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Development of the Principle of International Solidarity and the Contribution of China
September 30,2020   By:CSHRS
Development of the Principle of International Solidarity and the Contribution of China
 
Wu Wenyang *

Abstract: International solidarity is a fundamental value upheld by the united nations as well as a principle of international law recognized by independent experts on human rights. The values and principle of international solidarity have played an important role in promoting human rights, improving the international economic order, driving sustainable development, and tackling global challenges, and they have gained wide support from most developing countries. As unilateralism and protectionism continue to spread, global governance and multilateral cooperation are under threat. Against this background, the united nations calls for the spirit and principle of in-ternational solidarity and the promotion of solidarity rights, including the right to development, and encourages the countries to safeguard global public health through joint actions and to avoid discrimination. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings proposed by China embodies international cooperation, mutual learning and exchanges, and collective efforts to promote and safeguard human rights. It has made a positive contribution to enriching and boosting the principle of international solidarity and demonstrated the wisdom and responsibility of China as a major country.

Keywords: Principle of international solidarity  · solidarity rights · right to development  · community with a shared future for human beings  · global public health security

The world today faces a severe threat to global public health security. Non-traditional security issues such as development deficits, climate change and refugee crises are becoming graver and need to be tackled jointly by all countries. President Xi Jinping has pointed out that in the fight against major infectious diseases, “At such a moment, it is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response. We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one can win the battle against such a major infectious disease.” 1 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also said that “more than ever, we need solidarity” in the face of the global pandemic, and that “global solidarity is not only a moral responsibility, but also in the interest of all.” 2 At the same time, however, unilateralism, protectionism, populism and great-power confrontation are prevalent. The arguments that a clash of civilizations and war between great powers is inevitable have been revived. Conflicts among different countries, civilizations and nations still exist and are even displaying a trend of escalation. Against this background, the spirit and principle of international solidarity advocated by the United Nations are particularly important.

The vision of a community with a shared future for human beings put forward by China provides a timely plan to actively respond to global challenges and jointly promote and protect human rights. It calls on the international community to strive for a world of lasting peace, a world of common security for all, a world of common prosperity, an open and inclusive world and a clean and beautiful world through dialogue and consultation, co-construction and sharing, and win-win cooperation. It shows that “China’s human rights aspiration is for our country to be strong and prosperous, for our people to enjoy happiness and for the world to have peace, development and win-win cooperation. Only concerted efforts can “promote and protect human rights worldwide.” 3 Under this concept, while improving its own level of human rights development, China has taken an active part in global governance, promoted South-South cooperation and provided foreign aid. This fully demonstrates China’s willingness and commitment to joint development with other countries and cooperation to address global threats and challenges. China has set a good example by promoting and upholding the spirit and principle of international solidarity, and China will also benefit from a united and supportive international community.

I. The Meaning and Development of International Solidarity

International solidarity is conducive to the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedom, as well as a fundamental value of international relations, embodied in numerous international documents, including those of the United Nations and other international organizations and groups. The un millennium Declaration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both recognize the important role of international solidarity in promoting global development and improving global governance. The United Nations has also set up an Independent Expert on International Solidarity to systematically study the relationship between international solidarity and human rights, promote issues related to international solidarity, and respond to the need for interdependence and the common development of all parties in the context of globalization. The independent expert believes that international solidarity constitutes a principle of international law based on and according to respect for, protection of and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

A. Concept and basis of international solidarity

International solidarity embraces the interests and objectives and social cohesion of all countries in order to maintain the order and survival of the international community and to achieve the collective goals that require international cooperation and joint action, on the basis of the interdependence of states and other international actors. 4 International cooperation is a core requirement for international solidarity and the means to achieve collective goals and safeguard common interests. International solidarity is not only solidarity among states, but also solidarity among other different international actors. The United Nations work reports on international solidarity note that solidarity, broadly defined, refers to the convergence of responsibilities and interests among individuals, groups, nations and states, with non-state actors such as United Nations bodies, non-governmental organizations and individuals playing important roles. 5

Many international documents provide the basis for international solidarity and cooperation. According to Article l of the Charter of the united nations, “the Purposes of the United Nations are: to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace; to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” This fully demonstrates the importance of international solidarity, which is not only a means to advance the work of the United Nations, but also an objective in its own right. In 1970, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on principles of International Law concerning Friendly relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the united nations. One of the seven principles listed is the obligation of states to cooperate with each other in accordance with the UN Charter. According to this principle, all countries, regardless of their differences in politics, economy and social systems, have the obligation to cooperate with other countries in accordance with the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in another state’s affairs in order to maintain international peace and security, and promote economic growth throughout the world, especially in developing countries. 6

