Promoting Dialogue and Cooperation,China Sets Example for Pandemic Prevention and Control
November 30,2020   By:en.humanrights.cn
Nov.30,2020 -- en.humanrights.cn: Hello, everyone. In today's program, we are honored to have Ms Wu Wenyang, Lecturer at the Institution for Human Rights of the China University of Political Science and Law. She will share her thoughts on international communication and collaboration in the field of human rights amid COVID-19. Hello, Ms Wu.
Wu Wenyang: Hello! 
en.humanrights.cn: You attended the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council in July this year. Could you tell us something about it?
Wu Wenyang: Thanks for your question. It's known that the UN Human Rights Council holds no less than three regular sessions each year. The 44th session was held from the end of June to July 17. The meeting covered a wide range of topics such as promoting and safeguarding human rights which include people's economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights . Also on the agenda were other international hotspot issues like racism, xenophobia and intolerant behaviors. 
en.humanrights.cn: What did the Chinese experts and scholars say during the session?
Wu Wenyang: A number of Chinese experts and scholars took part in the 44th session via video. They held dialogues with the UN special rapporteurs and independent experts on different issues such as human trafficking, homelessness, women and children business and human rights, international solidarity as well as discrimination against people affected by leprosy. So there was a wide range of topics. 
en.humanrights.cn: Amid the COVID-19 outbreak this year, was there anything different in this year's session from the previous ones?
Wu Wenyang: Of course. This year's session was mainly a virtual event due to COVID-19. Attendees recorded their speeches in advance and uploaded their videos online. However, I do not think the virtual meeting led to remoteness among the participants. We went to the conference venues for the previous sessions. With the Internet and technology available now, we could check out the agenda, the documents and the experts' speeches of this year's session on the website of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Web TV. We can attend international conferences at home without actually going to New York or Geneva and let the voice of China be heard. I think this pandemic has made experts and scholars realize the importance of having this kind of dialogue and promoting international solidarity and cooperation. Only by enhancing dialogue and collaboration in the field of human rights can the countries work together and cope with global health emergencies like this one we are facing now.
en.humanrights.cn: The experts had discussions on the right to health during the session because of the global health emergency. Are there any international documents on the right to health?
Wu Wenyang: There are some international human rights covenants and documents related to the right to health. In particular, Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights recognizes the right of everyone to "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health". In order to realize the right the States parties should take necessary measures such as prevention, treatment, control of epidemics and provision of health care service when people are sick. We know that the provisions of international human rights covenants are relatively succinct, sometimes even vague. So, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights passed General Comment No. 14 to expound on the right to health. According to General Comment No. 14, the states Parties should take emergency measures and offer humanitarian assistance to control the spread of an epidemic. In reality, different countries have different situations. The resources of some countries available are limited. Nevertheless, according to the covenant, the States parties should implement Article 12 quickly and actively and fulfill the obligations of the States parties to respect, protect and realize the right to health. 
en.humanrights.cn: What do you think of China's performance in protecting the right to health amid COVID-19?
Wu Wenyang: China has taken effective measures to curb the spread of the virus and safeguard people's lives and health. China has also lent a helping hand and shared its experience when other countries were in need. I think that China's performance in the fulfillment of its international obligations and the participation in international cooperation in the field of human rights has been exemplary in the fight against the pandemic. China's measures have been recognized and drawn upon by many countries
en.humanrights.cn: What is the role of the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind in promoting cooperation in the fields of human rights and global health in the post-COVID era?
Wu Wenyang: I think that the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind will greatly boost international solidarity and cooperation. In the face of global health emergencies like COVID-19, the fate of all human beings are connected. Countries need to come together and help each other instead of pointing fingers. In June, just before the 44th session, the UN adopted a China-sponsored resolution entitled "Promoting Mutually Beneficial Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights". This resolution calls upon all countries to uphold multilateralism and promote mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights to create a community with a shared future for mankind. We understand that cooperation and dialogue with a sincere attitude is the possible way to protect the right to health as well as other human rights. It's the spirit and principle of international solidarity and collaboration that the World Health Organization has been promoting all along.
en.humanrights.cn: More and more people have recognized that we live in a community with a shared future. We need to work together to deal with the pandemic. Thank you, Ms Wu. 
Wu Wenyang: Thank you, Puyu.
en.humanrights.cn: When China deals with COVID-19, it not only strives to fulfill the obligations related to the rights to life and health enshrined in the UN human rights covenants but also takes effective prevention and control measures to keep the infection and fatality rates to the lowest level and safeguard the lives and health of the people. China has actively provided international humanitarian aid to help some countries and regions to fight the virus. With a sincere attitude, China has been advancing international cooperation in the field of human rights effectively promoting the protection of human rights including the right to health.


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