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Statement by Ambassador Wang Shijie, Advisor of the Chinese Delegation on the Right to Development (Item 7) at the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

2001-03-27 00:00

27 March, 2001, Geneva

Mr. Chairman,

The Declaration on the Right to Development adopted by the General Assembly in 1986 is a significant international instrument on human rights. It stipulates that the right to development is an inalienable human right and that states have the primary responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favorable to the realization of this right and have the duty to co-operate with each other eliminating obstacles to development so as to facilitate the full realization of the right to development.

Mr. Chairman,

Although globalization has brought new opportunities to mankind, its benefits for the people of various countries are far from even, with the gap between the rich and poor widening even further. The imbalance of development has become more serious in the world, and the developing countries are confronted with special difficulties in dealing with globalization. In the past decade, the number of LDCs has increased from 36 to 48. In view of the growing interdependence among countries, the realization of the right to development not only has a bearing on the enjoyment of human rights in the developing countries, but also has far-reaching consequences for international peace and prosperity. If nothing is done to narrow the yawning gap between the north and the south, poverty will eventually undermine the overall order of the human society. The international community should pay due attention to this issue and take practical actions earnestly in this regard.

In order to realize the right to development, all countries should, under the guidance of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, respect the principle of state sovereignty and equality, recognize the diversified nature of the world, respect the right of every country to choose its social system and path of development on its own initiative and in the light of its specific national conditions, and ensure common development of different nationalities and civilizations. In the new century, various countries should promote the democratization of international relations, establish a fair and equitable international political and economic order, and guarantee the right of equal participation of developing countries in the decision-making of global economic affairs. The international community should also create a favorable international environment for development through various measures such as adjusting the system of international financial institutions, opening up of the markets of developed countries to developing countries, and the expansion of trade with and the transfer of new and high tech to the latter. At the same time, the developed countries should pay close attention to the special difficulties of the developing countries and actively engage in international cooperation. They should adopt measures such as the provision of ODA and debt relief to help the developing countries develop their economy, eliminate poverty as early as possible and realize the right to subsistence and development.

Mr. Chairman,

We have noted with satisfaction that since his appointment as independent expert on the right to development, Dr. Sengupta has conducted comprehensively theoretic studies on this issue and has submitted three reports to the Working Group on the Right to Development. On the basis of reality, he has made specific recommendations including the concept of a "development compact" on cooperation through national and international efforts in order to promote the full realization of the right to development. In our view, his enlightening recommendations merit attention and further discussion. We would like to express our appreciation of his efforts.

In the past year, the Working Group on the Right to Development has held two sessions and has submitted a report to the Commission. We are impressed by the rich experience and knowledge of Ambassador Dembri, Chairman of the Working Group, and would like to express our appreciation of his efforts to promote progress in the work of the Working Group. We are glad to note that members of the Working Group have reached more common ground on the significance of the realization of the right to development and that discussion on this issue is proceeding further in depth. At the same time, we feel concerned and disappointed with the fact that certain countries denied the right to development and resorted to various pretexts to obstruct the adoption of the conclusions at the 2nd session of the Working Group. In order to ensure effective promotion and implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development, The Chinese government supports the request of developing countries for the establishment of an effective follow-up mechanism of the Commission as well as the extension of the mandates for the Working Group and the independent expert.

Mr. Chairman,

At the millennium summit, leader of all countries made the solemn commitment to eradicate poverty and promote the realization of the right to development through international cooperation. We hope this commitment will become a reality at an early date.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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