A high level United Nations meeting on human rights and rule of law has been held in New York. There was a debate on whether to place human rights and the rule of law as a core issue after the 2015 UN Development Goals. The EU and other Western countries believe human rights and the rule of law are a necessary foundation and a guarantee for continued development. Experts consider that the foundation of Chinese and Russian political domination is against human rights, freedom, democracy and rule of law.
On Monday June 10, during the United Nations General Assembly, delegates from all countries debated on the UN Development Goals after 2015.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his opening statement: Our organization is built on fundamental principles. We hold that all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights. We agree that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security. Poverty, inequality and injustice are an affront to these principles.
In 2000, the United Nations issued a Millennium Declaration. This included a series of development targets on eliminating half of global poverty, which ends in 2015.
Ban Ki-moon believes in the importance of human rights and the rule of law in reducing the vulnerability of the poor and building the future we want. Human rights and the rule of law will be central to these efforts – both as a means and an end.
However, Yao Shaojun, Permanent Counselor for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) objected to the inclusion of human rights into the United Nations development agenda. Yao also opposed the creation of any quantitative index on the rule of law. He said in his speech: “There are no universal roads and modes for the rule of law because it is an internal affair.”
A Russian representatives subsequently said: “There is no way to measure the rule of law.” He stressed it is not good to discuss human rights and the rule of law in the United Nations Development Forum.
Wang Tiancheng is a Chinese constitutional scholar and former Peking University law lecturer who is currently residing in the United States. He believes that while acknowledging that every country’s system is different, basic human rights and the rule of law is a universal standard beyond internal affairs.
Wang Tiancheng: “The purpose of China and Russia jointly opposing to list human rights and the rule of law as development goals is because they want to maintain one-party dictatorship. They don’t want any restrictions to their rule from universal human rights standards. China and Russia formed an alliance to block universal values and democracy development in other countries.”
Former Peking University law professor Yuan Hongbing said there won’t be rule of law without democracy and freedom.
Yuan Hongbing, former Peking University law professor: “The purpose of going against it is to maintain central rule. Their entire reign of power and foundation of political values is position against human rights and liberal democracy.”
June 4 2014 is the 25th Anniversary of Polish Freedom Day. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs commented at the UN meeting, that there will be no real democracy and social and economic development without respecting human rights. She used the example of the 25th anniversary of democratic transition celebration in Poland.
Further, she said that, according to World Bank data, the per capita income in 1990 was $5,967 in Poland, and it is now $22,162 20 years later. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs: “The motivation for the achievement, is the enthusiasm, creativity and potential based on the confidence of the new system. [This] is built on the principles of democracy and rule of law.
Mr. Thomas Mayr Harting, EU representative said that it is necessary to make sure the UN development goal and index agree with current human right standards, principles and rule of law.
He said: “The rule of law is closely linked and complementary to the development. The stable and transparent environment provided by rule of law is very important for economic development. It is important for investment, to fight against corruption and discrimination.”
Wang Tiancheng also believes that rule of law means human rights, freedom and justice. These are a very important protection for the morality in society.
Wang Tiancheng: “The rule of law has a positive effect on economic development and investment. Without rule of law, it will undermine investor’s confidence and make corruption more rampant. China is now an example, with it’s rampant corruption and corrupted morals mixed together.”
In contrast, Yuan Hongbing considers that freedom, democracy, the rule of law are basic human rights. They are separate from economic development.
Yuan Hongbing: “The CCP’s tyranny is to make all people political slaves. It seeks high-speed economic development by destructive development and utilization of natural resources and the environment.”
Yuan Hongbing thinks that the CCP is a totalitarian tyranny. It’s impossible to talk about the rule of law and human rights with the CCP.