|Statement by Ms. Xiaomei LI of the Chinese Delegation on Advancement of Women (Item 61) at the Third Committee of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly|
The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China under this agenda item, and wishes to express its thanks and appreciations to Ms. Mayanja, the Secretary General's Special Advisor on Gender Issues, Ms. Hannan, Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), and Ms. Heyzer, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), for their presentations.
The Chinese delegation has studied carefully the relevant reports submitted by the Secretary General under this item, especially the report on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Program of Action and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly (A/61/174), and the study on violence against women (A/61/122/Add.1). Noticing that report A/61/174 includes a comprehensive review of the resolutions of the main committees of the General Assembly and major conferences to examine whether gender perspective was consistently applied throughout. The Chinese delegation supports the continued implementation by various United Nations agencies of the strategy of gender mainstreaming. At the first meeting of the Human Rights Council, the Chinese delegation pointed out that advancing the rights of vulnerable groups such as women should be among the measures taken by the Council in bringing about a new momentum for the international human rights cause.
The past year was one of great significance for the Chinese government's endeavors to safeguard women's rights and interests. On August 10, 2006, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) considered China's combined 5th and 6th periodic report under CEDAW, which also included the 2nd report of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and the 1st report of the Special Administrative Region of Macao. The Chinese delegation to the Committee was headed by Mme. Huang Qingyi, the executive vice-chairperson of the State Council's National Committee on Women and Children, and was composed of representatives from the central government and the governments of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao.
The Chinese delegation presented to the Committee the major measures taken by the government in implementing the Convention: first, enacting and amending laws to provide legal guarantee for the comprehensive implementation of such fundamental national policies as gender equality; second, strengthening government functions to establish and improve mechanisms for promoting gender equality; third, taking special measures with a view to carrying out the Women's Development Program; fourth, pooling material and financial resources together to address prominent issues related to women's survival and development; fifth, conducting widespread campaigns to publicize the Convention and create a favorable atmosphere for raising public awareness of gender equality. The delegation also introduced steps and policies adopted by the Chinese government in responding to challenges in areas of particular concern to the Committee, including political participation, employment, trafficking of women, and gender ratio at birth. While commending China's achievements in advancing women's development and protecting women's rights and interests, the Committee also made some recommendations.
By emphasizing that the progress of women is the progress of the whole mankind, the Outcome Document of the World Summit specified a number of target areas in that regard. Over the past year, the Chinese government has taken a multitude of measures to ensure women's rights and interests. This year, the Chinese National People's Congress considered and approved the 2006-2010 National Development Programme, which, for the first time ever, devotes a whole section to "safeguarding the rights and interests of women and children," and makes reference to the Chinese Women's Development Program in over fifty instances. In the time to come, the Chinese government will continue to working unremittingly to advance the cause of safeguarding the rights and interests of the Chinese women based on China's national circumstances and in the context of the implementation of the Outcome Document of the Summit, the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action as well as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.