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China, Africa join at UN to highlight importance of development for human rights improvement

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-10 10:07

GENEVA - China and Africa joined together Tuesday to discuss the Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of all Human Rights at the European headquarters of the United Nations.

"Development is an eternal quest of human society; it represents the basis of addressing all issues and holds the ultimate answer to them," China's Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), Chen Xu, said in his opening remarks.

He was speaking at a side-event during the current 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), co-sponsored by UNOG's African Group and the Permanent Mission of China.

Chen noted that while development benefits from economic growth and new technology, it remains globally "unbalanced, uncoordinated, and inadequate".

The international community needs to think hard about how to make progress together and to bring in more people to share development to promote and protect human rights, said Chen.

"What had happened around the world, particularly in developing countries like China and African countries, speaks to the truth that without development, there are no human rights to talk about," Chen stressed.

Liu Xinsheng, a member of the Advisory Committee of the HRC, who chairs a group working on a new UN report on the contribution of development to all human rights, spoke about advancing development and human rights.

"Development and human rights enjoyment are mutually reinforcing. Economic and social development is the foundation of the people's full enjoyment of all human rights, and human rights protection promotes economic and social development," said Liu.

The Cape Verde Ambassador in Geneva, Maria de Jesus Veiga Miranda, told Xinhua that her country is a good example of human rights and development working together.

"This is for us a mutually enforceable agenda. Indeed, it is one agenda. We need to advance both human rights and all the Sustainable Development Goals together for all persons so that people can realize their human dignity and freedom," she said.

South Africa's UNOG Ambassador, Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, said in remarks from the floor that "this is a very important space for us to remember the indivisibility of human rights and the interdependence of human rights".

"We are reminded that human rights are interdependent," she commented, adding that without economic, social and cultural rights, civil and political rights will not be stable and "the one without the other is incomplete".

Angola's UNOG Ambassador, Margarida Rosa Da Silva Izata, noted in her speech at Tuesday's side-event that "for the developing countries, particularly in Africa, the right to development is not yet a reality, particularly due to limited financial resources and human capacity."

Agreeing that one of the problems with countries in Africa is the shortage of financial resources, Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, argued that China is playing a positive role in Africa by providing finance for infrastructure and development.

"We see that as a positive development in terms of building some of the necessary conditions for a more sustained growth process," he told Xinhua, adding that the sustained economy will again provide necessary conditions for stronger human rights enjoyment.

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