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Liu Hua: Promote the healthy development of global human rights governance,December 16, 2019 Adjust font size:

Dear guests and friends,


First of all, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to express my sincere congratulations on the successful holding of the "2019 South-South Human Rights Forum" and to express my appreciation to all the guests for their wonderful performance at the forum. The theme of this forum is "Diversity of Civilizations and Global Development of Human Rights". It is of great significance to conduct in-depth discussions on path of human rights protection against the background of diversity of civilizations, as well as the building of a community of shared future for mankind and global human rights governance.


I would like to make the following comments on the protection of diversity of civilizations and promoting the healthy development of global human rights governance:


1. The enjoyment of human rights for all is the common pursuit of human beings, not the patents of a few countries and people, nor is it the label that a few countries and people use to demonstrate superiority to others.


Developing countries have always been an important force in advancing human rights. In the great struggle against fascism, militarism, colonialism and hegemonism, developing countries promoted and participated in the formulation of a series of landmark international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Two Human Rights Conventions, and African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights, the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Millennium Development Goals, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and made great contribution to the establishment of the right to independence, the right to survival, economic, social and cultural rights, and collective rights. In contrast, some countries attempt to monopolize the concept of human rights. During the colonial and semi-colonial period, these countries deprived the developing countries of their sovereignty, security, and survival rights, let alone to protect their human rights. After the developing countries got rid of colonialism and achieved independence, these countries did not really want to help the developing countries achieve development and enjoy human rights. Instead, these countries made irresponsible remarks, imposed the so-called "Western-style democracy" upon developing countries, and blamed the developing countries themselves for being poor and under-developed. This is contrary to human conscience,goes against the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, basic norms of international law and international relations. The fact is, colonialism and hegemony is the reason behind poverty and lack of development.


These countries used to enslave us, and now wants to lecture us or even to interfere and hinder our development. We must make clear the facts and the truth. Developing countries must tell them bravely what is the nature of civilization? That is, civilization has no distinction between superiority and inferiority, only differences in characteristic and regions. Countries should not use external standards as a guide for the development of human rights. We have to tell them what is true democracy and human rights? For developing countries, sovereignty, security, development, and people's well-being are the utmost human rights; maintaining the international system centered on the United Nations and maintaining the international order based on international law is the true democracy. We have to tell them what is real human rights dialogue and cooperation? It is to uphold equality and mutual respect, abandon arrogance and prejudice, stop name rolls and humiliation, come up with sincerity and measures, communicate with each other, and make progress together.


2. The human rights governance deficit is expanding. Developing countries should strengthen solidarity and issue the strongest voice for the healthy development of the international human rights cause.


From a macro perspective, the world faces global governance deficits in peace, development, and human rights. According to statistics, more than 821 million people worldwide suffer from hunger and starvation, 1 billion people can’t access to clean drinking water, 600 million people are undernourished, more than 168 million people urgently need humanitarian assistance, more than 70 million people are displaced, and 24 million children in conflict zones are unable to go to school, climate change may  force 700 million people to relocate. In addition, terrorism, extremism, financial crisis, digital divide, mass immigration and cyber-crime will pose serious threats to human survival, development and stability, all of which will further exacerbate the global human rights deficit.


From the perspective of human rights governance, the politicization of human rights has risen, double standards have prevailed, and some countries are keen to intervene in the name of human rights. Taking the Human Rights Council as an example, the mainstreaming of human rights continues to develop. Developing countries and developed countries are devided on "promoting human rights through development" or "promoting development based on human rights". There are more country specific resolutions, economic sanctions and protectionist measures against developing countries. Some countries have even use human rights as a weapon, conduct military intervention and waged wars against other countries under the pretext of human rights and democracy, causing chaos, conflict and war in some countries. Human rights have become a political tool and hegemonic means for a few countries in their own interests. A few countries even beautify their behavior as "human rights protection", which is actually the biggest violation of human rights.


Developing countries should jointly promote the healthy development of the cause of human rights. We need to strengthen solidarity, safeguard our own interests, and uphold international fairness and justice; we need to call on the international community to abide by the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, safeguard multilateralism, safeguard sovereignty security and dignity, and oppose interference, hegemony, and opposition. We need to promote the balanced development of two types of human rights, advocate equality and mutual respect. We need to criticize the hypocritical nature of human rights in some countries, and oppose politicization and double standards.


3. China's great achievements in economic, social, and human rights development has great significance to the world, demonstrating that there is more than one path to modernization. By finding the right direction and keeping going, there can be different paths leading to Rome.


To manage China's own affairs well is China's greatest contribution to world human rights cause. It took China decades to achieve what the developed countries took centuries to achieve. We provide food and shelter for nearly 1.4 billion people, lifted 850 million people out of poverty, provide employment for 770 million people, and ensured basic living standard for 85 million disabled people, 250 million elderly people and more than 60 million urban and rural residence living on subsistence allowances. Across 9.6 million square kilometers of land, there is no war, no displacement, no fear, and nearly 1.4 billion people live a peaceful, free, and happy life. This is the largest human rights project, the best human rights practice, and China's greatest contribution to the global human rights cause.


China's practice shows that there is no one-size-fits-all development model in the world. At present, the Chinese nation has ushered in a great leap from standing up, getting rich to becoming strong. This demonstrates to the international community that the western approach is not the only way to modernization, and the western model is not the only choice for human rights protection. The unique advantages of China's path, philosophy, institution, and culture have become increasingly prominent, expanding the path for developing countries to modernize, and providing countries with new options to accelerate development while maintaining independence.


The continuous progress of human rights in China will further contribute to the development of international human rights. Adhering to the spirit of equality, mutual trust, tolerance, mutual learning, and win-win cooperation, China has actively participated in international human rights cooperation and promoted the establishment of a fair and just international human rights system. China has joined 26 international human rights conventions and earnestly fulfilled its international obligations. China has proposed the important concept of "Community of Human Destiny", implemented the "Belt and Road" initiative, initiated the establishment of the Asian Investment Bank, and established the Silk Road Fund. The aim is to provide more international public goods and allow countries around the world to share China's development opportunities and dividends. China will always be a reliable friend of developing countries, always support and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, and stand side by side with other developing countries.


The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank forecasted China's annual economic growth in 2019 to be above 6%. In the first 10 months of this year, China created 11.93 million new jobs in cities and towns across the country, exceeding the annual target ahead of schedule. Despite shrinkage in global trade in 2019, China's foreign trade has continued to achieve steady growth in the context of trade frictions. The total value of imports and exports in the first 11 months increased by 2.4% year-on-year. The latest data from the World Trade Organization shows that in the first seven months, China ’s total foreign trade value accounted for an increase of 0.1 percentage point over the same period last year. China still remains the world ’s largest trading nation. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, the better the world is, the better China can be; the better China is, the better world can be. China's development will make new and greater contributions to the cause of global human rights.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to government officials, diplomatic envoys, experts and scholars, and representatives of civil society who have come from afar. Thank you for your support to this forum and insights on development of the world's human rights cause. I also thank all my colleagues for their hard work in preparing for and successfully hosting this forum. I believe that the South-South Human Rights Forum will have great achievements and become a brand project of South-South cooperation in the new era.


Thank you all!

Addressed by Liu Hua, Special Representative on Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , PRC, at the closing ceremony of "2019 South-South Human Rights Forum"

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