The 2019 South-South Human Rights Forum was held in Beijing on Tuesday. Over 300 officials and scholars from more than 80 countries, regions and international organizations are attending the two-day forum. Under the theme—“diversity of civilizations and global development of human rights,” the forum is hosted by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The CCHRC participated with a large delegation, including the participants of the seminar in Changsha held two days earlier (see previous item). Parallel sessions were held on:
- Path of Human Rights Development under the Background of the Diversity of Civilization;
- Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and Global Human Rights Governance;
- The Right to Development; The Belt and Road Initiative Promotes the Realization of the 2030 Agenda;
- China’s Contribution to Global Human Rights Cause since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
The number of participating nations was considerably larger than during the first South South Forum of 2017. The entire global south was represented, with the most prominent representation from African nations. Delegates were typically senior government advisors, including a number of former state ministers.
A clear development could also be seen in the contents of the speeches. Those of 2017 were still relatively general, emphasising the rights of the southern nations. Several of this year’s contributions were specifically criticising former colonial powers and the attitude of Western nations, in particular the US. Very outspoken was the address Mr Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Pakistan Senate, who blasted recent US criticism on China’s anti-terrorist policies in Xinjiang. This view is consistent with the views vented by Pakistani representatives to the UN as reported in the News/opinions page of our site. Another conspicuous speech was that by Ms Bouthania Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor of the Syrian president, who directly blamed the US for the suffering of so many Syrians during the past few years. These are all opinions virtually banned in Western media.
The importance of the Right to Development was another topic shared in many contributions to both the plenary and parallel sessions.
This was the second time that this bi-annual event was held. For more information, see the web site of the Forum.