China is consistently committed to conducting dialogue and exchange on human rights so as to enhance understanding, narrow differences, learn from one another and make common progress, Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang said
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Fifth Human Rights Seminar, jointly sponsored by China, Canada and Norway, in Lijiang, southwest China's Yunnan Province, from Dec. 9 to 10, Shen said the seminars have become a channel through which countries with different social systems and economic levels can exchange views on an equal footing.
Shen said China would make joint efforts with other countries to strengthen dialogue and exchange based on equality and mutual respect, exploring effective ways to promote and protect human rights, and contribute to world human rights development.
The seminars promote mutual understanding, and reach consensus in exchanging views on social obligations, women's rights, judicial assistance and the protection of the human rights of prisoners.
Their consensus this time was that: the government, employers and employees should make more effort to enable companies to shoulder social obligations in the era of globalization; to guarantee women's political and economic rights, eradicate violence against women and crack down on other crimes against them; all countries should carry out exchange and cooperation in the field of legal assistance that guarantees all citizens equality before the law, and all countries should, through domestic laws, implement prisoners' rights as stipulated in international documents on human rights.
Regarding the seminar as open, candid, constructive and fruitful, the attendees also gave briefings on their policies, practices, achievements and challenges in the above fields, and called on the international community to actively participate in exchanges and cooperation to these ends.
Besides the three principal sponsors, 15 other countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand also attended the two-day seminar.
The First Human Rights Seminar was held in 1998 in Vancouver, Canada.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2003)