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International Symposium on “World Human Rights Toward the 21st Century”
July 21,2014   By:China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS)

The day, December 10, 1998, was the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To commemorate the naissance of this historic document, the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the United Nations Association of China co-sponsored the International Symposium on “World Human Rights Toward the 21st Century” in Beijing on October 20—21, 1998. It is the first international human rights symposium initiated by the Chinese academia and a high-level multilateral human rights dialogue in China at the historical juncture to the next century as well. More than 80 experts and scholars from China and 26 other Asian, African, Latin American, European and North American countries participated in the symposium. It was a dialogue on Human Rights throughout the world.

Qian Qichen, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, gave an important speech on the opening ceremony. He actively appraised the historic status and function of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and elaborated China’s basic stand on human rights from the high plane orienting toward the 21st century. Chairing the opening ceremony, Zhu Muzhi, President of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, outlined the new situation and new problems that current universal human rights were faced with, as well as the necessity of exploring new theories and new perspectives. Giving a speech on the closing ceremony, Zhao Qizheng, Minister of the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, introduced the historic changes of China’s human rights situation and the prospect of its trans-century development. Chairing the closing ceremony, Xie Qimei, President of the United Nations Association of China, summarized the symposium and its achievements.

During the two-day meeting, participating experts and scholars both at home and abroad conducted lively, friendly and open-style discussion revolving round the three issues of “the status and function of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, “Human Rights and Development” and “Opportunities and Challenges with Universal Human Rights in the 21st Century”. They fully exchanged experiences and opinions, explored ways to solve universal human rights problems. The symposium collected about 50 pieces of thesises, speeches and outlines for speeches written by experts and scholars both at home and abroad, many of whom believed the symposium a great success.

By: Dong Yunhu

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