Give Play to the Role of NGOs? Create a New Situation for the Cause of Human Rights with Chinese Characteristics
July 12,2019   By:
Give Play to the Role of NGOs? Create a New Situation for the Cause of Human Rights with Chinese Characteristics
HUANG Mengfu*
It’s a great pleasure to meet you in Beijing and solemnly commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. First, on behalf of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks to all the friends who have been committed to support-ing and promoting the development of China’s human rights cause over the years.
The publication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is of great significance in the history of the development of human civilization. As the first international document to systematically propose to respect and protect human rights, it reflects the strong desire and urgent needs of the world’s people to eradicate wars, maintain peace, promote development, and safeguard human rights. It has laid the foundation for promoting international human rights practice and global human rights governance. It has played an active role in safeguarding, improving and developing the human rights situation all over the world.
Over the years, China has always firmly advocated and actively implemented the concept of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has always been regarded as an important principle to respect and safeguard human rights in governing the country. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. The policy of reform and opening-up has profoundly changed China’s destiny, and opened a new chapter in the development of China’s human rights cause. Over the past 40 years, China has always adhered to the Marxist view of human rights. On the basis of inheriting the excellent traditional Chinese culture and summing up historical experi-ence, China has combined the universality of human rights with China’s basic national conditions in an innovative way. It has also prioritized the people’s right to subsistence and the right to development vigorously developed the social economy, promoted the construction of democratic politics, and perfected the legal system. We have focused on improving people’s livelihoods, safeguarding social justice, and promoting the coordinated development of political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights for all the people. We have embarked on a path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics, and made important contributions to enriching the world’s human rights theory and human rights practice.
There is no end to the human rights cause. It is an arduous project to promote and safeguard human rights which is always under construction. The Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core faces the basic national conditions that China is the largest developing country in the world, focuses on the objective reality that outstanding problems such as unbalanced and insufficient development which have not yet been resolved, and insists on the development path of socialist human rights with Chinese characteristics. They have proposed and implemented a series of new concepts, new ideas and new strategies for governing the country, constantly promoted the coordinated development of China’s economy and society, actively participated in global human rights governance, promoted to build a community with shared future for human beings, and actively fulfilled its solemn commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with China’s development achievements.
At present, China has entered the stage of achieving a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. China’s human rights cause has also ushered in an important period of sustained, stable and orderly development. As the only foundation in China engaged in human rights publicity and security cause, we are deeply aware of the broader responsibilities and the challenges we face.
We will continue to unswervingly follow the development path of human rights with Chinese characteristics, and better play an active role in developing and improv-ing China’s human rights cause. There is no one-size-fits-all development pattern in the world, nor is there a fixed development path. At present and in the future, we will fully understand the historical responsibility and sacred mission we shoulder, firmly grasp the opportunities of this important strategic period for development, and un-swervingly enrich our minds and guide our work under the leadership of Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the new era, especially as it contains contemporary China’s Marxist view on human rights. We will deeply inte-grate the historical process of China’s human rights practice, actively respond to the needs of the times and social concerns, and actively participate in the study of the socialist human rights theory system with Chinese characteristics in the new era. We will bring the practice and development achievements of China’s human rights cause in recent years into a theoretical level, promote the establishment of human rights discourse system originating from China and influencing the world, and make our due contributions to the further development of China’s human rights cause.
We will further stay confident in our human rights, and comprehensively improve foreign exchanges and cooperation in human rights field from a non-governmental organization perspective. Practice has proved that the development path and concepts of human rights with Chinese characteristics conform to the basic norms of international human rights. It congeals the excellent traditions of Chinese civilization, embodies the superiority of the socialist system, and is the only way for the healthy development of human rights in China. We will adhere to a publicity policy that attaches equal importance to “going global” and “bringing in.” The government and the people should work together and different parties should coordinate well. We should take the initiative to speak out, in a good manner and with respect. We will continue to publicize the concept and practice of human rights in contemporary China to the international community in an open, confident and inclusive way. In particular, we should clarify the significance of the community of human destiny in promoting global human rights governance. We should participate more broadly and deeply in international events on human rights. We should also give full play to the unique role of NGOs in demonstrating China’s international image of respecting and safeguarding human rights and in creating a good international environment for public opinion.
We will further highlight Chinese characteristics and give full play to the unique advantages of non-governmental organizations. People-to-people exchanges are the basis for enhancing the friendship among people from different countries and promot-ing the development of state-to-state relations. Various non-governmental organizations, including foundations, have become an important force for China’s exchanges and cooperation with other countries. In recent years, we have taken the lead in es-tablishing platforms for people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, and organized institutionalized exchange programs such as the Sino-US Seminar on Judicial and Human Rights, the International symposium on Human Rights and Museum, and the Sino-German Human Rights Development Forum. Moreover, we have also carried out human rights work with Japan in a people-to-people manner, and organized activities related to human rights protection and charity, which can serve as examples and point out direction for other similar activities. By doing so, we aim to spread our ideas on human rights, and advance the development of human rights. The China Foundation for Human Rights Development will continue to play the role of a bridge, and give full play to our unique advantages. We will carry out distinctive, targeted and flexible human rights publicity with, language and manners. We will continue to expand the fields of foreign exchanges, participate deeply and extensively in international exchanges and activities on human rights, and show the international image of China as a country of development and progress.
China’s human rights cause is in a new era and stage full of opportunities, challenges and vigorous development. The China Foundation for Human Rights Development is willing to work with colleagues in relevant ministries of the central government and organizations for human rights overseas publicity to fully support and participate in the development of human rights. We will unswervingly play the unique role of non-governmental organization in promoting the development of human rights in China and the world. We will live up to our commitment and do our utmost to make contributions to creating a new era and writing a new chapter of China’s human rights cause.
(Translated by CHEN Feng)
* HUANG Mengfu ( 黄孟复 ), Vice-Chairman of the 11th CppCC National Committee, Chairman of China Foundation for Human Rights Development. This article selected from Huang Mengfu’s Speech at the Symposium on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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