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Scholars: Diversity of civilizations important for human rights
December 13,2019   By:en.chinagate.cn
Dec.13,2019 -- Scholars who participated in the 2019 South-South Human Rights Forum that was held on Tuesday and Wednesday asserted that diversity is extremely important for the survival of human rights, and human rights should meet national, local, and cultural conditions.
 
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Dec.13,2019 -- Tom Zwart, director of the Cross Cultural Human Rights Center, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and professor of human rights, Utrecht University, Netherlands, in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn.
 
Tom Zwart, director of the Cross Cultural Human Rights Center, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and professor of human rights, Utrecht University, Netherlands, explained in an inclusive interview with China.org.cn that it is very important to maintain diversity and to recognize the importance of diversity. He elaborated: “As President Xi Jinping has said several times, we should strive for harmony, but it should be based on diversity. A very interesting topic which reoccurs every time at the UN level is to what extent human rights should be implemented in a way which fits into local and national circumstances. Diversity is extremely important for the survival of human rights.”

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Dec.13,2019 -- Lionel Vairon, CEO of CEC Consulting in Luxembourg and senior researcher at the Charhar Institute, in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn.
 
Lionel Vairon, CEO of CEC Consulting in Luxembourg and senior researcher at the Charhar Institute, offered his views as well. He stated: “Human rights are based on several things. One is the right to be respected as a culture, as a civilization, or as a religion. Diversity of civilizations is how you can improve human rights globally…while respecting all other cultures, because we cannot go to other countries and say you should do this or that. So diversifying the relations between civilizations is one of the basic human rights—respect.”

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Dec.13,2019 -- Karim Ghezraoui, chief of the Groups in Focus Unit of the Special Procedures Division of the Special Mechanisms Division of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn.
 
Karim Ghezraoui, chief of the Groups in Focus Unit of the Special Procedures Division of the Special Mechanisms Division of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, also mentioned the importance of respect. He declared: “When we talk about civilization, when we talk about interaction between individuals, between civilizations, between member states, one thing...which should come to mind is respect. This is very important. The second point is understanding, understanding the point of view of others. And the third one is that human rights are among the common values that we have among the different civilizations and the different members.” Ghezraoui concluded, “So I think that it is important to have different civilizations, to have diversity, and to have different points of view.”

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Dec.13,2019 -- Dheerujlall Seetulsingh, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Mauritius, in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn.
 
Dheerujlall Seetulsingh, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Mauritius, emphasized the close relationship between civilizations and human rights. He mentioned that they are both concerned with people achieving happiness and wellbeing. Seetulsingh remarked: “When we talk about diversity of civilizations, it doesn’t mean that civilizations are different. It’s just that because countries are situated in different parts of the world, they don’t have the same climate, they don’t have the same natural resources, so the food, the cultures sometimes tend to be different. The way of dressing and developing because of, as I said, climate. So human rights also promote wellbeing...there’s a very close relationship between civilizations and human rights.”

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Dec.13,2019 -- César Landa Arroyo, commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists and former president of the Constitutional Court of Peru, in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn.
 
César Landa Arroyo, commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists and former president of the Constitutional Court of Peru, stressed that all human beings should have equal rights and that they should be universal. He mentioned that rights have existed in different civilizations and regions throughout history, but that they have, of course, varied widely. He noted: “In the past, rights were a privilege of certain powerful people. People who are members of the general public began to gain more control of their governments about 200 years ago though. Everyone should have equal rights, regardless of whether the government in their country is democratic or has a different system. I think that rights can be not just civil and political but also social and economic. They should apply to everyone in the world now.”
 
The 2019 South-South Human Rights Forum was held in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was themed on the “diversity of civilizations and global development of human rights.” Over 300 scholars and officials from more than 80 countries, regions, and international organizations attended the event.
 
(Jin Ling also contributed to this story.)
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