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Statement by Counsellor YAO Shaojun During the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Third Committee of the 71st General Assembly

2016-10-19 00:53

Madam Chair, Mr. High Commissioner:

The Chinese delegation has noted Mr. High Commissioner's presentation. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is an organ of the United Nations. It's the expectation of the UN Membership that the High Commissioner and OHCHR work in accordance with the mandate of the General Assembly to play an active role in advancing the cause of international human rights. However, it is important to note that, like some other Member States, China has the following serious concerns about the work of the High Commissioner and OHCHR:

First, the High Commissioner and OHCHR, as part of the United Nations Secretariat, should set an example in abiding by the UN Charter and respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member States. However, it is most regrettable that not long ago the High Commissioner for Human Rights conferred an award to an a criminal who committed the crime of secession and that OHCHR employed a separatist who continued to advocate his separatist ideas and engage in separatist activities after joining the Office. One cannot help but wonder if the High Commissioner and OHCHR abide by the UN Charter, if the High Commissioner and OHCHR support and condone secessionist criminals, or what measures the High Commissioner is prepared to take to win the trust of the Member States?

Second, the High Commissioner and OHCHR should fully respect the differences in development stages, social systems, and historical and cultural traditions of different countries, respect the human rights development path and priorities of the peoples of all countries, and work together to forge consensus from all sides in promoting international cooperation for human rights, rather than force though certain human rights notions that only reflect the aspirations of some countries.

Third, the High Commissioner and OHCHR should adhere to the principles of impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation with all countries within the mandate of the UN General Assembly, prevent the politicization of human rights, promote balanced development of human rights, and in particular, increase input in the economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development which is the focus of attention for the developing countries.

Fourth, OHCHR should improve its efficiency and transparency. In preparing and implementing its program of work, including the promotion of the "reform initiative", OHCHR should fully consult Member States and reflect their views, and adhere to the “Member-States-Led” principle. OHCHR should optimize the allocation of resources and avoid waste. The imbalance of the geographical distribution in the staffing of OHCHR needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

At present, opportunities and challenges coexist the international cause of human rights. We hope that the High Commissioner and the OHCHR will take concrete actions to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, clarify their own positions and responsibilities, and fully consult and cooperate with the broad membership to make due contribution to the healthy development of the international cause of human rights.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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