By Liu Lingling, Zhang Penghui, People’s Daily
China’s achievements on human rights are widely praised at the ongoing 43rd regular session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, where the country held a series of activities to introduce its human right progress to the international community.
In his opening speech at the session, UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a “Call to Action” for human rights, urging countries to take immediate action to promote the balanced development of all human rights.
Guterres outlined seven points to promote human rights in the plan, with one being human rights at the core of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
He pointed out that human rights permeate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and called on all countries to put human rights principles and mechanisms front and center in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the crucial moment when countries are fighting against the novel coronavirus, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, paid respect to the medical workers and called on countries to prevent and object any kind of discrimination.
As there is more than one way to protect human rights, countries should respect the right of every country to choose its own path to achieve peace and development, said Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, at a high-level panel discussion during the session. Chen believes that forcing countries to follow the same path is neither democratic nor scientific.
Only by observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respecting the social systems and human rights development paths of other countries, advocating dialogues and cooperation, and opposing double standards and the politicization of human rights, can the international human rights cause witness a healthy, stable and sustained progress, he said.
Liu Hua, Special Representative for Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, suggested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pay more attention to the appeal of the developing countries, invest more to protect these countries’ economic, social, cultural, and development rights, and provide technical assistance and capacity building for them with respect to their wills.
The China Society for Human Rights Studies and the Permanent Mission of China to the UN Office at Geneva jointly held a photo exhibition – “Home: Glimpse of People from Various Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang” – to display the life of people from various ethnic groups in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Khan-Inh Khitchadeth, permanent representative of the Lao PDR to the UN Office, WTO and other International Organizations in Geneva, said the photo exhibition will help people around the world better understand the real situation in Xinjiang. The Lao official introduced that he has visited Xinjiang and witnessed its rapid economic development and the harmonious co-existence of ethnic groups.
During the session, the Permanent Mission of China to the UN Office at Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the UN Office at Geneva, and the China Society for Human Rights Studies cohosted a symposium on anti-terrorism, de-radicalization and human rights protection.
Representatives attending the symposium believe it is necessary for countries to draw experience in the fight against terrorism and extremism and jointly seek effective approaches to enhance international cooperation in this respect.
Terrorism, extremism and separatism have greatly threatened the world security, said Awoumou, Chargé d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the UN Office, the WTO and other International organizations in Geneva.
He called on the international society to strengthen cooperation and cut the terrorists off financing channels in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
Participants also criticized some Western countries and media for employing double standard on eradicating terrorism and extremism.
Countries need to get rid of such double standard, share their experience and strengthen cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism, said Predrag Marković, Director of the Institute of Contemporary History in Serbia.
During a seminar on the rights of immigrant children jointly organized by the Permanent Mission of China to the UN Office at Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Venezuela to the UN Office at Geneva, experts condemned the U.S. for infringing upon the rights of the immigrant children.
Experts suggested that the international community care more about the human rights of this group along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially those detained in detention centers, and urged the U.S. to improve the protection mechanism on immigrant children and abolish policies that violate their rights.
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