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November 3, 10

NEWS / Ban stresses rights, responsibilities in China address

3 November 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today underlined China’s responsibilities on global issues including human rights, climate change, global diplomacy and development, in a speech at China’s Central Party School in Beijing.

“With China’s rise … comes great expectations and great responsibilities,” the Secretary-General told a roundtable discussion on global governance and harmonious society. “China’s voice and example are critical.”

“The values embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are timeless and shared, yet unrealized in far too much of the globe,” he said. “We must continue to work together to make those rights real in people’s lives. That will take a global effort.”

“In this respect, I welcome China’s commitment to building a rule-of-law society and its notable advances in that ongoing journey,” the Secretary-General added.

Mr. Ban stressed that achieving the “shared goals of human rights around the world is more than an aspiration. It is a foundation of peace and harmony in our modern world. So too is respect for freedom of expression and the protection of its defenders.”

On climate change, Mr. Ban thanked the Chinese government for hosting the latest round of talks in Tianjin and called for China’s further engagement and support.

He said he had discussed the changing international situation in his talks with Chinese leaders, including the forthcoming referenda in Sudan. On 9 January the inhabitants of southern Sudan will vote on whether to secede from the rest of the country, while the residents of the central area of Abyei will vote on whether to be part of the north or the south.

“With the coming referenda… we are at a critical moment,” he said. “I asked your government’s help in assisting the two sides find their way to a peaceful future, recognizing their shared interests.”

“We also recognized that China has a strong interest in strengthening its role in United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In this regard, Sudan represents an important passage in our growing partnership,” Mr. Ban added.

On Myanmar, the Secretary-General stressed China’s critical role in supporting UN efforts to help its neighbour find a wary “toward a more open, democratic and inclusive political future.”

He said there was great potential for China and the UN to work together to calm tensions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and to revive the Six-Party talks with a view to gradually bringing DPRK to “a more open, mutually cooperative relationship with the international community.”




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