REN DANHONG, of China Society for Human Rights Studies, welcomed the open and constructive spirit of the Chinese Government to the Universal Periodic Review recommendations, especially the wide consultation with Chinese civil society organizations for their implementation. Most recommendations from the report on the livelihood of migrant workers had successfully attracted the attention of the Government, including by formulating concrete action plans to secure employment and especially to strengthen the protection of their rights and interests, guaranteeing them equal treatment in terms of social security, payment and skills training. The Chinese Government should continue to keep good cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and consider concrete technical cooperation projects in the future with which Chinese civil society could be actively involved.
China welcomed well-intentioned criticism but rejected any fabrication of lies by non-governmental organizations. Fifty years ago, China had freed the Tibetan people from dark feudal theocracy. Today, Tibetans enjoyed human rights. The Central Government of China was sincere and honest in talking with the representatives of the Dalai Lama. It was the Dalai Lama who refused to step back from the splitting of China. In the Universal Periodic Review, China had accepted recommendations from developed and developing countries, regarding economic, social and political human rights. China had only rejected the recommendations that were politicized. Some recommendations were beyond China’s possibilities to be met or were not clear in writing. Protection of human rights was enshrined in the Chinese Constitution. In four years’ time, when China would again come before the Council to be examined for the Universal Periodic Review, China’s human rights record would be a scoreboard for inspiring progress in human rights.
[The summary of the introductory statement by Azerbaijan on the outcome of its Universal Periodic Review will be published in this afternoon’s meeting summary.]
Speaking during the debate on China were, the United Arab Emirates, Cuba, Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Russian Federation and Bahrain. Representatives of Women’s International Democratic Federation, the United Nations Association of China, the Federation of Cuban Women, Amnesty International, China NGO Network for International Exchanges, China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, China Care and Compassion Society, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, the Society for Threatened Peoples, in a joint statement with Reporters without Borders, Mouvement Contre Le Racisme Et Pour L’amitie Entre Les Peuples, in a joint statement with Interfaith International, Human Rights Watch and China Society for Human Rights Studies also spoke.
SELMA MALIKA HENDEL (Algeria) said the quality of the information presented during the Universal Periodic Review showed the seriousness with which the Senegalese authorities took that process. The follow-up given to almost all recommendations received was the perfect illustration of that. Algeria was particularly pleased by Senegal’s acceptance of the recommendations issuing from Algeria, including the promotion of the universalization of the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers, the continuance of efforts to guarantee the right to food for the population and the possibility of asking for technical assistance in this field, and the continuance of efforts to promote dialogue, peace and tolerance between religions, civilizations and cultures. Algeria welcomed the efforts made by the Government for the protection and promotion of human rights in Senegal. The international community should help Senegal to implement the recommendations.
ALIOUNE NDIAYE, of Senegalese Human Rights Committee, said that the Universal Periodic Review process of Senegal had been carried out in a spirit of dialogue and had been completed with great satisfaction. The international community was aware of the efforts taken by the Senegalese Government to promote and protect human rights. The open and sincere dialogue initiated between the Senegalese Government, national institutions and civil society, which showed the maturity and responsibility of all for the recognition and enjoyment of human rights for all, was commended. The fact that Senegal took into account all recommendations was welcomed.
It was also pleased that China had rejected those recommendations that could contribute to ethnic splitting
AWA N’DIAYE, of Espace Afrique International, said the Government of Senegal had made excellent efforts with regard to education, especially education of girls. Education was one of the development activities that generated the highest return on investment, and the Government was investing 40 per cent of its yearly budget in that area, with the participation of all citizens in development activities. Good, accessible education would be made available to all, including the most disadvantaged groups. Health care and education for the youngest, as well as balanced food for them, was taken care of, and there had been many primary and secondary schools established in the country, as well as centres allowing for distance learning. Tele-Health allowed Senegal to combat maternal and child mortality. Senegal was promoting health and education for all.
China would study the new comments made by countries during this discussion
OBAID SALEM SAEED AL ZAABI (United Arab Emirates) commended the efforts made by China to promote human rights, and appreciated the countryy’s efforts under the Universal Periodic Review process, as well as to install the necessary reforms of institutions so as to back up their developmental renaissance. There had been positive effects on the lives of citizens, and improvements of the rule of law, with efforts to guarantee the independence of the judiciary. That was a difficult endeavour in such a multifaceted and multicultural country. The cooperation shown by China with human rights bodies and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights were welcome. The Council should take all China’s achievements into account.
DAYAN JAYATILLEKA (Sri Lanka) welcomed the constant role of China in striving for harmony and fair play in the Human Rights Council. China was a role model in the areas of the elimination of slavery, including in Tibet; the emancipation of women; and in exemplary conduct regarding prisoners of war. Sri Lanka was pleased that China had accepted the vast majority of the recommendations put to it. Sri Lanka was also concerned about ethnic equality and thought that it could learn from China. Sri Lanka strongly recommended the adoption of the report.
PETER SPLINTER, of Amnesty International, said that if the Universal Periodic Review was to lead to improved respect for human rights, Governments had to frankly address their own human rights records and be responsive to other States’ recommendations. By rejecting a large number of recommendations covering a broad range of human rights, the Chinese authorities had effectively undermined the value of the Universal Periodic Review for China. The success of the Universal Periodic Review also depended on a frank discussion within each State review, including civil society. Civil society should not be an accomplice in Government efforts to present a sanitized picture of their national human rights situation. China’s manipulation of civil society’s contributions to the process had seriously undermined the Universal Periodic Review and the credibility of the outcome for China.