“Global Human Rights Governance and China's Experience”------ Side-event of the 45th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Successfully Held

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On January 23, 2024, United Nations Association of China (UNA-China) held a side-event of the 45th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) entitled “Global Human Rights Governance and China’s Experience” at Palais des Nations, Geneva. Ms. Hu Wenli, Vice-President and Director-General of UNA-China chaired the event. Former Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania and Cyprus, Former Member of Human Rights Council Advisory Committee Amb. Liu Xinsheng, Former Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Executive Board Member of UNA-China Amb. Ren Yisheng, Professor and Vice Dean of School of International Law at China University of Political Science and Law Prof. Zhu Lijiang, Research Fellow and Director of the Department of International Human Rights Law of the International Law Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Dr. Dai Ruijun, Professor at Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Former Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order Prof. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, Executive Director of Universal Rights Group Mr. Marc Limon, President of Centre for New Inclusive Asia Mr. Koh King Kee attended the event and delivered keynote speeches. Representatives from the diplomatic corps in Geneva, UN organization, civil society organizations of China and beyond, as well as media participated in the meeting.

Panelists stated that the promotion and protection of human rights is a common cause of all countries. In protecting human rights, all of us can always do better. Different civilizations have different emphasis on human rights. All countries should follow the path of human rights development in line with their own national conditions, so that the fruits of development will benefit their people in a greater and more equitable manner. The international community should strengthen international exchanges and cooperation on human rights and work together to explore and move forward. Global human rights governance needs to adhere to the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, including sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs, while upholding the international rule of law and rejecting double standards. The US and the West deliberately fabricated the so-called human rights issue in Xinjiang for the purpose of geopolitics and suppressing China, and then imposed unilateral sanctions on China on this basis, which is a typical example of politicizing and weaponizing the human rights issue. All countries should respect and understand the diversity of human rights development and oppose the imposition and inculcation of a single model and criteria. For the UPR mechanism to play a better role, countries should offer more constructive suggestions to countries participating in the review, refrain from politicizing, engage in more sincere dialogue and refrain from finger-pointing. Global human rights governance needs to fully reflect the realities of the Global South in terms of economic disparities, historical injustice and cultural diversity, rather than imposing Western discourse and values. The representation of developing and developed countries in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other relevant UN agencies and international organizations should be effectively balanced. The international community should practice true multilateralism, adhere to the concepts of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning, win-win cooperation and common development, promote the common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind, work together to make global human rights governance more fair, just, reasonable and inclusive, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The participants stressed that the Chinese people are in the best position to say whether the human rights cause in China is developing well or not. By combining the universal principle of human rights with China’s reality, China has successfully charted a path of human rights development that conforms to the trend of the times and suits its national conditions. China adheres to the philosophy of people-centered development and regards the rights to subsistence and development as the primary human rights. It attaches great importance to ensuring and improving people’s livelihood in the course of development, constantly promotes economic and social development, enhances people's well-being, realizes all-round human development, ensures that the fruits of development are shared by the people, and strives to promote the comprehensive and coordinated development of economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights. The level of human rights protection has been significantly improved. While making historic achievements in its own human rights cause, China has actively participated in global human rights governance and international human rights cooperation, actively fulfilled its obligations under international human rights treaties, and conducted bilateral and multilateral human rights dialogues. China has put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative to promote global development, safeguard world peace and promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, providing China’s proposals and making China’s contribution to strengthening global human rights governance.
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