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Human rights deal with UN signals progress
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-01 05:56

A deal was signed yesterday that promises to help China's efforts to raise its level of human rights.

The memorandum of understanding is aimed at helping China implement recommendations on economic, social and cultural rights.

Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang and visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour attended the signing ceremony.

According to the agreement, the co-operation programme between the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) and China will include projects to assist the nation find alternative penalty measures to imprisonment; help the country revise its Criminal Procedure Law, Lawyers Law and other related laws and regulations, officials said.

It should also assist the incorporation of human rights education into the curricula of primary and secondary schools, universities and the education of public servants.

On Monday, Arbour appeared at the opening ceremony of the 13th Workshop on Regional Co-operation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Beijing.

"There are major opportunities for the human rights cause in the Asia-Pacific region, which stands at a historic juncture of development, " said State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan in the inaugural speech.

Tang called on all member states in the region to follow the principles of mutual respect and equality, to prioritize the development of economic, social, cultural rights and to keep their cultural tradition and values, while learning from other region's good experiences.

Co-sponsored by the Chinese Government and the OHCHR, the four-day event, which will conclude on September 2, attracts representatives from 37 countries in the region and other international organizations.  

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