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Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin on Behalf of A Group of Like Minded Countries During the High Level Panel on Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action at the 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council



Mr. President, distinguished panelists,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of a group of like minded countries[1].

Twenty years ago, the World Conference on Human Rights unanimously adopted the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA). This important instrument expresses the consensus on human rights issues among nations with different cultural backgrounds and at different levels of development. It embodies the solemn commitment of the international community to ending confrontation and enhancing cooperation in human rights, marking a significant milestone in the international human rights endeavors in the post cold war era.

Twenty years after the adoption of the VDPA, the world is becoming multi-polar and increasingly globalized. The pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become the trend of our time.

Revisiting the VDPA today, we find some of the underpinning principles ever more relevant.

1. All human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. Each and every right should be treated on the same footing in a fair and equal manner.

2. The right to development is inalienable and part and parcel of basic human rights.

3. States are obligated to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, while at the same time bearing in mind the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds.

4. Promoting and protecting human rights should be conducted in the sprit of cooperation enshrined in the VDPA and in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and norms governing international relations. Thus, constructive cooperation, equal and mutually respectful dialogue and exchange of best practices must be the key principles of the work of the Human Rights Council.

Mr. President,

Twenty years onwards, certain progress has been made in implementing the VDPA, but the difficulties and challenges in international human rights cooperation, such as double standards, politicization, naming and shaming, still abound. We must work together to avoid such attitude, which runs counter to purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, deviates from the spirit of the VDPA, and is not conducive to international cooperation on human rights and the healthy development of the international human rights cause.

We call upon all parties to promote dialogue and cooperation in human rights, in the spirit of equality and mutual trust, inclusiveness and learning from each other, facilitate the full implementation of the VDPA and make concerted efforts for the sound development of international human rights endeavors.

Thank you, Mr. President.


[1] These Countries are: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.

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