The Chinese delegation would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Human Rights Council. We are convinced that with your outstanding abilities and rich experience, you will discharge your responsibilities with distinction. The Chinese delegation would like to assure you of its active support to your work.
The world today is undergoing profound changes, marked by advances in multi-polarisation and economic globalization and the growth of an information society, along with closer interdependence among countries, more active dialogues and exchanges among civilizations, and deepening global cooperation at various levels and in different fields. At the same time, the world economic recovery still remains unstable and is fraught with uncertainty amidst a sharpening imbalance in global development and mounting regional turmoil and hotspots.
Against such a backdrop, the international human rights cause is confronted with a series of challenges, such as a rising trend to politicize human rights issues, heavy-handed interference in others' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, naming and shaming and applying overt pressures. There are rising instances of discrimination based on religion, colour, gender and race throughout the world. The right to development for the people of developing countries has not been effectively realized. The attainment of the MDGs under the original schedule is still hampered by numerous difficulties.
In order to advance the international human rights cause along a healthy path and to achieve the noble objective of human rights for everyone, all countries should promote equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international human rights field.
Firstly, one must insist on the importance of equality and mutual trust. All countries should be guided by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and treat each other as equals in the field of human rights. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of every country must be respected. The strong should not bully the weak. No one should interfere in others' internal affairs. All countries should refrain from politicizing human rights issue, or using double standards, if we are to create a climate of trust in which all countries can work together to move forward the international human rights cause.
Secondly, one must seek mutual accommodation and learn from each other's best practices. To that end, it is imperative to respect different civilizations in the world and diverse paths for development as well as the right of people in other countries to independently choose, in the light of their own national circumstances, their own ways to advance and protect human rights. We should advocate tolerance and openness and share best practices in the interests of common progress. Different civilizations, religions and communities should respect each other and live in harmony. And countries should work together in fighting against all forms of discrimination. We must not condone any racial discrimination or religious intolerance under any pretext.
Thirdly, one must seek win-win cooperation. Countries should handle their differences properly through constructive dialogue and cooperation in a joint effort to search for effective ways to promote and protect human rights. No one should exert pressures or seek confrontation. The international community should provide technical assistance based on the request of the countries concerned to strengthen their capacities for human rights protection. Developed countries should fulfill their ODA commitments to developing countries so that the latter can speed up their economic and social development, and realize their right to development.
The Chinese government has made the respect for and protection of human rights a major guiding principle. We have put people at the center of all government policies and actions to ensure the fundamental interests of the people and to safeguard their human rights. Since the reform and opening-up three decades ago, there has been a growing awareness among the Chinese people of their human rights and a remarkable improvement in people's living standard. Our people now fully enjoy economic, social and cultural rights and their civil and political rights are also being realized. There is also adequate protection of the rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Indeed, all-round progress is being made to institutionalize human rights protection through legal provisions as China embarks on a new stage in its human rights cause.
The recent 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China gave greater prominence to the role of the people as the master of the nation and called for better protection of their rights and for bringing out greater initiatives from them. It also set the goal of turning China into a moderately well-off society by 2020 by doubling its GDP and urban and rural incomes on the basis of 2010. This will be accompanied by steady expansion of people's democratic rights in a well-functioning democratic system under the rule of law, a rising living standard underpinned by a modern education, a nationwide social safety net and universal access to basic health care. Guided by such a blueprint, we will make greater efforts to advance human rights so that people can enjoy greater happiness and dignity in their lives.
My country will continue to participate actively and constructively in international human rights activities by advocating exchanges and dialogues as a way to advance international cooperation. We have submitted our candidature for HRC membership for 2014-2016 as a sign of our continuing commitment to working with the rest of the international community and contributing our share to healthy progress in the field of international human rights protection.
Thank you, Mr. President.