A harmonious and orderly society is a prerequisite to promoting human rights, said a senior Chinese legislator in Beijing on Wednesday.
"Likewise, the progress of international human rights is inseparable from the harmonious coexistence of all countries," said Jiang Zhenghua, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, at the opening of an international symposium on human rights.
The three-day event sponsored by the China Society for Human Rights Studies has drawn more than 70 human rights experts, scholars and officials from 19 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
Jiang called for respect for the right of every country to independently choose its own social system and development road. Dialogue and exchanges between different societies should be enhanced to remove mutual misgivings and barriers.
"We should seek common ground while reserving differences and in so doing, pursue common development and work together to build a harmonious world that incorporates various societies and in which everyone enjoys human rights," said Jiang.
Cai Wu, head of the Information Office of China's State Council, said different social systems, development levels, and historical and cultural backgrounds had resulted in different approaches to human rights.
"We should respect the diversity of civilization and the diversity of patterns of human rights development," said Cai.
"We should promote international exchanges and cooperation on human rights on the basis of full equality, mutual respect, seeking common ground while reserving differences and learning from others' strong points to offset one's weaknesses," he said.
Nina Karpachova, Ukraine's National Ombudsman, said some countries applied double standards to human rights issues, causing heavy losses to many countries. A lesson should be drawn from this.
Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi, Minister of the Special Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency of Brazil, said people around the world shared the common goal of promoting human rights progress and preventing violations of human rights regardless of their color.
He said China had made notable achievements in human rights.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2006)