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South countries indispensable in global human rights development
December 12,2017   By:chinahumanrights.org
Dec. 12, 2017 -- The 6th Cross-cultural Human Rights Seminar was held in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province from Dec. 3 to Dec. 6, 2017. 
 “We need to listen to the voices of all countries. If you just embrace the human rights ideas of the North countries, it will be impossible to promote human rights worldwide,” said Tom Zwart, professor of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and director of the Cross-culture Human Right Center of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in his interview to Chinahumanrights. org. 

Dec. 12, 2017 -- Tom Zwart gives an interview to Chinahumanrights. org. Photo/ Jiao Fei 
Zwart said global human rights development cannot do without the participation of South countries. Some African countries have refused to show up on the international stage because they are being neglected. If the voices of South countries are neglected, they will lose confidence.
Unlike politicians, scholars can overcome bureaucratic barriers to help South countries have bigger say in human rights dialogues, said Zwart.
Zwart stressed China’s leading role in global human rights cause. “China has the ability to unite South countries as one. In a meeting held in Geneva, China spoke on behalf of 140 countries. The idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward by President Xi Jinping is very important to the unity of South countries,” said Zwart. 
Zwart suggested that South countries should unite as one on human rights issues and gradually include their human rights philosophies into the global human rights governance.  
He believed that the accusations from western countries about China’s human rights situations are attributed to the huge difference between the East and the West. To narrow the gap, the two sides should strengthen communication on the basis of mutual respect. 
The seminar was co-sponsored by the Human Right Research Center of Shandong University and the Cross-culture Human Right Center of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

By: Shi Dongdong
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