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Mao Junxiang: Universal Periodic Review promotes equal human rights discourse
April 25,2018   By:chinahumanrights.org

April 25, 2018 -- Mao Junxiang, executive director of Human Rights Research Center and deputy dean of Law School, Central South University (Photo by Shi Dongdong)
April 25, 2018 -- A seminar on the creation of China's human rights discourse in the new era was held on April 12 in Changsha, capital city of Hunan province. During the seminar, Mao Junxiang gave interview to Chinahumanrights.org.
Chinahumanrights.org: Please give us an introduction of the two mechanisms of human rights issues: the country-specific resolutions and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
Prof. Mao: After the cold war, the UN Commission on Human Rights was manipulated by western countries to review human rights record of some specific developing countries including China. The selective review ignored China’s improvement in human rights protection and adopted a double standard to China, which was extremely apt to cause political confrontation. 
In response to the voices of developing countries, the UN Human Rights Council established the UPR process which involves a universal and regular review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The mechanism provides an opportunity for developing countries to review human rights record of developed countries, alleviates contradictions between developing and developed world, and help developing countries to get an equal say in the review process.
Chinahumanrights.org: What are these two mechanisms are coordinated and what are their specific contents and procedures?
Prof. Mao: The two mechanisms are co-existing now. China proposed to remove the country-specific resolutions in 2006 but voted down by western countries.
With the efforts of developing countries, the UPR was established to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. Every member state must submit its human rights record to the UN Human Rights Council and accept deliberation every four years. It is an open and cooperative mechanism.
Chinahumanrights.org: Is there a primary and secondary relation between the two mechanisms? Is it possible that the UN Human Rights Council will abolish the country-specific resolutions in future?
Prof. Mao: There is no systematic coordination mechanism between the two mechanisms. However, compared with the country-specific resolutions, the UPR conforms to the integral requirement of building a just and reasonable international human rights governance system.
It will take some time to abolish the country-specific resolutions. But if the mechanism can be developed on the base of objectivity, non-selectivity and depoliticization, it may become an assisted way to monitor human rights records of specific countries.

By: Shi Dongdong
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