On May 28th, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) hosted an online seminar in Geneva, focusing on contributions towards the development of all human rights. Ms. Nazhat Shameen Khan, president of the UNHRC, Ms. Michelle Cachelet, principle of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and Ambassador Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations in Geneva, attended the opening ceremony and delivered remarks. Nearly 200 participated, including government officials, diplomatic representatives, delegates from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and scholars from Oxford University, Columbia University and developing countries and regions.
As the draftsman of the OHCHR report on this topic, Professor Wang Xigen, the dean of the School of Law and the president of the Institute of Human Rights Law at HUST, a national human rights education and training base, was invited to deliver an opening speech. He mainly talked about four aspects concerning contributions to the development of all human rights, covering its history and the basis of legal norms, opportunities and challenges, conception, ending with concluding remarks and suggestions. His presentation included new concepts and theoretical paradigms - extending a new path for promoting contributions for the development of all human rights, especially those in developing countries.
Discussion was conducted around Wang’s report, especially about the relationship between development and human rights. Wang pointed out that, firstly, we should give equal priority to both human rights and development, admitting the positive interaction between the two. Secondly, growth, especially of market economies, conveys liberty and equality. To promote development is to enhance human rights. Thirdly, we should pay more attention to the core, crucial and fundamental issues closely related to human rights. Finally, effective channels and mechanisms should be adapted instead of merely looking at policies. Legislative measures should be taken to build a forceful mechanism, so as to better advance all human rights. Wang’s fruitful results were highly appreciated by the UN officials.
At the end of 2020, Wang was commissioned by OHCHR to lead research on the contribution of development to all human rights. By conducting global surveys, the team obtained results from 32 international organizations, countries, principals of human rights mechanisms, civil societies, and national human rights institutions. His research paper A Study on the Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of all Human Rights was published on the UN official website on May 28th this year.
Wang Xigen was the first Chinese scholar to be invited to this research. He has long been devoted to the human rights law, especially the right to development, and has been widely recognized by the international community. In 2007, he was commissioned as the development rights consultant of the UN. Wang frequently participates in UN conferences regarding the right to development, drafting of official documents, and decision-making consultation. As the only Chinese expert in this field, Wang’s works have been included in UN official documents several times. With more than 200 monographs and over 30 books published, and over 20 national awards, he has been making long-standing contributions to promoting China’s international position and protecting the global right to development. Highly supported by HUST, the Institute of Human Rights Law was approved as the national human rights education and training base in 2020.
Source: School of Law
Written by: Li Peishan
Edited by: Scott, Peng Yumeng