COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
18 March 1996
Item 9 of the provisional agenda
FURTHER PROMOTION AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS, INCLUDING THE QUESTION OF
THE PROGRAMME AND METHODS OF WORK OF THE COMMISSION
Human rights and unilateral coercive measures
Report of the Secretary-GeneralAddendum
REPLIES RECEIVED FROM GOVERNMENTS
REPLIES RECEIVED FROM GOVERNMENTS
[15 January 1996]
1. Equality of sovereignty among nations and non-interference in other nations' internal affairs are two of the basic norms governing relations between countries, established in international law and in the Charter of the United Nations. The Chinese Government has always held that nations, large or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are all equal members of the international community and have the right to participate equally in international affairs. Normal and friendly relations should be established between nations on the basis of mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, as well as peaceful coexistence. Any act by the large to bully the small, by the strong to lord it over the weak, or by the rich to oppress the poor, and any attempt to find excuses for exerting political and economic pressure on others is wrong and should be condemned by the international community.
2. The Chinese Government, while acknowledging the principle of universality of human rights, holds that it is only natural for countries to have different conceptions with regard to human rights issues, reflecting their differences in political system, level of economic development, cultural tradition, historical background and religion. It is for the Government of each country and its people to adopt their own practical measures to promote and protect human rights in the light of their national conditions. Differences among nations should be resolved through dialogues and negotiations on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
3. China stands firmly against interfering in other nations' internal affairs on the pretext of upholding human rights. If a country, on the grounds that human rights conditions in another country are less than perfect, unilaterally applies coercive measures, including trade restrictions, blockade and embargo, against that country, and prevents its people from fully exercising their right to establish their own political, economic and social system, this constitutes not only a contravention of the rules governing normal relations between nations, but also a serious violation of the fundamental human rights of the people of that country. Any unilateral coercive measure, in China's view, is in violation of international law and contrary to the purposes and principles of such international human rights instruments as the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Such measures obstruct the full realization of the various rights specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, especially the rights to survival and to development as well as various economic, social and cultural rights urgently needing to be realized in developing countries.
4. China calls on the countries concerned to cease forthwith their wrongful action in applying unilateral coercive measures to serve their own interests and purposes.
5. The Chinese Government requests the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to continue to consider the matter as a priority.
[21 December 1995]
Mexico reaffirms that any unilateral coercive measure is contrary to international law and in violation of the San Francisco Charter. Accordingly the Government of Mexico, on the basis of the constitutional principles that rule its international conduct, considers any such action reprehensible.