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Human dignity can be respected equally in different cultures

By Luo Haocai (Guangming Daily)

16:52, September 23, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

First, improving the dignity and welfare of the entire human race and building a solid foundation for guaranteeing human rights

Human dignity is the base and foundation of all other human rights. Realizing human rights ultimately means realizing human dignity. Recognizing and respecting human dignity is not only the theoretical base and fundamental principle of the International Human Rights Law but also a fundamental viewpoint of the Chinese government.

The Chinese government always attaches great importance to respecting human dignity. In April of 2006, President Hu Jintao said, "The Chinese civilization always emphasizes the principle of putting the people first and respects the dignity and value of the human being."

In March of 2010, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao clearly pointed out, "All the things we do are aimed at improving people's welfare, letting them have more dignity and making the society more fair and harmonious." Safeguarding and promoting human dignity has turned into a starting point and ultimate goal of the governmental work of China.

Up to now, the Chinese government has approved more than 20 international human rights documents, which reflects that China has clearly recognized the international human rights standards on one hand. And on the other hand, China is sincerely willing to make efforts together with other countries to promote international exchanges of human rights and reach wide agreements on human rights.

We believe that if we want to further improve the human dignity, we must eliminate all the social conditions harming man's dignity and rights and guarantee all the social members' equal rights to develop and participate equally.

Second, protecting and promoting cultural diversity, cultivating the soil for human rights protection

Human rights are a cultural phenomenon. Cultural nourishment is indispensable for human rights protection.

China has a history of 5,000 years, and Chinese culture dates far back to ancient times. Many wise ideas of ancient Chinese people constitute an important source of modern human rights concepts. For example, the Chinese civilization has always given prominence to the people and respect for their dignity.

Traditional Chinese culture has placed great emphasis on the harmony between a person and another and between a person and the society, on self-restraint and self-control, on the principle – "Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you," and on collective consciousness and social responsibility. In fact, traditional Chinese culture contains countless modern human rights ideas, which have enriched the meaning of human rights and become an important element of the multicultural soil for the human rights concept.

We should actively preserve the diversity of the world, promote the dialogue and exchanges among different civilizations and cultivate the soil for human rights protection to make human beings happier and the world more colorful and harmonious.

Third, respecting different values, expanding the reach of human rights protection

Values are people's reflections on important things, and values determine their attitudes toward things and people. Values also reflect the relations between humans and interests. There is a wide diversity of values in modern society determined by the current level of social and economic development.

All attendants of this forum should inspire and learn from each other, and actively participate in comprehensive discussions of human rights issues from the perspective of systems, theories, practices, history, or the present in order to enhance mutual understanding and achieve consensus on making constant contributions to the realization of human rights for all human beings.


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