rights treaties provides us with a good opportunity to take stock of and assess the activities of my government in promoting human rights and also to receive advice on how to further improve our work in this regard. Therefore, the Chinese government values the cooperation with various human right treaty bodies.
Since the return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland, in accordance with the principle of "one state, two systems", the Chinese government has actively supported the governments of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region to carry out the work of protecting human rights and fulfill their obligations under the relevant conventions. On the human rights instruments applicable to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region, the Chinese government has always included into its national reports implementation reports written by the governments of the two Special Administrative Regions.
At present, the Chinese government is working on the 10th-13th consolidated report on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and hopes to submit it to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at an appropriate time next year.
Over the years, various human rights treaty bodies have done a lot of useful work under their respective mandates, which deserves due recognition. At the same time, the Chinese delegation believes that there exists a serious problem of excessive reporting burden for states parties and duplication of work it entails due to the over-complexity of current reporting systems, short interval between reports and overlapping functions of different treaty bodies. In his report "Strengthening of the United Nations: An Agenda for Further Change" of 2002 (A/57/387), the Secretary-General clearly pointed out this problem. The Meeting of Chairpersons of Human Rights Treaty Bodies and the Committee on Human Rights Treaty Bodies have also put forward their reform recommendations concerning this issue. In this connection, the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights put forward the idea of "unified standing treaty body" in March this year. The Chinese Government has taken note of these recommendations and appreciates these efforts. We believe that reform of human rights treaty bodies involves many complex legal issues and it will be a relatively long process which entails extensive consultation among countries in order to find a proper solution based on broad consensus. Meanwhile, we believe that any reform initiative should be in line with the principle of simplifying reporting mechanism, enhancing efficiency and saving resources and should aim at avoiding repetitive consideration so as to genuinely reduce the burden of reporting for states parties, particularly those from the developing world. The Chinese delegation is ready to actively participate in the relevant discussion and consultations.
Consideration by human rights treaty bodies of implementation reports of states parties is a process of dialogue and exchanges on an equal footing with states parties. The concluding observations and recommendations of human rights treaty bodies have important reference value for the states parties. Therefore, the concluding observations and recommendations of human rights treaty bodies should be in line with the reality of states parties concerned and should be targeted and workable. In the process of considering implementation reports, human rights treaty bodies should always follow the principle of objectivity, fairness, cooperation and dialogue and avoid being used by groups or individuals with political motives. As for information from outside sources, human rights treaty bodies should treat it with caution, distinguish the true from the false and avoid blaming and criticizing governments of relevant states parties on the basis of unsubstantiated information.
To continuously improve the working procedure of human rights treaty bodies and enhance their efficiency is the responsibility of both the human rights treaty bodies themselves and the governments of member states. The Chinese government wishes to join all other countries in the efforts to this end.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman