|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Third Committee of the 70th Session of the General Assembly under the agenda item on human rights|
This year marks the 70th anniversary of both the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations. On the very day of its inception, the United Nations established respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as one of its purposes. The past seven decades have witnessed UN member states pulling together, all of one mind, to advance the international human rights cause, with marked progress. An international human rights legal system has taken shape; multilateral human rights mechanisms have been functioning smoothly; and awareness of the need to promote and protect human rights has been ingrained in the mind and heart of the peoples of the world.
Today's world is confronted with a host of challenges and difficulties. Some global issues, such as poverty, have yet to be resolved; local conflicts and instability continue unabated; countries still face an uphill struggle to develop their economy and improve the livelihood of their people. The international community must keep up its unrelenting efforts if we were to promote and protect all human rights and attain the bright future of freedom from want, achieving development and dignity for all.
First, we must treat one another as equals. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Respecting national sovereignty is a basic precondition for effective promotion and protection of human rights. After all, the vast majority of the people of a given country are best qualified to judge the human rights situation of that country. The international community should respect the right of governments and peoples to choose their own development paths, reject any politicization of the human rights issue, and refrain from interference in the internal affairs of any country on the pretext of protecting human rights.
Second, we must strive for common development. Development is both the foundation of peace and the sole route towards the realization of human rights. Only through development can people's aspiration for a better life be fulfilled and human rights and human dignity truly safeguarded. The international community should, with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a new starting point, fully respect the aspiration of the developing countries to realize the rights to subsistence and to development as a priority. Developed countries should show good faith and honor their commitments to help developing countries advance towards sustainable development.
Third, we must keep up dialogue and cooperation. Ours is a diverse world. There is no one path of human rights development that fits all countries. No country can claim that its human rights situation is perfect, there is always room for improvement. It is necessary for each and every country to keep strengthening and improving its human rights work to keep up with the development of the times and the evolving needs of the people. Countries should respect the diversity of human rights development paths, view one another's human rights situation from a holistic, objective and impartial perspective, conduct constructive cooperation, settle disputes through dialogue, overcome differences through consultation and join hands to explore effective approaches to human rights promotion and protection.
China has been actively supporting and participating in the international human rights cause in a spirit of equality and mutual trust, inclusiveness, experience sharing, and win-win cooperation. At the Summits marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, President Xi Jinping announced a package of major initiatives, including: a 10-year, 1 billion US dollar China-UN Peace and Development Fund to support the work of the UN and advance multilateral cooperation; a "South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund" with an initial contribution of 2 billion US dollars to help developing countries implement the 2030 Agenda and realize their right to development; and a 10 million US dollars donation to UN Women to support women-related undertakings around the world and promote the protection of women's rights. These initiatives highlight, once again, the fact that China is a driver of and contributor to the international human rights cause.
China attaches great importance to safeguarding human rights. By consistently integrating the universal principles of human rights with the realities of China, we have explored and found a human rights development path tailored to our national conditions. As a result, the Chinese people are enjoying a level of human rights protection that is better than ever before. With all-round improvement of its people's living standards, China has achieved ahead of schedule the MDG goal of halving the population living in poverty; provided employment for 770 million people; achieved universal coverage of nine-year compulsory education; and established the initial structure of the world's largest universal medical insurance system and social security system. The Chinese people are enjoying more democratic rights and freedoms according to law. The protection of human rights and the rule of law in China has been further improved. Currently, the Chinese people are working hard towards the two centenary goals, which will result in better safeguard of the Chinese people's human rights and better all-round human development. That in turn will contribute further to the human rights cause of the world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.