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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the General Debate of the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

2014-03-17 04:21

Mr. Chair,

The Chinese delegation supports the statement of the Bolivian delegate made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. It carries important and practical significance for this session to take “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls” as its priority theme. The Chinese delegation would like to make the following points.

First, no effort should be spared in implementing the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. The year 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It will also be the deadline for the attainment of the MDGs. Thanks to the joint efforts of the international community, all countries have made marked achievements in alleviating poverty, achieving universal primary education and in other areas. Yet, progress is slow in promoting employment of women, reducing maternal mortality and some other areas. It remains a challenging task to attain all MDGs as scheduled. The international community therefore should increase input and mobilize all available resources for the achievement of the MDGs concerning women and girls by 2015 and continue to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

Second, comprehensive development of women should be incorporated into the post-2015 development agenda. The post-2015 development agenda should be based on the MDGs and continue to take poverty eradication and development promotion as its core. The agenda should uphold the principle of coordination and balance and promote economic, social and environmental development in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. China supports the idea of setting a standalone goal for women in the post-2015 development agenda, and its focus should be on women’s economic development and poverty alleviation. Relevant targets and indicators should fully consider countries’ differences in national conditions and development stage. In setting goals for employment, health and education, the post-2015 development agenda should also fully consider women’s special needs.

Third, international development cooperation should be strengthened for women. The development imbalance between women in the North and in the South seriously impairs the overall progress of women worldwide. Women’s development capabilities are seriously fettered in developing countries due to lack of fund and technology, weak infrastructure and other problems. The international community should strengthen cooperation for women, focus on women’s development and economic empowerment and earnestly increase financial and technical assistance to developing countries so as to better promote the cause of women there. The UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN Women could play a bigger role in this regard.

Mr. Chair,

Sexual violence against women during war and conflict is the worst form of human rights violation, which has been unanimously opposed and condemned by the international community. A lot of historical evidence points to the fact that the Japanese military forcefully drafted a large number of the “comfort women” as sex slaves in an organized manner from China, the ROK and many other countries during WWII.

This heinous act of crime against humanity was the most shameful chapter in the human history of the 20th century. The women and girls forced to be “comfort women” were victimized by horrific sexual violence. 70 years later, only a few of them have survived, with unhealed physical and psychological trauma still haunting their twilight years. Most of them have left the world without seeing justice served.

In total disregard of the repeated calls of the UN human rights mechanisms, the Japanese government refuses to assume legal responsibilities and take concrete actions to compensate the victims. Senior leaders of the Japanese government have attempted to negate the history of aggression. Recently, due to international pressure, the Japanese government has stated that it has no intention to revise the Kono Statement. However, it added that it would continue with the so-called investigation on the circumstances behind the Kono Statement, trying every means in their attempt to whitewash and exonerate the Japanese militarists from this crime against humanity. Not long ago, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and other leaders blatantly paid homage to the Yasukuni Shrine where 14 Class A war criminals from WWII are honored. These war criminals were the chief culprits responsible for the drafting of the “comfort women”. What the Japanese leaders have done constitutes a serious affront to the rights and interests of the “comfort women” victims. It is a blatant provocation to human conscience and historical justice. It is a gross challenge to the post-WWII international order. It has met the strong condemnation and denunciation of the international community. Women’s organizations around the world should unite as one and urge the Japanese government to squarely face the historical facts and make formal and sincere apologies to the victims so as to let those deceased rest in peace and the traumatized souls of the survivors be consoled.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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