UNHRC: Experts applaud China’s achievements in human rights protection

Chen Xu, permanent representative of China to the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, speaks during the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 29, 2024. /CFP

Chen Xu, permanent representative of China to the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, speaks during the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 29, 2024. /CFP

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday adopted a resolution urging Israel to be held responsible for potential war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip. The resolution also urges all nations to cease supplying weapons to Israel.

Out of the 47 member nations in the UNHRC, 28 countries voted in favor, 13 abstained and six opposed the resolution. China supported the resolution, while the United States and Germany opposed it.

The new ruling stressed “the need to ensure accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in order to end impunity.” It also expressed “grave concern at reports of serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

China has reiterated its call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on multiple occasions. For example, Chen Xu, the permanent representative of China to the UN Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, reiterated China’s call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza at the UNHRC on February 29.

As the Gaza Strip is facing an unparalleled humanitarian crisis, an immediate ceasefire is the urgent demand of the global community and a fundamental necessity for achieving peace, Chen said while elaborating on China’s position on the situation between Palestine and Israel at the UNHRC.

Chen emphasized that China has always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and strongly opposed the forced transfer of the Palestinian people and the occupation of Palestinian territory.

The two-state solution is the general consensus of the international community and a realistic way to ultimately realize the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel, Chen said, urging all countries to make unremitting efforts to this end.

Participants communicate with each other during the Forum on Global Human Rights Governance in Beijing, China, June 14, 2023. /Xinhua

Participants communicate with each other during the Forum on Global Human Rights Governance in Beijing, China, June 14, 2023. /Xinhua

China stresses right to survival, development at UNHRC

On February 26, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the high-level segment of the UNHRC via video, stressing that all parties should protect people’s right to survival and development as a priority.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the world is becoming more turbulent, crises and conflicts keep flaring up, and the deficit in global human rights governance is widening at the moment.

Wang called on all parties to put people first and safeguard people’s interests, which is the basis and goal of the human rights cause. People’s right to survival and development should be protected as a priority and pursued with a greater sense of urgency.

Wang called on all sides to respect all countries’ right to independently choose their paths to human rights development. Countries should not impose their own values or development models on others, still less creating small blocs and aligning against those with different views, he added.

Human rights bodies in the UN should carry out their work in a fair and objective manner, follow a non-selective and non-politicized approach, and place equal emphasis on all types of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights, Wang stressed. Multilateral human rights bodies should serve as platforms for constructive engagement and cooperation for all sides rather than a battleground for group politics or bloc confrontation, he said.

Wang said that as a responsible major country, China plays an active part in global human rights governance, and has contributed efforts to the conclusion of a series of important international conventions and declarations on human rights.

China is now working to deliver the fruits of modernization to its population in a more substantive and equitable way and is raising the level of human rights protection, Wang said, adding that it will actively champion the common values of humanity and work with all sides to make new contributions to the healthy development of the global human rights cause.

Li Shulei, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, delivers a keynote speech at the Forum on Global Human Rights Governance in Beijing, China, June 14, 2023. /Xinhua

Li Shulei, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, delivers a keynote speech at the Forum on Global Human Rights Governance in Beijing, China, June 14, 2023. /Xinhua

Experts applaud China’s legal protection of human rights

China has continuously improved its legal protection of human rights, effectively guaranteeing people’s rights to survival and development, said experts at an event on the sidelines of the 55th session of the UNHRC.

During the event, hosted by the Human Rights Research Center of the Northwest University of Political Science and Law (NWUPL), scholars from China and abroad exchanged insights on China’s experience in the legal protection of human rights, including poverty alleviation, desertification control, counter-terrorism and the rights of disabled people in sports.

Fan Jiuli, president of the NWUPL, said that sharing China’s experience in the legal protection of human rights with more countries and regions, especially developing countries, will promote the development of the global human rights cause.

Fang Qiang, a professor at the University of Minnesota, noted that through academic exchanges, legal research and human rights dialogue, China and the United States could enhance mutual understanding and jointly explore practices in the legal protection of human rights.

Ma Cheng, executive director of the Human Rights Research Center of the NWUPL, pointed out that from building a comprehensive legal system for poverty alleviation to the latest enactment of the Law on the Promotion of Revitalization of Rural Areas, China has continuously provided solid legal protection for poverty reduction and common prosperity.

Hanane Thamik, a student from Morocco studying at Wuhan University, highlighted China’s dedication to reducing poverty, advancing economic growth and implementing legal changes as a reflection of China’s resilience, adaptability and commitment to enhancing human well-being and dignity.

Wang Shuqi, assistant researcher at the Human Rights Research Center of the NWUPL, noted that in recent years, China has introduced stronger legal protection for the rights to sports of disabled people, resulting in significant achievements in rehabilitation, fitness and competitive sports for people with disabilities.

China has been playing a responsible role in human rights affairs at the United Nations, engaging actively in global human rights governance, striving to promote the healthy development of the international human rights cause, thus becoming an in-depth participant in international mechanisms, a co-constructor of governance rules, an active advocate of exchanges and cooperation, and an essential promoter of governance change, according to a think tank report on China’s practice of and contribution to global human rights governance released last September.

For example, China held the Forum on Global Human Rights Governance last June in Beijing, attracting over 300 participants from nearly 100 countries and international organizations, including United Nations agencies.

(With input from agencies)