Minister Kitt addresses delegations to EU-China Human Rights Dialogue
Mr. Tom Kitt, T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today addressed the EU and Chinese delegations to the 17th session of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, which takes place in Dublin on 26 & 27 February.
The Minister noted that the session is part of a process that began in 1994 when the EU and China entered into the expert level Dialogue on Human Rights.
The Minister said that “since then, we have had frank and detailed exchanges of views which have enabled China to inform us of various reforms it has undertaken in the human rights field”. The Minister commented that the EU welcomed these reforms, while also availing itself of the opportunity to raise various aspects of the human rights situation that continue to cause concern.
The Minister also said that “the EU believes that respect for human rights, democratic accountability and the rule of law, as well as democratic participation of citizens in decision-making processes, constitute the best guarantees for the long-term stability of a society”.
The Minister added that he believed that the Dialogue “provides us with the opportunity to work more closely and constructively together in the various multilateral fora dealing with human rights. It enables us to identify and expand the areas where our views converge. It should also lead to a diminution of those areas where our perceptions differ”.
Note for Editors
The EU-China Human Rights Dialogue was set up in 1994. Meetings of the Dialogue take place at senior official level. The aim of the Dialogue is to promote improvements in the human rights situation in China. The Dialogue is a channel of communication which allows the EU to express concern about abuses and seek information about human rights developments in China. It is also a way to expose the Chinese authorities to international human rights standards and EU best practice in the field of human rights.
The Dialogue takes place twice a year, in the first half of the year in the capital of the EU Presidency and in the second half in Beijing.
At the Dialogue the EU discusses with China a wide range of human rights issues of concern, including; cooperation with UN Human Rights Mechanisms, individual cases of alleged human rights abuses, torture, the death penalty, conditions of detention, freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and the situation in Tibet. The EU considers that the Human Rights Dialogue with China is one of the Union's channels for working to improve the human rights situation in areas of concern. However, this Dialogue is an acceptable option only if enough progress is achieved and reflected on the ground.