International solidarity also permeates international conventions and declarations, especially the core UN human rights conventions and other relevant human rights documents. According to Article 22 of the universal Declaration of Human rights, the realization of economic, social and cultural rights depends on international cooperation. Article 2 of the International Covenant on economic, Social and Cultural rights obliges States parties to “undertake to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation... with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means.” Article 4 of the Convention on the rights of the Child provides that States parties shall take measures within the framework of international cooperation to ensure the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. Article 32 of the Convention on the rights of persons with Disabilities states that “States parties recognize the importance of international cooperation and its promotion, in support of national efforts for the realization of the purpose and objectives of the present Convention, and will undertake appropriate and effective measures in this regard, between and among States.” Taking into account the international scope and nature of the refugee problem, the 1951 refugee Convention relating to the Status of Refugees states that only international cooperation can solve the problems and that national authorities have an obligation to cooperate with the United Nations. 7 Articles 3 and 4 of the Declaration on the right to Development call for the responsibility of States parties to create international conditions conducive to the realization of the right to development and the obligation to cooperate with each other, and collectively to take steps to formulate international development policies. The Vienna Declaration and programme of Action stresses that international cooperation is essential for the full realization of the purposes of the United Nations, and that the international community should promote effective international cooperation to realize the right to development and remove the obstacles to development. 8

In addition, international solidarity is also an important principle adhered to by the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement and other inter-state groups, and it has been recognized by developing countries. At the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in l964, 77 developing countries issued a joint declaration, pointing out that in the face of the fundamental problems of development, there should be solidarity among developing countries derived from the common interest of all countries in seeking new policies in the field of international trade and development. Such solidarity has withstood the tests of the times and become more powerful. Solidarity is also a major principle of the Non-Aligned Movement. At its inception, the Non-Aligned Movement represented the common voice of developing countries in safeguarding sovereignty, opposing colonialism and establishing a new international economic order. Some scholars point out that the Non-Aligned Movement was founded on the solidarity of the countries of the South and the spirit of solidarity inherited from the Bandung Conference. Developing countries are united by their colonial history and the common challenges they face in the socio-economic field. The primary objective of the Non-Aligned Movement is to promote South-South cooperation, and the group can even be renamed the “Solidarity Movement.” 9 With the development of the times, in addition to promoting solidarity among the members of the Group, the Non-Aligned Movement has also called for “global solidarity” in response to challenges, regarding solidarity as an essential component of relations between states in different circumstances. 10

Therefore, whether it is to maintain international peace and security, promote the protection of human rights, or to promote global development, international solidarity holds the key to ensuring the realization of global goals and issues. International solidarity also reflects the spirit of developing countries to jointly meet challenges and the need for common prosperity. As a founding member of the United Nations, and a State party to numerous international conventions and declarations, China has been actively fulfilling its international obligations, observing the principle of international solidarity and carrying forward the spirit of international solidarity. China maintains close cooperation with the G77, and is also an observer of the Non-Aligned Movement. As the largest developing country in the world, China has promoted win-win cooperation among developing countries through practical actions and made positive contributions to the practice of international solidarity.

B. International solidarity: from value to principle

The development of international solidarity is closely linked to issues such as safeguarding economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development, improving the international economic order, promoting balanced development and eradicating poverty. As the international community gradually recognizes and attaches importance to the concept of international solidarity, it is not only regarded as an important value and spirit, but also as a principle of international law, which has been vigorously promoted by the United Nations.

International solidarity is not only a principle but an important value that contributes to common goals. At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, the heads of states and governments discussed issues such as how to build a peaceful, prosperous and just world, realize the right to development, eradicate poverty and maintain peace. The un millennium Declaration was finally adopted at the meeting, which set out the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that the world was to achieve by 2015. The Declaration pointed out that globalization, despite its considerable benefits, was unevenly distributed and posed great challenges to developing countries. All countries in the world must share the responsibilities to manage global economy, promote social development and respond to threats to international peace and security. The UN millennium Declaration, listed solidarity as the fundamental value essential for international relations in the 21 st century, and called on countries to “address global chal-lenges in a manner that equitably bears the costs and burdens, in accordance with the fundamental principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer negative impact or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most.” 11

