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Charhar Institute Experts Attend the 2019 South-South Human Rights Forum

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The 2019 South-South Human Rights Forum themed on "Diversity of Civilizations and Global Development of Human Rights" was held in Beijing from December 10th to 11th. A delegation of the Charhar Institute attended the forum and shed light on relevant topics in their speeches.

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The Charhar Institute experts pose for a photo during the forum.

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At the forum

More than 300 senior government officials, experts and scholars, and foreign diplomats and envoys from over 80 countries and international organizations, including the UN, attended the forum.

Focusing on the forum's theme, the participants carried out in-depth exchanges and reached consensus on a variety of topics, ranging from "Road Choice of Human Rights under the Background of Diversity of Civilization ", “Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and Global Governance of Human Rights”, “From the Perspective of Development Right: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Promotes the Realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda”, to “The Practice and Experience on Human Rights Protection in Southern Countries of the Global”.

The opening ceremony of the forum was presided over by Jiang Jianguo, Deputy Minister of Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.  

Huang Kunming, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. 

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Huang Kunming, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, speaks at the forum.

Huang said that respecting and safeguarding human rights is an important achievement in human civilization development history. It has also been a consistent pursuit of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China’s government. In China’s 70 years’ history under the CPC’s leadership, the Chinese nation has ushered in a new era, from standing up with independence to the later richness and strength.

It is also a history of 70 years in which the fundamental rights of Chinese people have been respected and guaranteed unswervingly and a history that China has made great contributions to the cause of human rights development of the world, said Huang.

He remarked the CPC has always regarded the pursuit of happiness for the people as its original goal, and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics has been built on safeguarding the interests of the people.

Huang pointed out that in this great course, China has successfully embarked on a new path of human rights development which is in line with its own national conditions. China adheres to the combination of the universality and the particularity of human rights, and adheres to both promoting development through cooperation and promoting human rights through development, so as to constantly enhance the sense of happiness, attainment as well as security of all the Chinese people.          

More than ten representatives on human rights from various countries attended and made speeches at the forum.           

Kuru Christophe Laurent Roger, Vice President of the Senate and former Prime Minister of Madagascar, believes that the right to development should be given the highest priority. He said that human rights first refer to the rights of people, the rights that people can get self-sufficiency and self-development, get the right to have free activities, love each other and live in harmony. And it is only based on development that human rights can be acquired, said he.    

13.jpg Kuru Christophe Laurent Roger, Vice Chairman of the Senate and former Prime Minister of Madagascar, speaks at the forum. 

Leonardo Siman, Executive Director of the Chissano Foundation and former Foreign Minister of Mozambique, pointed out in his speech that in Africa, especially in Mozambique, national public institutions are still developing on capacity, not only in traditional administrative issues, but also the issues in the scope of population and territory. Despite the progress, most African countries still have a long way to go to achieve a high level of institutional functioning. 

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Leonardo Siman, Executive Director of the Chissano Foundation and former Foreign Minister of Mozambique, speaks at the forum.

He appreciated China's sharing with other developing countries on how to promote human rights in a harmonious and comprehensive way, and on how to guarantee the political, economic, social and cultural rights of all citizens under a framework of overall development of the country. He said China's valuable experience will continue to inspire African countries and other regions in the future.           

Mohamed Ibrahim, Standing Secretary of Prime Minister's Office of Brunei, elaborated on the ASEAN’s experience of human rights development. He pointed out that ASEAN has been committed to improving the lives of its people and creating a better future for them through sustainable development. 

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Mohamed Ibrahim, Standing Secretary of Prime Minister's Office of Brunei, speaks at the forum.

And he emphasized that the sustainable development of ASEAN, the progress of people’s living standard and realization of human rights of ASEAN people are all inseparable from a good understanding and recognition of the “diversity” of each of the ASEAN countries, including their different political and economic systems, and it is just based on this understanding has the mutual support and common development in ASEAN areas been attained.           

Zhang Guobin, Vice President of the Council of the Charhar Institute, gave a speech at the sub-forum of "Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and Global Governance of Human Rights". 

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Zhang Guobin (1st, L), Vice President of the Council of the Charhar Institute, speaks at the forum.

