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Poverty Alleviation Remains Priority of Human Rights: China

China on Friday urged the world to fight against poverty at the 60th annual session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (CHR), saying that poverty alleviation remains priority of human rights.

"Nearly one billion people in poverty can hardly survive, and many will not even live to the age of 55. We cannot talk about 'rights' while leaving so many 'human' out of picture," said Chinese Ambassador Sha Zukang, who is also chief of the Chinese delegation to the CHR session, which opened in Geneva Monday and will last until April 23.

"The struggle against poverty must remain at the forefront of the human rights agenda," Sha stressed.

He made the remarks on behalf of the Like Minded Group of States (LMG), which was founded in 1997 and reflects developing countries' opinions on human rights.

The LMG comprises Algeria, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Sha said that the promotion and protection of human rights is first and foremost the responsibility of states.

"Bearing in mind the universality of human rights, governments are duty-bound to find the appropriate way to attain the goal of promoting and protecting human rights in the light of their specific conditions," he said.

He also stressed the international community's function in helping create favorable conditions and provide necessary assistance for states to build their respective national protection system.

"We agree that democracy and good governance are important for the realization of human rights; we are also of the view that democracy and good governance should be effected or practiced at the international level too," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2004)

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