In 2005, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the First United Nations Decade for the eradication of poverty (1997-2006), which recalled the commitment of the Millennium Development Goals to poverty eradication and reaffirmed the need to help developing countries better integrate into the world economy through reform and other measures, so as to share the benefits of globalization in an equitable manner. The Resolution reaffirmed that international solidarity had been identified as a fundamental and universal value in relations between peoples, and declared that December 20 would be designated as the annual International Human Solidarity Day. 12 After the end of the Millennium Development Goals, the process of international solidarity did not stop. In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Agenda noted that ensuring its implementation would require the revitalization of global partnerships, which would promote a high level of global participation. It also called for “a spirit of global solidarity, especially with the poorest and the most vulnerable.” 13 It is only in the spirit of international solidarity and respect for the principle of international solidarity that the Sustainable Development Agenda can be implemented.

The United Nations Independent Expert on International Solidarity also notes that international solidarity can already be considered to be a legal principle. Amid growing worldwide attention to international solidarity, the United Nations Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights adopted a resolution in 2003, assigning Rui Baltazar Dos Santos Alves to conduct a preliminary study and submit a report on international solidarity. 14 The report affirmed the importance of international solidarity, but noted the lack of in-depth analysis and research in this area. The report also recommended that the subcommittee “promote an understanding of international solidarity and make it effective” in carrying out its work. 15 In 2005, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution, stressing the importance of international solidarity in meeting world challenges and realizing the economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development of developing countries. 16 It decided to establish an Independent Expert on International Solidarity for a three-year term to carry out studies on international solidarity, and it reported on progress in that field to the Commission on Human Rights, which is now the Human Rights Council.

The establishment of the Independent Expert on International Solidarity has enabled the issue to be studied systematically at the United Nations level, and gained more recognition from the international community. In 2009, the Independent Expert twice sent questionnaires to member states, UN departments and bodies, specialized bodies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as the head of the Council's special procedures, in order to learn about the development of international solidarity. The questionnaire included views on international solidarity as a principle of international law, as well as views on eliminating poverty, promoting the right to development and narrowing the gap between developing and developed countries through international solidarity. 17 Almost all the respondents affirmed that international solidarity was a legal principle, and some even indicated that it was a separate right. 18 The findings reaffirmed the importance of international solidarity, in particular its positive role in addressing issues such as poverty and hunger, natural disasters, terrorism, armed conflicts and the North-South gap. The Independent Expert pointed out that international solidarity has been enshrined in various treaties and provisions, is supported by hard and soft laws and upheld by policies and practices. Under the provisions of the Statute of the International Court of Justice on the sources of international law, international solidarity can be regarded as a legal principle and, in some areas, as customary law under development. 19
 
II. The Role and value of the Principle of International Solidarity
 
The principle of international solidarity is also the key to the further promotion and implementation of solidarity rights. Solidarity rights bear on the well-being of people all over the world and need to be jointly realized by the international community in the spirit of international solidarity and in accordance with the principle of international solidarity. Besides, the principle of international solidarity requires states to take collective measures in response to crises such as infectious diseases, natural disasters and armed conflicts. In the face of the spread of unilateralism and protectionism as well as the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the value of international solidarity has become increasingly prominent. Only through solidarity-based cooperation among all stakeholders can we jointly address the global challenges and promote balanced global development. Finger-pointing and stigmatization can only hamper the process of responding to the crisis, which is detrimental to the respect, protection and realization of human rights.
 
A. The principle of international solidarity promotes solidarity rights
 
Solidarity rights are collective human rights. Also known as the third-generation human rights, solidarity rights include the right to development, which is considered as the primary fundamental human rights in China. 20 Solidarity rights have always been a major area of concern to the Independent Expert on International Solidarity. The first independent expert Rudi Muhammad Rizki pointed out in his first report that the solidarity rights stem from the consensus that countries need to work together to address problems or achieve results, which is the developing countries’ demand for more equitable global distribution of information, facilities, opportunities and resources, as well as their desire to further implement human rights. 21

Solidarity rights were first articulated in 1997 by Karel Vasak, the first person to propose the third generation of human rights. 22 Vasak pointed out that the international community should pay attention to rights such as the right to development, the right to enjoy a healthy environment and the right to peace, which embody collective values and can only be achieved through multi-party solidarity. 23 In 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convened an expert meeting and stated that “the right to development, the right to peace and other rights should be considered as special rights... Such new type of rights could be called ‘solidarity rights’.” 24 Some scholars point out that the solidarity rights, or third-generation human rights, are the need of the times and the people of the Third World, and should be recognized and supported by the international community. 25

