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China achieves 'notable' progress in human rights: UN human rights official
July 23,2014   By:Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Oct. 19, 2010 -- China has made notable achievements in promoting people's economic and social rights, a senior human rights official from the United Nations said at an international forum which started Tuesday.

"China's experience shows that its extraordinary economic performance also came with notable progress in some areas of human rights over the last two decades," said Anders Kompass, in a speech at the opening ceremony of the Third Beijing Forum on Human Rights.

Anders Kompass serves as director of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations (OHCHR).

"China's economic development impressed me the most. The Chinese government has helped its people obtain economic and social rights," he told a Xinhua reporter. "China has set an example for the world."

In a paper he delivered to the organizer of the forum, the China Society for Human Rights Studies, Kompass used facts and figures to showcase the country's progress in protecting people' s rights in judicial affairs.

"There were 3,000 lawyers in China in 1978. Today, there are approximately 150,000 lawyers, making the Chinese legal profession the third-largest in the world," he wrote in the paper.

"By the end of 2009, some 3,274 legal aid organizations and 58,031 legal aid service centers had also been set up at the provincial, city and county levels," the paper noted.

This year's forum is discussing the theme "Human Rights and Development: Rethinking Concepts, Models and Approaches."

"I think a major challenge to China is how to sustain this development," Kompass said.

Ten years after the Millennium Development Goals were established, it had become clear that the objectives of human well-being and dignity for all, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, could not be achieved if development was pursued in isolation from human rights, he said in his opening speech.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which China underwent before the Human Rights Council in 2009 (as did all other UN member states), also provided a framework to integrate human rights with development policies, he said.

"Among the conclusions and recommendations of the UPR endorsed by the government of China, many are relevant to development," Kompass added.

In February 2009, China underwent a review by the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time. Four months later, the UN Human Rights Council verified and approved its report reviewing China's human rights situation.

About 100 senior human rights officials and experts from 28 countries as well as from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and international organizations attended the forum.