China has all along been supportive to and actively participated in activities in the field of human rights sponsored by the United Nations. Since 1981, China has been consecutively elected and appointed a member of the Untied Nations Commission on Human Rights.
In 2003, Chinese delegation attended the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the Substantive Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Third Committee Meeting of the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. China sent specialists to attend the 55th Session of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the 2nd Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
At these meetings, Chinese delegates and specialists actively participated in examination and deliberation of issues concerning human rights, expounded China's principles and stand on human rights issues, safeguarded the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, strove to promote international cooperation and exchanges in the field of human rights and made positive contributions to the healthy development of the international human rights cause.
China has been actively involved in formulation of legal documents concerning international human rights. In January and September 2003, the Chinese government sent specialists to attend the first meeting and the informal consultation, respectively, of a UN working group in respect of drafting the Legally Binding Normative Instrument for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, and to attend the meeting of the special committee for the formulation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In November 2003, China organized the inter-government conference in Beijing for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for drafting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and adopted the Beijing Declaration. The conference played a positive and promotional role in the progress of the formulation of the Convention.
China supports the strengthening of international cooperation in the field of human rights. It advocates full consideration for and application of existing United Nations laws, human rights documents and supervision mechanism, full respect for the internal laws of all nations and their functions, and at the same time, due consideration for the protection of human rights and the preservation of the normal judiciary functions of nations.
China has been actively involved in and promoted the activities of the second "Asia and Pacific Decade of the Disabled (2003-2012)" and striven to improve the conditions of its own disabled people. On December 10, 2003, Julian Hunte, chairman of the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, presented the United Nations Human Rights Award to Deng Pufang, chairman of the China Federation of the Disabled. It was the first time such an award had been given to a Chinese as well as the first time it had been presented to a handicapped person. It was an expression of high appreciation for Deng Pufang personally by the United Nations on his outstanding contribution to the protection of disabled persons' human rights and his tenacious efforts for promoting the development of world disabled people's movement. It was also an appreciation of the international community for years of efforts made by China in promoting and protecting human rights.
The Chinese government cherishes the important role of international human rights documents in promoting and protecting human rights. It has, to date, acceded to 21 international human rights conventions, and has taken every measure to honor its obligations under those conventions.
In 2003, the Chinese government submitted, as scheduled, its first compliance report to the United Nations with respect to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The report gave an overall account of the efforts made by China in promoting and protecting the economic, social and cultural rights of the people in recent years. In addition, China also submitted to the United Nations its second compliance report with respect to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the combined 5th and 6th report concerning the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
These reports introduced in detail, respectively, the legislative, judicial and administrative measures taken and progress made by China from 1996 to 2001 regarding the protection and promotion of the rights of the child, as well as actions taken by China in eliminating discrimination against women from 1998 to 2002. These reports also dealt with the implementation of the Beijing Action Program and also with the implementation of the results of the 2000 Special Session of the UN General Assembly (United Nations Conference) on Women's Affairs. Moreover, the reports indicated China's attention to performing her obligations under the conventions in the field of women and children, and expounded her stand on carrying out relevant international cooperation and exchanges.
China has actively participated in cracking down on cross-border organized crimes and terrorism. In 2003, the NPC Standing Committee of China approved 13 international treaties China acceded to, including the Amendment to Article 1 of the Convention on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, and Cooperative Covenant on Cracking on Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Kyrghyz.
The Ministry of Public Security of China and the United Nations Children's Fund and the International Labor Organization have jointly carried out an international cooperative project of preventing and cracking down on the abducting and selling of women and children.
China has actively carried out dialogues and cooperation with countries throughout the world with regard to human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect. In 2003, the Chinese government held dialogues, discussions or exchanges in respect of human rights respectively with the European Union and Australia, Canada, Britain, Germany, Holland, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium; hosted the fifth China-Canada-Norway human rights forum; and hosted, jointly with the European Union, the China-EU judiciary seminar. Those dialogues, exchanges and cooperation helped China and the relevant countries and organizations toward a better mutual understanding on the human rights issue, reduced disagreements and expanded consensus.
Simultaneously, non-government-sponsored dialogues and exchanges on human rights were very active. Non-governmental organizations (NGO) such as the China Human Rights Society and the China Human Rights Development Fund have sent many delegations to a number of countries in Europe, North America, Oceania and Africa, invited human rights organizations and officials of certain countries to visit China, and carried out extensive exchanges and cooperation with regard to human rights, which have greatly increased mutual understanding and trust.
The China Human Rights Society has translated and published human rights works in cooperation with the Human Rights Institute of Norway's Oslo University and the Human Rights Research Center of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh College of Political Science. In October 2003, the China Human Rights Society submitted, as required, its first work report to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
China holds that the development of human rights is an important mark of the continuous progress of the civilization of human society, and an important part of the progressive current of world peace and development. Full realization of human rights is the common goal of countries throughout the world as well as an important target for China in her efforts to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, as well as her "peaceful rise" in the world.
China will, as always, devote herself to promoting the human rights cause, actively carry out exchanges and cooperation with the international community according to the provisions of the Constitution of China and the need for modernization of the country, and make her contributions to promoting the healthy development of the international human rights cause.
From: China's Progress in Human Rights 2003