The right to development has become an internationally recognized fundamental human right. States have the obligation to take collective steps to realize this right and carry out effective international cooperation. 26 Resolution 4 (XXXIII) of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which in 1977 was the first to incorporate solidarity rights, affirmed the great significance of the right to development. 27 The Declaration on the right to Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 4, 1986, states that “the right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development.” 28 At the Second World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, delegates of 171 countries unanimously adopted the Vienna Declaration and programme of Action, reaffirming that “the right to development is a universal and inalienable right as well as an integral part of fundamental human rights,” and calling on the international community to realize the right to development through effective international cooperation. 29 The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, referring to the Declaration on the right to Development, recognized that the right to development should be respected as a human right. 30 At its 42 nd session in 2019, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the right to development jointly submitted by the Non-Aligned Movement and China. The resolution stressed the urgent need for the realization of the right to development for all, and recognized that the international community should promote effective international cooperation, in particular partnerships for global development, in order to realize the right to development and remove obstacles to devel-
opment. 31

At the same time, other solidarity rights are gradually recognized by the international community. In 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the right of peoples to peace, declaring that “everyone has the right to peace,” and noting that “international and national institutions for peace education should be enhanced, and the spirit of tolerance, dialogue, cooperation and solidarity among all peoples should be strengthened.” 32 There has also been a growing voice for recognition of the right to enjoy a healthy environment. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in May 2018 to study and discuss the possible Towards a Global pact for the environment. 33 The International Union for Conservation of Nature and other compact promoters believe that the ultimate goal of the Pact is to reach an international convention with legal force that establishes the environmental right as a human right. 34 On World Environment Day 2018, the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment issued a joint statement, announcing that the historic moment has come for the United Nations to recognize the environmental right at the global level. 35 The formation and development of solidarity rights reflect the call for a prosperous and peaceful world with a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable natural environment. All the international documents on these rights emphasize the importance of international solidarity.
 
B. The principle of international solidarity is conducive to the response to global crises
 
The principle of international solidarity is particularly important when the world is being buffeted by challenges in fields such as public health security. International solidarity includes preventive solidarity, international cooperation and reactive solidarity, which helps countries take collective measures to respond to emergencies and help each other while fulfilling their international obligations. 36 Preventive solidarity requires states to guarantee human rights through full respect for and observance of existing obligations under international law. International cooperation requires that countries with the capacity and resources help those lacking them, individually or collectively, to better realize human rights. Reactive solidarity requires that, when faced with the impact of crises such as infectious diseases, natural disasters and armed conflicts, countries should take collective actions to respond, so as to reduce human suffering and minimize losses. These contents show that the principle of international solidarity is a principle to maintain the international order and the survival of the international community, which is based on the respect, protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms. 37
 
First, preventive solidarity helps states to safeguard human rights in accordance with their international obligations, and to guard against discrimination and stigmatization. In the face of the global pandemic, UN bodies have called on all countries to abide by international conventions, protect human rights and carry out international cooperation. During the pandemic, although the states parties may, in accordance with the provisions of relevant human rights conventions, impose lawful and necessary restrictions on the rights in some of the conventions or seek relief from their obligations as required by relevant provisions, there is still a need to actively fulfill international obligations and not to give rise to discrimination based on race, color, sex, language, religion or social class. Ten UN treaty bodies have spoken with one voice, calling on governments to protect human rights, including the rights to life and health, while responding to the pandemic. Special care should be given to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the disabled and those living in poverty. Racial discrimination and xenophobia should be put to an end, and the fear and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic should not lead to buck-passing and prejudice. 38 However, discrimination and even violence against ethnic Chinese and Asians still occur in some countries and regions. People of minority races or in poverty cannot have equal access to testing and treatment. The elderly and people with disabilities do not get the help they deserve, and they are even further marginalized and abandoned. On March 20, 2020, US President Donald Trump publicly called the novel coronavirus “China virus” in a news conference, which surprised the public. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism criticized the use of such discriminatory expressions by U.S. officials, including the President, saying that such irresponsible remarks would lead to bad consequences. Chinese and Asians have already faced attacks in the form of hate speech, denial of service and violence. “Political responses to the COVID-19 outbreak that stigmatize, exclude, and make certain populations more vulnerable to violence are inexcusable, immoral, and inconsistent with States’ international human rights law obligations.” 39

