Promotion and protection of human rights is the unremitting pursuit and common objective of all countries. Over the past years, progress has been made in international human rights endeavors, but there are still many difficulties and challenges ahead.
As for developing countries, achieving the right to development remains a bumpy road. Due to the impact of the international economic and financial crisis, the crisis of food and energy security, natural disasters and regional turbulence, the problems such as imbalance between the North and South and trade barriers have gained prominence, the developmental environment of developing countries has worsened, the task of attaining the MDGs has become more challenging. To achieve the right to development still remains a long and uphill battle.
All kinds of discrimination, especially racism, continue to exist extensively. Discrimination based on race, color, gender and religion remains serious, the living situation of people of African descent and other minority groups is yet to be improved, and new forms of racism, such as instigation of racial and religious hatred and discrimination of immigrants, are on increase.
International human rights endeavors continue to be plagued by double standard and politicization. A small number of countries are still using country-specific resolutions as instruments to put pressure on developing countries. In violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, they interfere in other countries’ internal affairs at the excuse of protecting civilians and defending human rights. China is deeply concerned over such practice.
China is of the view that, to address the difficulties and challenges facing international human rights endeavors, the international community should unswervingly abide by the following principles:
First, firmly adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Under the current circumstances, it is of special significance and relevance to abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, maintain the authority and role of the United Nations, and comply in good faith with the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries should be fully respected, and the internal affairs of a country can only be determined by its own people. The international community should respect the political system a country has chosen of its own accord, respect the path of human rights development pursued independently by a country, and respect the diversity of civilizations.
Second, resolutely abandon the practices of politicization and double standard on human rights issues. Promotion and protection of human rights is a lofty cause. The undertaking should not be reduced to an instrument used for political purposes. A few countries turn a blind eye to human rights violations in their own countries while pointing fingers at and finding fault with the human rights situations of other countries. They fabricate problems, amplify small problems, and engage in politicization, selectivity and double standard. This has seriously poisoned the sound development of international human rights endeavors. China is firmly opposed to this practice and urges relevant countries concerned to have a serious reflection and treat human rights issues in a fair, objective and tolerant manner.
Third, engage in human rights dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. People of all countries are entitled to human rights and basic freedom. This is the universal pursuit and common ideal of mankind. Due to the impact of economic development levels, cultural traditions and different stages of social development, however, countries differ in their interpretation of human rights, and they are faced with different challenges. World diversity is a precious asset for the development of the human society. It should be regarded as an enabling condition for countries to draw on each other’s strengths and learn from one another, rather than serve as an excuse for big and rich countries to bully small and poor ones. Countries need to act in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, seek common ground while shelving differences, and learn from each other so as to make common progress through exchanges based one quality and mutual respect.
Fourth, put greater emphasis on the realization of the right to development. The right to development is the basis for all other human rights. Given the negative implications of the economic and financial crisis, the international community should attach greater importance to the right to development, and other forms of economic, social and cultural rights such as the rights to subsistence, food and health. To attain the targets listed in the Declaration on the Right to Development and the MDGs at an early date, developed countries need to show greater political will, take practical measures to fulfill their commitments in terms of capital and technology transfer, debt relief and market access, and help developing countries improve their capacity for independent development and fully achieve the right to development.
Fifth, eliminate all forms of discrimination and safeguard the rights of vulnerable groups. Racism is the common enemy of all mankind. China finds it regrettable that some countries boycotted the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to Commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. China maintains that the international community should fully implement the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, adopt “zero tolerance” toward racism, and do its utmost to eliminate the root causes of racism. All countries should also continue to pay close attention to vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly, the disabled, immigrants and indigenous people, and ensure that everybody enjoys equality and dignity.
Sixth, further improve the United Nations work in the field of human rights. China welcomes the completion by the Human Rights Council of the first round of 193 countries under the Universal Periodic Review. China stands ready to work with all parties to turn the UPR into an important platform for countries to engage in dialogue and exchanges of experience on an equal footing. China maintains that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should act in an objective and fair manner, increase the transparency of its work, and accept the monitoring of the Human Rights Council. The human rights special mandate-holders and treaty bodies should follow the Code of Conduct, and strengthen dialogue and exchanges with countries concerned. It is essential to consult to State Parties in carrying out reform of treaty bodies and strive for widest possible consensus.
China categorically rejects the groundless accusations against China made by the distinguished representatives of the European Union and the United States in their statements. We strongly urge the EU and the US to put your own houses in order before you point fingers at others
Over the past 30 years and more since the inception of reform and opening up, China has made great strides in its human rights endeavors. China has found a path for human rights development with Chinese characteristics that is suited to China’s national conditions. The path is featured by putting people first, taking reform as its motivating force, development as its key and rule of law as its guarantee to promote the comprehensive and coordinated development of civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development. This year, China has accomplished as scheduled all the targets and tasks set by its National Human Rights Plan of Action (2009-2010), and is now formulating the National Human Rights Plan of Action (2012-2015). China’s human rights endeavors will continue to make progress along with the development of China’s modernization drive.
This year marked the 40th anniversary of China’s restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations. Over the four decades, China has taken an active part in international human rights exchanges and cooperation, and has enriched the human rights concepts and practices of the United Nations with its own mode of human rights development. China has now ratified or acceded to 25 international conventions on human rights. We have been engaged in human rights dialogue and exchanges with many countries and maintained sound relations and cooperation with the United Nations Human Rights mechanisms. China will continue to strengthen its human rights exchanges and cooperation with all countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect, increase mutual understanding, reduce disputes, learn from each other for common progress and make tireless efforts for the sound development of international human rights endeavors.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.