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Former UN chief praises China's reform progress
2005-02-07 01:21:14 XinhuaEnglish

BEIJING, Feb. 7(Xinhuanet)-- Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali said that China is doing much to introduce economic, political and democratic reforms in an interview published in the latest issue of the Human Rights magazine.

Boutros Ghali, also President of Arab Republic of Egypt National Council of Hum
an Rights, aired his views on human rights in China and the world as a whole.

Ghali said, it is obvious that the awareness of the culture of human rights is increasing among the Nations. The governments are on the track of establishing national commissions for the protection of human rights. Furthermore, there is a rapid increase in the number of Non-Governmental Organizations working in this field.

"However, we still can see clearly that the respect of human rights in the world has not yet reached the optimum level. There are many obstacles hindering the proper application of human rights' principles such as, poverty, wars, political interests, and cultural diversity," Ghali said. He also noted that since the tragic events of September 11th in New York and in Washington, in many countries concerns for security have taken precedence over some human rights principles.

On the present human rights situation in China, Ghali said that there is no doubt that China is doing much to introduce economic, political and democratic reforms including supporting and encouraging Human Rights norms in Chinese society.

For example, in 2004 the Human Rights issue had been considered as an important aim to be achieved, in a way that the Chinese parliament made many amendments in the Chinese constitution to protect human rights. The China Society for Human Rights Studies(CSHRS) is already playing an important role and will play a more important role with the economic and social development of China, he said.

Boutros Ghali said that nowadays Egyptian people cherish freedom, democracy, and the respect for human rights. They desire more economic, political and social development to be persistently sought out of self-motivation and without any external prompting.

Hence, there are more than 20 non-governmental organizations in Egypt that deal with the human rights situation and defend the rights of Egyptian citizens against human rights violations regardless of the identity of the affiliation of the victims or the violators, said Ghali.

He pointed that the National Council for Human Rights was established in Egypt in 2003 to preserve human rights, develop people's awareness of human rights norms, and guarantee the practice of human rights in Egypt. The establishment of the National Council for Human Rights is an important step towards democracy and maintaining citizen's rights, and it realizes one of the most important international criteria set by the United Nations.

Ghali visited the CSHRS last year, the largest organization specializing in human rights studies in China, and decided on cooperation between Egyptian Commission of Human Rights and the CSHRS.

"We are still at the beginning of the cooperation, but I am sure that the political will exists in both Beijing and Cairo to promote the relations between our two institutions," he said.

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