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Statement by Ms SHANG Chenglin of the Chinese Delegation at the General Discussion on the Implementation of Human Rights Instruments at the Third Committee of the 71st Session of the General Assembly

2016-10-18 10:53

Madam Chair,

China takes note of the report of the twenty-eighth meeting of Chairpersons of Human Rights Treaty Bodies submitted under this agenda item. We appreciate the efforts of treaty bodies to review the implementation of human rights instruments by States parties, and we support the treaty bodies in carrying out their activities within their mandates to promote the implementation of international human rights instruments. Resolution (68/268) on “Strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system” has been adopted for more than two years and China wishes to make the following observations on follow-up actions to the resolution and the work of treaty bodies.

First, all States parties should implement provisions of the above resolution in a comprehensive and balanced manner and fully participate in relevant follow-up actions. Effective implementation of the resolution depends on the communication and cooperation among States parties, human rights treaty bodies and OHCHR. All actors should engage in full consultations and promote the implementation of the resolution in an open, transparent and balanced way instead of taking a selective approach, so that the implementation of the resolution can contribute to dialogue and cooperation between treaty bodies and States parties.

Second, we take note of the reference in the report to the Guidelines against intimidation or reprisals (San José Guidelines). As stated by China and other delegations repeatedly in the past, some elements of the Guidelines are not in conformity with treaty provisions and create additional obligations for States parties. Even if the original intention of formulating the Guidelines was to better implement human rights instruments, consultations should have been conducted by States parties and treaty bodies and the meeting of the Chairpersons of treaty bodies should not have taken a unilateral action. China once again calls for fully seeking and taking on board inputs from States parties on issues involved in the Guidelines and advises against disseminating or enforcing the Guidelines in the absence of consensus. China once again stresses that treaty bodies should uphold the principles of objectivity, impartiality and independence in their work, be responsible toward the conventions, really respect treaty mandates, avoid overstepping such mandates, and help States parties improve implementation through constructive dialogue on an equal footing.

Third, we note that the report stressed cooperation between treaty bodies and the civil society. China has all along attached importance to the role of the civil society, including NGOs, in promoting and protecting human rights. We maintain that the participation of NGOs in the activities of treaty bodies should be premised on their compliance with relevant UN rules. Treaty bodies should attach importance to documents submitted by the governments of States parties. They are also duty-bound to screen documents submitted by other organizations and individuals to ensure their verity and reliability so as to give a full, objective and impartial evaluation of the implementation by States parties.

Madam Chair,

The Chinese government conscientiously implements its treaty obligations, has participated in implementation reviews by treaty bodies in a sincere, cooperative and responsible spirit and has maintained good communication and dialogue with all human rights treat bodies. In November last year, China engaged in an interactive dialogue with the Committee against Torture on the sixth report on China’s implementation of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, during which China gave a comprehensive presentation on its efforts and progress in this field. Right now, China is drafting the combined fourteenth to seventeenth reports on its implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and will submit the report shortly. The Chinese government remains committed to working with all parties to strive for further progress in the protection of human rights in China.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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