Second, reactive solidarity and international cooperation can help countries develop and take collective measures to tide over the crisis. International solidarity holds the key to meeting and overcoming existing and future global challenges, achieving international development goals and protecting human rights. 40 In the face of the pan-demic, the United Nations calls on all countries to unite and take rapid and effective collective measures, including working with the World Health Organization to control the spread of the pandemic, reduce the social and economic impact of the pandemic, and help countries rebuild and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 41 In addition to documents such as the CoVID-19 Strategy update through which the WHO provides information and guidance for countries to jointly respond to the pandemic, 42 UN specialized bodies such as UNESCO and the International Labor Organization have also provided guidelines and exchange platforms in their respective fields to carry out solidarity cooperation and safeguard human rights. Many countries have responded positively, exchanging experience and making appropriate plans on how to guarantee equal access to education through distance education and help workers cope with the impact of the pandemic and economic recession on the labor market. In the meantime, China has received help from the international community, and as the Chinese people contained the pandemic at home, it has extended assistance to other countries. China has actively participated in and cooperated with the work of UN bodies and organizations. It has also provided humanitarian assistance to many countries and shared its experience in fighting the pandemic through sending experts and teleconferencing and other means. This fully demonstrates that China is ready to join hands with other countries to fight the pandemic, build consensus, unite partners and provide assistance within its capacity, and live up to the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings. 43 In the face of global challenges, only by following the principle of international solidarity, actively reaching consensuses and taking collective measures can we overcome the difficulties as soon as possible.

III. A Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings: China’s vision for International Solidarity

The vision of building a community with a shared future for human beings is not only the guiding principle of China’s foreign policy, but also China’s contribution to promoting international solidarity and cooperation to jointly respond to global threats and challenges, promote the development of international human rights cause, and achieve win-win results and a shared future. By building a community with a shared future for human beings, the Chinese people and the people of other countries will benefit and realize their dreams of a happy life.

First, the emphasis of the community with a shared future for human beings on the status of “people” is consistent with the values and principles of international solidarity that attach importance to people; it is also in line with its tendency that development is a collective human rights. The community with a shared future for human beings highlights the dominant position of people. Global justice in the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings is the global justice of mankind. 44 This concept reflects China’s commitment not only to promoting and realizing the happiness of the Chinese people, but also to making contributions to the promotion of the sustainable and healthy development of human rights in the international community and the universal enjoyment of human rights. Similarly, the objective of international solidarity is to create an environment conducive to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, a concept considered as a prerequisite for the achievement of “human dignity, or the foundation of all human rights.” 45 Promoted by the United Nations, international solidarity has emerged in the Draft Declaration on the right to International Solidarity not only as a spirit and principle, but also as a collective human right. This declaration shows that “international” solidarity is no longer limited to states; it focuses on how to promote human rights through cooperation among all parties. “Individuals and people of all countries have the right to claim the right to international solidarity.” “States and some non-state actors have the primary duty to realize the right to international solidarity.” “Global partnerships for the promotion of human rights and sustainable development must be truly global, not just international.” 46

Second, the vision of community with a shared future for human beings calls for unity, coordination and win-win cooperation. When President Xi Jinping expounded on the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings at the United Nations, he said that “In today’s world, all countries are interdependent and share a common future.” 47 In the face of global challenges, the vision of a community with a shared future for human beings calls for strengthening cooperation, abandoning confrontation, building partnerships and upholding the vision of global governance based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. China attaches importance to bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and stresses the constructive role of international and regional organizations and multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Group of 20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Similarly, international solidarity also emphasizes the interdependence between states and other international actors, the achievement of collective goals through international cooperation, and the promotion and protection of human rights on a global scale through multilateral efforts.

Third, the vision of a community with a shared future for human beings adheres to the principle of sovereign equality. President Xi Jinping pointed out that sovereign equality has been the most important norm governing state-to-state relations for hundreds of years. It is also the primary principle adhered to by the United Nations and all other bodies and organizations. This principle should become the basic principle to build a global community with shared future. 48 Sovereign equality is also an important part of international solidarity. The UN Independent Expert on International Solidarity says that international solidarity encompasses sovereign equality and friendly relations between nations. 49 The 2018 UN Human Rights Council resolution on international solidarity once again stressed that international cooperation “should be based on mutual respect, fully respecting the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the sovereignty of states, while taking into account their priorities.” 50 It can be seen that solidarity cooperation in any field is based on the principle of sovereign equality, and no one should interfere in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of human rights.

