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Statement by Counsellor Xie Bohua of Chinese Mission to the United Nations at the Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (on Item 4)
(24 May 2004)

2004/05/24


Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation would like to congratulate you to be the chairman of this session again and trust that under your guidance, the session will surely make new progress and be crowned with success.

Mr. Chairman,

Last January, under the chairmanship of the Permanent Representative of New Zealand, Ambassador Don MacKay, the Working Group of the Ad Hoc Committee conducted a preliminary exchange of views on the framework and the draft text of the Convention and submitted a report to the Ad Hoc Committee. The report has reflected the positions and concerns of all sides about the draft Convention, and my delegation would like to extend its appreciation and thanks to Ambassador MacKay and the Working Group for their efforts.

Mr. Chairman,

This session is significant in that it marks the start of our substantive negotiations on the draft Convention. We hope that the session, inspired by a spirit of democracy, openness and transparency, will give a full hearing to the views of all participants, so as to ensure that the rights and interests of persons with disabilities will be duly reflected in the Convention.

The Chinese government has always attached importance to and actively advocated the elaboration of a Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. The Chinese delegation took part in the two previous sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee as well as the Working Group meeting held earlier this year and presented a draft text of the Convention by China. Together with other participants, we stand ready to move the negotiation process forward.

As for this session, we would like to take this opportunity to state the following:

The Chinese Delegation believes that the Convention to be elaborated by us should be a comprehensive, integrated and binding international instrument. It should cover not only the civil and political rights, but also the economic, social and cultural rights of persons with disabilities. It should not only incorporate the universal elements of fundamental human rights, but, more importantly, also address the issue of ensuring the basic rights to life and to development of the disabled.The Convention should lay down general obligations of the parties that reflect a social development dimension, making sure that it is one that combines rights and measures. The Convention should set out legislative, administrative and judicial measures and economic and social policies that should be adopted at the national level, comprising such elements as the creation of equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, poverty eradication, the establishment of social security systems, the promotion of employment opportunities and the creation of a barrier-free environment for the disabled.In the course of drafting the Convention, we should also take into full consideration differences between developed and developing countries in their circumstances and development levels. A balanced reflection of the concerns of all countries in the provisions on rights, obligations, national responsibilities and measures will ultimately ensure the universal acceptance of the Convention by all countries.International cooperation should be an important dimension of the Convention. The Convention should encourage governments and UN agencies to actively participate in international cooperation relating to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and to promote capacity building and experience exchanges at the international and regional levels in a joint endeavour to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.As for Convention's monitoring mechanism, the Chinese Delegation proposes the setting up of an expert committee, modelled on other relevant international instruments, to review national reports on compliance.

Thank you Mr. Chairman

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