Op-Ed Contributors

Promoting human rights

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-21 07:51
Large Medium Small

Scientific development and social harmony are conducive to China respecting and safeguarding human rights

Editor's note: The following is the full speech by Minister of the State Council Information Office Wang Chen at the opening ceremony of the Third Beijing Human Rights Forum on Oct 19.

Your Excellency President Luo Haocai, Distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen and friends,

Good morning!

On this fine autumn day in Beijing, the Third Beijing Human Rights Forum hosted by the China Society for Human Rights Studies has begun. There is an old Chinese saying: Isn't it great when friends visit from afar? It is indeed a great occasion as human rights officials, experts and scholars from various countries and international organizations gather in Beijing to discuss the great cause of human rights development in the post-financial crisis period. On behalf of the State Council Information Office, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations on the opening of the forum and a warm welcome to the old and new friends attending the meeting.

The theme of this year's forum is: "Human rights and development: rethinking concepts, models and approaches". This theme reflects the international community's concern about establishing an accurate understanding of the relationship between human rights and development, and the key issue of promoting human rights with scientific development. At present, the world economy is emerging from the shadow of the financial crisis into the post-crisis era. The financial crisis has prompted people to think about which development concepts can better facilitate the harmonious development of the world and universal human rights, and which development models can better help us face the new global challenges and create better lives for mankind.

It is very significant for us, from different perspectives, to reflect on and discuss the key issues of human rights and development.

The relationship between human rights and development has long been an important issue of deep concern to the international community. After World War II, the Charter of the United Nations established security, development and human rights as the objectives of the UN. In the late 1960s, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on Social Progress and Development,which states: "Social progress and development shall be founded on respect for the dignity and value of the human person and shall ensure the promotion of human rights and social justice". The Declaration on the Right to Development adopted in the 1980s emphasized that people play the key role in development and the right to development is an inalienable part of human rights. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals that were adopted at the turn of the century clearly established human rights as being a core part of development and drafted concrete goals. It deepened people's understanding of the relationship between human rights and development and positively promoted the mutual progress of development and human rights.

China is the largest developing country in the world and promoting the development of modernization and the progress of human rights has been the unshakable pursuit of the Chinese people and government. Just as President Hu Jintao pointed out: "Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, with the universally acknowledged progress of Chinese society and earth-shaking changes to the lives of the Chinese people, the cause of Chinese human rights has made historic progress. In particular, during the 30 years of reform and opening-up, the Party and government have regarded the respect for, and safeguarding of, human rights as important principles of state governance, and solemnly enshrined them in the Constitution of the Communist Party of China and the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. They also have taken concrete and effective measures to promote the development of the cause of human rights, significantly improving the material and spiritual lives of the people, substantially safeguarding their political, economic, cultural and social rights and composing a new chapter in the development of the cause of Chinese human rights."

   Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page