Fourth, the vision of a community with a shared future for humanity promotes balanced global development and narrows the North-South gap. In the face of problems such as development imbalances, governance deficits, digital gaps, and equity shortfalls in the process of economic globalization, the vision of a community with a shared future for human beings calls on all parties to follow the trend of the times of win-win cooperation and build an equitable pattern of common development. This vision advocates “building a balanced and inclusive development mode”; and calls on countries to “support an open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, and build an open world economy”; and “promote open, inclusive, balanced and win-win economic globalization that benefits all.” 51 The main objective of international solidarity is to promote balanced global development, drive the realization of solidarity rights and create an enabling environment for “the prevention and elimination of asymmetry and inequality inside and between states, as well as the structural impediments and factors that lead to chronic poverty and global inequality.” 52

Fifth, the vision of a community with a shared future for human beings respects the diversity of civilizations and promotes mutual learning among cultures. There is no superiority among civilizations. It is a misunderstanding and disastrous in practice to think that one’s own race and civilization are superior to others and that be determined to transform or even replace other civilizations. 53 Similarly, the Independent Expert on International Solidarity stresses that the inclusiveness of diversity is an integral part of international solidarity, and that the draft on solidarity the rights to solidarity should take into account respect for cultural diversity. 54 In 2018, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on international cooperation, reaffirming that cultural diversity should be the cause of solidarity, not fragmentation. 55 The resolution encouraged dialogue between cultures and civilizations, urged the international community to build a harmonious multicultural world, rejected negative theories such as xenophobia, and stated that unilateralism can only hamper the well-being of people.

With its vision of a community with a shared future for human beings, China is actively promoting the practice of international solidarity at the global and regional levels, injecting new vitality into the values and principle of international solidarity. At the 72 nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, “building a commu-nity with a shared future for human beings” was written into the resolutions on “Further Practical Measures for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” and “No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space” by the Disarmament and International Security (First Committee). This has further promoted international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. 56 In 2018, China, 53 African countries and the African Union Commission unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration — Toward an even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future. The declaration states that “growing interconnection and interdependence among countries has made collaboration the only viable way to effectively address terrorism, conflicts, wealth gaps, poverty, climate change, land degradation, food insecurity, major communicable diseases, protectionism and other global challenges.” China is ready to “strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries,” accommodate each other’s concerns, and continuously build and enrich the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. 57 In his speech at the 19 th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2019, Xi Jinping stressed the importance of “solidarity cooperation” and “solidarity and mutual trust.” He said that we should seek strength from solidarity cooperation so as to jointly build a closer SCO community with shared future, and that we should make the SCO an example of solidarity and mutual trust. 58

The vision of a community with a shared future for human beings has enriched the spirit and principle of international solidarity. It supports people of all countries in their pursuit of human rights and fundamental freedoms and their pursuit of a happy life, and will greatly enhance the voice of developing countries in the field of human rights. China adheres to the path of peaceful development, gives top priority to the rights to life and development, actively implements the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and works with other countries and international organizations and institutions to build a community with a shared future for human beings and address global challenges. This is undoubtedly the best way to interpret and implement international solidarity. At the same time, China can also share with the world the wisdom of embodied in its vision of a community with a shared future for human beings by participating in UN issues related to international solidarity, such as responding to the questionnaire of the Independent Expert on International Solidarity and participating in the formulation of the Draft Declaration on the right to International Solidarity. During visits to different countries, the Independent Expert on International Solidarity will examine and document national preventive solidarity in such areas as poverty alleviation, safeguarding the right to food, water and sanitation, and reactive solidarity in such areas as medical assistance and natural disaster response, as well as international cooperation in which countries participate and benefit. China can showcase its experience and achievements in these areas through interaction with independent experts. China’s targeted poverty alleviation and measures to protect the rights to life and health have played a positive role in the global fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak. The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative has provided assistance and support to the developing and least developed countries. All these have made outstanding contributions to promoting the spirit of international solidarity and the principle of international solidarity. Therefore, China is an important actor, advocate and driving force for international solidarity.

