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Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya at the 60th UNGA Session on Item 71:"Human rights questions"

2005-10-25 00:00

Mr. President,

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. It is also the year of UN reform. The outcome document adopted at the recent 2005 Summit has approved of the establishment of the Human Rights Council and set forth its principal responsibilities. This is an important step for the reform of UN human rights mechanism. It will undoubtedly produce far-reaching impacts on UN's future work. At present, negotiations have been conducted at the General Assembly on the specifics of the Human Rights Council. I am confident that under the leadership of the GA president and with the assistance of co-chairmen, negotiations will achieve success through consultations on an equal footing and in the spirit of seeking common ground while shelving differences. Now, I wish to present three points on the establishment of the Human Right Council.

1. The Human Rights Council should attach importance to and solve the long-standing "credibility crisis" faced by the Commission on Human Rights. The Council, in reviewing human rights violation cases, including massive and systematic violation of human rights, should formulate fair, objective and transparent review standards and procedures, and refrain from politicization, double standard and selective manner. Only by so doing, can the Council properly handle the related human rights questions, and can the authority of the Council be effectively preserved.

2. The Human Rights Council should have full representation. The outcome document has emphasized that it is essential to strengthen the UN human rights mechanism. To achieve this, it is necessary to ensure full representation at the Council. Since the founding of the UN, with the continued increase of its membership, the Commission on Human Rights has been expanded twice from the original 18 to 43 in 1979, and then to 53 in 1990. Facts have shown that such increase has played an important role in enabling more countries to understand and be a part of international human rights cause, enhancing national human rights capacity building, and promoting regional and international cooperation. Today, our Organization has 191 Member States, a reality that should be taken into account in the formation of the Human Rights Council. Currently, the membership of the Council and that of the Commission can be basically the same. It can be elected by a simple majority at the General Assembly on the basis of the principle of equitable geographic distribution.

3. The Human Rights Council should be a forum for dialogue, exchange and cooperation. To promote and defend human rights through international cooperation is an important part of the UN Charter. It has been proved by the past history that due to different historical and cultural background, social system, and development level, countries also vary in their ways, means, and processes for achieving human rights goals. The Human Rights Council, in performing its responsibilities, should be aware of the "diversity of the world", respect the right of all countries to choose independently their social system and development road, encourage dialogue and exchange among countries through establishing appropriate working mode and mechanism, and make joint efforts to explore effective ways for human rights advancement.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation has studied attentively the report submitted by Ms. Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the current GA session. The report, in connection with "human rights action" plan, puts forward some very valuable recommendations and concepts on UN human rights reform. For this, we wish to express our appreciation. As is affirmed by the outcome document that in order to reinforce the work of OHCHR, the regular expenditure for OHCHR will be doubled in the coming five years. This is very encouraging. We hope that the OHCHR will make good use of this opportunity to enhance its cooperation with Member States, continue to improve its work, and better fulfill its responsibilities.

In August this year, Ms. Louse Arbour paid her first visit to China as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. During her visit, she attended the 13th Asia-Pacific Human Rights Workshop and activities for the 10th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, signed a new memorandum of understanding on human rights cooperation with the Chinese Government, and met with Chinese NGO representatives. The visit is a complete success. We look forward to more extensive cooperation with the UN in human rights education, capacity building and the rule of law.

Mr. President,

China was subject to aggression and humiliation by foreign powers for quite a long time. We in China are deeply aware of the arduous struggle for peace, the importance of development and the value of human rights. Today, "respect and guarantee for human rights" has become an important principle in China's Constitution. The Chinese Government, guided by the concept of "putting human interests first and governing for the people", has adopted a series of effective measures to improve legal system, accelerate democratic process, and develop economy, thus comprehensively raising the level of various human rights enjoyed by the Chinese people. China has achieved world-renowned progress in poverty eradication, compulsory education, health care for women and children, and protection of the rights and interests of the disabled, the aged and other vulnerable groups. Naturally, like all other countries in the world, China's human rights situation is yet to be a perfect picture. As a developing country, we still have a long way to go before the full realization of all fundamental freedoms and human rights. The Chinese Government will continue its efforts to attain an all-round and coordinated economic and social development between the urban and rural areas and among different regions, and build a harmonious society characterized by democracy and the rule of law, fairness and justice, trust and friendship, vitality and stability. It will be a society where man and nature can co-exist harmoniously, and all people can share the fruits of reform and development. We will persevere in our strive for new progress in China's human rights cause.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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