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AsiaNews – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has called on China and other countries to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. She made the request at the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Symposium now underway in Beijing . But China insists that it would deal with the matter in “its own way.”

“Only three of the 52 [countries in the Asia-Pacific region] have ratified all seven core human rights treaties, with 12 more having ratified six,” Ms Arbour said.

“Implementation of rights requires that those rights be entrenched in law. The process begins with the ratification of human rights treaties. I therefore urge all member states present who have not yet done so to ratify these core instruments,” she added.

Ms Arbour is in Beijing till Friday to urge China to implement legal reforms needed to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Chinese government is regularly criticised for not respecting human rights and denying elementary civil rights. Yesterday however, Tang Jiaxuan, a state councillor and former foreign minister, told the Symposium that every country should be allowed to deal with the matter in “its own way.”

“Every country should choose its own way to promote and protect human rights in line with its national conditions. There is no uniform standard with regard to national human rights action plans, institutions or education,” Mr Tang said. In his view, many Chinese view poverty as the main problem…[Go To Full Story]