China urges relevant Western countries to earnestly respond to the concerns of the international community, deeply reflect on themselves and take concrete measures to address the issue of systemic racism and racial discrimination, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked to comment on systematic racism and racial discrimination in Western countries, which received wide attention at the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The council on Monday held an interactive dialogue on protecting the human rights of Africans and people of African descent. Developing countries denounced systematic racism and racial discrimination and called on the international community to step up efforts to combat discrimination and violence against people of African and Asian descent, Zhao said.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said the denial of historical responsibility by countries that benefited from slavery, the transatlantic slave trade and the colonial system was an important cause of rampant racism and racial violence.
Bachelet also noted that the countries concerned should take substantive measures to change discriminatory mechanisms and measures, hold people accountable for racist crimes and provide reparations to the victims, so as to achieve racial equality and justice at an early date.
"We urge relevant Western countries to earnestly respond to the concerns of the international community, deeply reflect on themselves and take concrete measures to address the issue of systemic racism and racial discrimination, so as not only to promote and protect human rights at home, but also to contribute to the healthy development of the international human rights cause," Zhao said.
The Human Rights Council session on Monday also adopted a resolution, highlighting that development and the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
Co-sponsored by China and a number of other countries, the resolution, titled "The contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights," emphasizes the important role of inclusive and sustainable development in promoting and protecting human rights.
"Development is the eternal theme of human society and the key to solving all problems. Only with better development can human rights be better promoted and protected," Zhao noted.
"We hope the resolution will help all parties build consensus and jointly promote sustainable development and universal enjoyment of human rights," Zhao said.