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Xiangba Pingcuo's speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Forum on Human Rights
September 19,2018   By:en.humanrights.cn
Speech at the Opening Ceremony
of the 2018 Beijing Forum on Human Rights
(September 18, 2018)
Xiangba Pingcuo


Sept. 19, 2018 -- The 2018 Beijing Forum on Human Rights is held in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 18, 2018. Xiangba Pingcuo, president of the CSHRS made a speech at the opening ceremony.
Your Excellency Minister Huang Kunming,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning!
The 2018 Beijing Forum on Human Rights starts on this beautiful autumn day. On behalf of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the convening of the forum, and my sincere welcome to the guests present from home and abroad.
The theme of this forum, “Poverty Elimination: Seeking Common Development to Build a Community of Shared Future for Human Beings” is of important practical significance. As President Xi Jinping points out, “To eradicate poverty has been the ideal that humankind pursues since ancient times; it is the baisc right of all peoples as they strive for a better life.” Poverty is a worldwide phenomenon, a development problem that the international community faces together. The first of the 17 goals outlined by the United Nations in the The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is “eliminating all forms of poverty throughout the world”. The widespread existence of poverty has seriously hampered the full realization and enjoyment of human rights. Mitigating and eradicating poverty is an important part of human rights protection. In poverty, people often fail to guarantee even the most basic living needs, let alone safe food, housing, drinking water, basic medical services, and educational opportunities, still less defending personal dignity and exercising varoius civil rights and political rights to achieve one’s own development. The eradication of poverty is a systematic social project that requires the coordinated efforts to guarantee and realize the economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.
Eliminating poverty, improving people’s livelihood and achieving common prosperity are the essential requirements of socialism and an important mission of the Communist Party of China. In the past 40 years of reform and opening up, the CPC and the Chinese government have always born the basic national conditions in mind, put the people’s rights to life and development in the first place, committed themselves to poverty alleviation, and embarked on a path of poverty alleviation with Chinese characteristics in our exploration and practice. With a strong sense of mission and responsibility as a political leader, Presidnet Xi Jinping has committed himself to poverty eradication. He stresses that “In our way towards a society free from poverty, no poor family or people should be left behind.” The number of rural poor in China has decreased from 770 million in 1978 to 30.46 million at the end of 2017, lifting over 700 million people out of poverty. The incidence of poverty has dropped from 97.5% to 3.1%, contributing more than 70% of the world’s poverty reduction. China has the biggest number of people out of poverty in the world. We are also the first to complete the UN Millennium Development Goals.
While China’s poverty alleviation has written a glorious chapter in the human history of poverty eradication, the Chinese government is also clearly aware that the decisive battle against poverty is still severe. Regarding the general task, in the next three years, there are still about 30 million rural poor in China who need to get rid of poverty. The 19th National Congress of the CPC clearly identifies poverty elimination as one of the three major decisive battles that must be won in order to build a well-off society in an all-round way, and made new plans in this regard. Last month, China just issued the “Guiding Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Winning the Three-Year Fight Against Poverty.” We will resolutely win the fight against poverty, and ensure that the rural poor will be lifted out of poverty under the current Chinese standards by 2020, that all the poverty-stricken counties will shake off poverty, and that all poor people and regions will enter an all-round moderately prosperous society together with the rest of China. This is a solemn commitment of the CPC. It is a great cause with great significance to the entire human race.
China’s poverty reduction actions are also an important manifestation of the Chinese government’s commitment to fulfilling the UN Millennium Development Goals as well as its global obligations to protect human rights. China’s poverty alleviation practice and the road to poverty alleviation with Chinese characteristics are enriched with human rights concepts.
First, we are oriented by the protection of human rights in terms of development goals. The Chinese government has always placed the protection of the people’s rights to life and development in the first place, so as to achieve the all-round development of people. We adhere to the principle that all the rights are inextricably linked. Through the implementation of poverty alleviation in industries, education, health, and ecological environment, guarantee of minimum living security, and promotion of political participation of the poor, we have adopted inter-connected measures in the areas of resource allocation, infrastructure construction, policy support, industry development, ecological protection, capacity improvement, and social security. Priority is given to the comprehensive protection of the poor’s rights to life, development, education, health, social security, and political participation. Thus, we have created a positive situation in which poverty reduction and human rights protection are promoted in a coordinated manner.
Second, we give full play to the internal motivation of the people as the central subject of development. The power of the people is the basis for poverty eradication. In poverty alleviation, China highly respects the poor people’s status as the central subject. We stress the importance of enabling the poor to have the ability to help themselves while offering them help. And we never forget to help build their ambitions and strengthen their education in the process of poverty alleviation. We fully tap the potential and advantages of the people in difficulty, mobilize their enthusiasm, initiative and creativity, cultivate their skills to promote production and do business, and encourage and guide them to achieve poverty alleviation through self-reliance and hard work, so that poverty reduction can be realized through the endogenous power of the people.
Third, we follow a fair and equitable value regarding the direction of development. China closely focuses on the contradiction between the people’s growing needs for a better life and the unbalanced and insufficient development in the new era. Efforts have been made to address the problem of unbalanced and insufficient development with rural poverty alleviation and development at the center; fairness in terms of rights, opportunities and rules in the process of development have been guaranteed with priority given to the protection and improvement of people’s livelihood. We will continuously strengthen the rule of law in the protection of human rights, and guarantee the equal participation and equal development of all the people, so that the Chinese people can share the fruits of reform and development and acheive common prosperity.
Fourth, we pay attention to the adjustment and innovation of institutional mechanisms concerning the development path. In the process of poverty alleviation, China focuses on its basic national conditions, comprehensively adopts various methods such as legislation, planning, and policies, and combines general preferential policies and special preferential policies. A series of poverty alleviation policies have been introduced, covering the areas of industrial development, employment assistance, educational resources investment, health care system reform, environmental and ecological protection, minimum living security, and coordinated development of the eastern and western regions. We pay attention to innovative institutional arrangements. We have adjusted mechanisms for social interest distribution, so as to promote the overall and coordinated development of poverty alleviation and social development.
Poverty eradication, human rights and common development are the proper meanings of the community of shared future for mankind, as well as the beautiful vision portrayed in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In response to the challenges today, including the prominent instability and uncertainties of the world, the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the continued spread of non-traditional security threats, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the important concept of building a community of shared future for mankind, calling on all countries to work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world featured by lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. Although the national governments bear the primary responsibilities for poverty alleviation, the international community also needs to help each other and carry out international cooperation. Efforts should be made to adopt various measures to maintain international and regional peace, eliminate all kinds of obstacles restricting development all around the world, and build a community of shared future for mankind to achieve common development and prosperity.
The Beijing Forum on Human Rights has set up a good platform for countries to exchange experiences on poverty reduction, explore ways to get rid of poverty, and improve the international development environment. I hope that everyone can talk freely, learn from each other, reach consensus, and thoroughly summarize the successful experience of poverty reduction actions in China and around the world, and use them to guide the international community’s poverty reduction actions and human rights protection, and realize the beautiful vision of “everyone shares the fruits of development, everyone fully enjoys human rights, and realize the all-round development of people.”
I wish this forum a complete success! Thank you!
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