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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the High-level Meeting of the 77th Session of the General Assembly to Mark the Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

2022-09-21 22:40

Mr. President,

Minorities are equal members of the big family of humanity. It is our shared responsibility to ensure everyone’s enjoyment of human rights and development, and to ensure minorities are not left behind. Over the past three decades, we have achieved positive progress in the implementation of the Declaration. That said, we cannot ignore the fact that minorities are still facing challenges like racism, discrimination, xenophobia, violence and hatred, and that the international community still has a long way to go to truly translate the commitments in the Declaration into reality.

Facing new developments and challenges, countries must continue their  relentless efforts to better protect the rights of minorities, and take a multi-pronged approach involving policy, legislative and administrative measures to resolutely eliminate the breeding ground for racism, discrimination and hatred. We must incorporate equal development for minorities into the overall national development, and combine it with the achievement of SDGs. We must make targeted efforts to address the practical problems facing minorities, such as poverty, education and healthcare. And we must stay committed to dialogue and cooperation, and oppose the use of human rights issues to provoke division and confrontation for political self-interests. Together, we must truly create a peaceful and just environment for minorities to survive and thrive.

Mr. President,

China is a unified multi-ethnic state, where 56 ethnic groups remain closely united and together seek common, harmonious development for the building of a community with a shared future of the Chinese nation. China’s Xinjiang is home to 56 ethnic groups including the Han, the Uyghur and the Kazakh. With the joint efforts of people from all ethnic groups, Xinjiang has enjoyed sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, continuous improvement in people’s livelihood, cultural prosperity, and religious harmony. These facts are there for all to see.

Unfortunately, representatives of the US, the UK and the EU, in total disregard of facts, are abusing the General Debate of the General Assembly and today’s meeting to make unfounded accusations against China, which we firmly oppose and categorically reject. The so-called OHCHR assessment of Xinjiang does not have any legal mandate, does not have the consent from the country concerned, and does not have any facts to support its claims. It is totally illegal and invalid. The so-called assessment is nothing but a perverse product of the US and other Western forces’ coercive diplomacy and political manipulation. It shows that the Office has been reduced to a political tool for the US and other Western forces to use Xinjiang-related issues to contain China. 

Ironically, countries like the US, the UK and the EU have listed all sorts of unfounded charges for other countries, but are afraid to face their own problems. What the US should really do is to face up to the genocide of native Americans and ensure accountability and compensation, eradicate the systematic racial discrimination against Asians and other ethnic minorities, eliminate social injustice, and allow ethnic minorities to breathe freely and develop equally. We call on the Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur on Minorities Issues to continue to follow the infringement on minorities’ rights by countries like the US. We urge those few countries to stop the politicization of human rights issues, stop their double standards, stop their interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and work earnestly to address their own human rights issues.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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