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Australia welcomes China's intention to sign international human rights covenant



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M EDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA27 13 March 1998

AUSTRALIA WELCOMES CHINA’S INTENTION TO SIGN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COVENANT

I welcome the statement by China’s Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen that China intends to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The announcement is a significant step towards full adherence to international standards on human rights, and builds on China’s signature on 27 October last year of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, together with the ICESCR and the ICCPR, comprise the International Bill of Human Rights - the foundation on which the international human rights legal framework has been built.

China’s accession to ICESCR and ICCPR has been a matter I have emphasised in my discussions with the Chinese Government, and has been a priority for us in our bilateral human rights dialogue with China.

I look forward to China becoming a party to the ICCPR as well as the ICESCR, which will mark an important step towards Australia’s goal of universal acceptance of the International Bill of Human Rights.

Further information: Innes Willox 0411 414 695

Tony Melville (02)6261 1555

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