IV. Conclusion

To summarize, the world today is in urgent need of international solidarity. As an indispensable spirit of the international community in the context of globalization, a fundamental and universal value in relations among peoples, a principle of international law recognized by the UN Independent Experts on Human Rights and Interna-tional Solidarity, international solidarity calls on states to not only fulfill existing international human rights obligations, but also to take collective measures to help each other in responding to challenges such as public health threats and to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms together. In the long run, the principle of international solidarity will effectively promote solidarity rights, including the right to development, contribute to the process of eradicating poverty and global inequality, and gradually narrow the North-South gap so that people of all countries, especially those of the developing and least developed countries, can also enjoy the benefits of global sustainable development.

The proposal and implementation of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings reflects China’s active fulfillment of its international obligations, and commitment to international cooperation, and coordination and promotion of collective response during the pandemic. It also provides inspiration for countries to respond to public health emergencies, and promote and protect human rights globally through international solidarity. Only when all parties adhere to the spirit and principle of international solidarity, abandon their confrontation mentality, eliminate discrimination and violence, and jointly meet challenges through cooperation and mutual assistance on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect can we build and share together an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity, and a world in which people of all countries can live a happy life.
(Translated by CHEN Feng)

* WU Wenyang ( 武文扬 ), Lecturer, Institute for Human Rights, China University of Political Science and Law, Doctor of Law.
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6. United Nations General Assembly, Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, UN Doc. A/ RES/2625 (XXV), 1970, “The duty of States to cooperate with one another in accordance with the Charter”.
7. The 1951 Refugee Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, United Nations Conference of Plenipotentia-ries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons, 1951, Preamble, Article 35.
8. United Nations General Assembly, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, 1993, Part I, Article 1 and 10.
9. S. I. Keethaponcalan, “Reshaping the Non-Aligned Movement: Challenges and Vision”, 3 Journal of the Global South 1 (2016): 10.
10. NAM, Final Document, 18 th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Doc. NAM 2018/CoB/Doc. 1, 2018, para.5-6.
11. UN General Assembly, United Nations Millennium Declaration, UN Doc. A/RES/55/2, 2000, para. 6.
12. UN General Assembly, Implementation of the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), UN Doc. A/RES/60/209, 2006, para. 14 and 43.
13. United Nations General Assembly, Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015, para.39.
14. The United Nations Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a subsidiary body of the Commission on Human Rights, was originally named “Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.” For the resolution of the Sub-commission, see: High commissioner for human rights, Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. E/CN. 4/Sub. 2/DEC/2003/115, 2003.
15. Economic and Social Council, Specific Human Rights Issues: New Priorities, in Particular Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, Human Rights and International Solidarity, Working Paper Submitted by Rui Baltazar Dos Santos Alves, UN Doc. E/CN. 4/Sub. 2/2004/43, 2004, para. 32-37.
16. The Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. E/CN. 4/ RES/2005/55, 2005, Preamble.
17. Human rights council, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, Rudi Muhammad Rizki, UN Doc. A/HRC/15/32, 2010, Annex.
18. Ibid., 3-5.
19. Human rights council, Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development, UN Doc. A/HRC/12/27, 2009, para. 16; UN General Assembly, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/68/176, 2013, para. 17.
20. Seeking Happiness for the People: 70 Years of Human Rights Development in New China, the State Council Information Office, September 22, 2019, accessed February 7, 2020. http://www.scio.gov.cn/zfbps/32832/ Document/1665072/1665072.htm.
21. Commission on human rights, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, UN Doc. E/CN. 4/2006/96, 2006, para.28.
22. According to the three generations of human rights theory, the first generation of human rights are civil and political rights, the second generation of human rights are economic, social and cultural rights, and the third generation of human rights are collective rights or solidarity rights. Solidarity rights should be distinguished from the right to solidarity. According to the Draft Declaration on the Right to International Solidarity, the right to solidarity guarantees the right of “individuals and peoples to meaningfully participate in, promote and enjoy, on an equal and non-discriminatory basis, a society and an international order that fully realizes all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
23. Karel Vasak, “A 30-year Struggle: The Sustained Effort to Give Force of Law to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, uneSCo Courier (1977): 29.
