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Statement by Mr. LA Yifan, Alternate Representative of the Chinese Delegation on Agenda Item 105(a): Implementation of Human Rights Instruments at 3rd Committee during GA 59th Session
(25 October 2004, New York)

2004/10/25


Mr. Chairman,

In according high priority to the respect for and protection of human rights, the Chinese government pays great attention to the important role of human rights instruments in the promotion and protection of human rights. To date, China has become party to 21 international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Having become a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the Chinese government is seriously reviewing questions related to their ratification.

For those international human rights treaties to which China has become a State party, the Chinese government has been scrupulously fulfilling its treaty obligations. So far, China has submitted its first report on its implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, nine reports under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, six reports under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, three reports under the Convention against Torture and two reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At present, the Chinese government is preparing the first report on its implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography as well as the third and fourth combined report on the Convention against Torture.

The Chinese government maintains effective dialogues and communication with the human rights treaty bodies. During the reviews, constructive interaction was developed with the competent committees through Q & A sessions. Meanwhile, in order to better acquaint human rights treaty body experts with China's implementation of human rights conventions, the Chinese government has on a number of occasions invited the experts and committee members concerned on field visits to China.

Since the return of Hong Kong and Macao to Chinese sovereignty, the government of China has, pursuant to the principle of "one China, two systems", lent vigorous support to the governments of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions (SARs) in their work in human rights protection and the fulfillment of their convention obligations. All our compliance reports include submissions respectively prepared by the two SAR governments on the implementation of the relevant human rights conventions in the two regions.

Mr. Chairman,

In the view of the Chinese delegation, international human rights instruments have indeed played a positive role in the promotion and protection of human rights, as have the UN human rights treaty bodies in the global context. The current reporting system, however, is too complex and that the reporting burden is too onerous. In his 2002 report entitled Strengthening of the United Nations: an Agenda for Further Change (A/57/387), the Secretary-General pinpointed this problem and put forward some new ideas. The Chinese government notes the comments and recommendations made by the human rights treaty bodies concerned on these new ideas as well as efforts represented by the new draft documents. China holds the view that any proposed reform measure should avoid imposing more complex and onerous demands on the States parties and should meet the requirements of streamlining reporting and improving efficiency, so that it could genuinely lighten the burden of preparing compliance reports on the part of the States parties, especially the developing countries among them. The Chinese government hopes that these proposals will receive the attention they deserve and be taken on board.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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