Combining with his work experience abroad and at the Charhar Institute, Zhang pointed out that public diplomacy in the field of human rights should be carried out to promote the sharing of human rights development achievements, push forward the communication and mutual learning on human rights development modes, and help explore more development paths of human rights development. This, as an important topic in this forum, really deserves the attention of all the participants.           

After the forum, while being interviewed by the International Online and China News Agency, Zhang Guobin shared more about the practical experience of the Charhar Institute on carrying out public diplomacy activities since its establishment for promoting regional exchanges and cooperation. 

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Zhang Guobin speaks while being interviewed by the International Online and China News Agency after the forum.

As on the untrue reports of some foreign media on China’s human rights development, Zhang gave more ideas on strengthening public diplomacy and expanding foreign exchanges. He said we should, on the one hand, continue to show the achievements of our human rights development to the outside world, and on the other hand, also learn to invite foreign friends to come to China to see and understand a real China. He noted more importantly, we should learn how to publicize our stories on our human rights development through using the words and thinking ways of foreign people.

Lionel Vairon, Senior Fellow at the Charhar Institute and CEO of the CEC Consulting of Luxembourg, said that there is no distinction of good and bad between different civilizations. We should understand and abide by the particularity and diversity of culture, and define and understand human rights in a better way.   

18.jpg Lionel Vairon, Senior Fellow at the Charhar Institute and CEO of CEC Consulting of Luxembourg, speaks at the forum.

Lionel Vairon also pointed out while receiving an interview of the Xinhua News Agency that since the founding of the New China 70 years ago, China has changed splendidly from a society of general poverty to a well-off society in an all-round way, which is a remarkable achievement. However, many Western media have made a lot of untrue reports on China.

He stressed that the international community cannot ignore China's achievements in the field of human rights and they should think over on this, giving up their ideological misunderstanding, prejudices and accusations. In the future, as on global governance, the international community have to choose between the way of hegemony of big powers and the way of building up a community of shared future of mankind which is a contribution of China to the world with their wisdom, said Vairon .

Liu Cheng, Senior Fellow at the Charhar Institute, Professor and Ph.D. Supervisor of the History Department of Nanjing University, pointed out at the forum that globalization is a general trend and no force can stop it. Today, globalization, which has encountered many difficulties, needs new mechanism and momentum of global governance for further development. The development of modernization also needs to be pushed forward through globalization to bring common prosperity and a bright future for all mankind. 

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Liu Cheng (1st, L), Senior Fellow of the Charhar Institute, Professor and Ph.D. Supervisor of the History Department of Nanjing University, speaks at the forum.

Liu said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a new way to enhance developing countries’ development rights, a new mechanism of global governance and a new engine for driving the development of globalization. 

Li Erping, Research Fellow at the Charhar Institute and Professor of School of Management and Economics of Kunming University of Science and Technology, made a speech on "China's Proposition in the Exchange and Mutual Learning of Human Rights and Civilization" at the forum.

20.jpg Li Erping (C), Research Fellow at the Charhar Institute and Professor of the School of Management and Economics of Kunming University of Science and Technology,  speaks at the forum.

He pointed out that compared with the Western civilization, Chinese civilization has the characteristics of "harmony with existing differences". The human rights paths for different countries in the world cannot be the same. And only through upholding the idea on "harmony with existing differences" can the final goal on human rights be reached by different countries through their different ways.

In terms of religious freedom and belief, Professor Li noted Chinese government does not reject religion just for China is mainly a country of secular society. Chinese civilization is inclusive, both carrying out friendly exchanges with other civilizations in an open and inclusive way and making fair trade with the outside world, so as to cultivate regional development and cultural prosperity. While in exchanging and mutual learning on both human rights theories and practices with other civilizations, the Chinese civilization, as well as its characteristics, has been widely recognized and accepted by many other countries, said Li.        

Before the forum, the organizers of the forum arranged the foreign guests’ visiting of Shanghai and Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province in China. While visiting the urban communities, rural areas, enterprises and public service institutions, the guests made an on-site investigation of the two places’ economic development, people's livelihood and security, urban governance, rural revitalization, cultural protection and other aspects with great enthusiasm.

In the visit, they highly appreciated China's adherence to a mode of people-centered development, and were impressed by China’s great achievements in promoting and protecting human rights. They said China’s experience on human rights development is really worth learning.




Copy Editor: Zhu Yanhong


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