24. Philip Alston, “A Third Generation of Solidarity Rights: Progressive Development or Obfuscation of Inter-national Human Rights Law?”, 29 netherlands International Law review 3 (1982): 310; UNESCO, Final Report of UNESCO Expert Meeting on Human Rights, “Human Needs and the Establishment of a New International Economic Order”, Paris, UNESCO Doc. SS-78/CONF. 630/12, 1978, para.19-23.
25. Farooq Hassan, “Solidarity Rights: Progressive Evolution of International Human Rights Law”, 51 new york Law School Journal of Human rights 1 (1983): 72.
26. United Nations General Assembly, Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986, Article 4.
27. UN Commission on Human Rights, Resolution 4. (XXXIII), 21 February 1977. The Resolution calls on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to study the right to development, the right to peace and other rights based on international cooperation in the light of the new international economic order and the needs of basic human rights. This document is considered as the “birth certificate” for the right to development. See OHCHR, Realizing the Right to Development, United Nations Publication, 2013, page 3.
28. United Nations General Assembly, Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986, Article 1.
29. United Nations General Assembly, Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, 1993, Part I, Articles 10.
30. United Nations General Assembly, Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015, para.10 and 35.
31. Human Rights Council, The Rights to Development, UN Doc. A/HRC/42/L. 36, 2019.
32. UN General Assembly, Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, 2016, Preamble, Article 4.
33. UN General Assembly, Towards a Global Pact for the Environment, UN Doc. A/RES/72/277, 2018.
34. Global Compact for the Environment, IUCN, accessed February 7, 2020. https://www.iucn.org/commissions/ world-commission-environmental-law/wcel-resource s/global-pact-environment.
35. Joint Statement by UN Environment and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, OHCHR, June 5, 2018, accessed February 7, 2020. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx NewsID=23162&LanglD=E.
36. Human Rights Council, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/HRC/35/35, 2017, Annex, Draft Declaration on the Right to International Solidarity, Article 2.
37. Ibid., 1.
38. UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies Call for Human Rights Approach in Fighting COVID-19, OHCHR, 24 March 2020, accessed April. 19, 2020. https: //www. ohchr. org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews. aspx? NewsID = 25742&LangID = E
39. States Should Take Action Against COVID-19 Related Expressions of Xenophobia, Says UN Expert, OHCHR, March 23, 2020, accessed April 19, 2020. https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25739&LangID=E.
40. Human Rights Council, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/HRC/35/35, 2017, Preamble.
41. Massive, Fast Collective COVID-19 Response, Solidarity ‘Only Possible Way to Win Battle Against Virus’ Deputy Secretary-General Tells Member States, UN News, April 9, 2020, accessed April 19, 2020. https: // www. un. org/press/en/2020/dsgsm 1399. doc.htm.
42. World Health Organization, “COVID-19 Strategy Update”, WHO, 14 April, 2020.
43. “Helping the Global Fight against COVID-19 Demonstrates China’s Sense of Responsibility as a Major Country,” people’s Daily, March 30, 2020.
44. Zhou Anping, “On the Concept of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings,” Law review 4 (2018): 27 and 28.
45. UN General Assembly, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/68/176, 2013, para. 20.
46. UN General Assembly, Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/72/171, 2017, page 49.
47. Xi Jinping, on promoting the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2018), 80 and 254.
48. Ibid., 416.
49. UN General Assembly, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/68/176, 2013, para. 20.
50. Human Rights Council, Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/HRC/RES/38/2, 2018, para. 4.
51. Xi Jinping, on promoting the Building of a Community with a Shared future for Human Beings (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2018), 406, 407, 420 and 421.
52. Human Rights Council, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/HRC/35/35, 2017, Annex, Draft Declaration on the Right to International Solidarity, Article 3(a).
53. Xi Jinping, Deepening Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations for an Asian Community with a Shared Future —Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, May 15, 2019, accessed April 25, 2020. http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2019/0515/c1002-31086602. Html.
54. UN General Assembly, Report of the Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, UN Doc. A/68/176, 2013, para. 21, 27(d).
55. Human Rights Council, Enhancement of International Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, UN Doc. A/HRC/38/L. 4, 2018, para. 3.
56. UN General Assembly, Further Practical Measures for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, UN Doc. A/C. 1/72/L. 54 * , 2017; UN General Assembly, No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, A/C. 1/72/L. 53, 2017.
57. The Beijing Declaration — Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future, adopted at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in September 2018.
58. Remarks by President Xi Jinping at the 19 th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shang-hai Cooperation Organization, xinhuanet, June 14, 2019, accessed April 21, 2020. http://www.xinhuanet.com/ politics/leaders/2019-06/14/c_ 1124625213.htm.

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