GENEVA — A United Nations expert on Aug 23 praised China for its huge progress in poverty alleviation, saying that China’s achievements in alleviating extreme poverty in recent years have been “extraordinary”.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, in a statement issued on Aug 23 highlighted the determination of the leadership of the Communist Party of China, or the ruling party of China, to build a moderately prosperous society free of extreme poverty.
“This political will is impressive and all too uncommon in today’s world,” Alston said after his nine-day official visit to the country.
He noted that China’s leadership has promised to eliminate extreme poverty by 2020, so that no one shall be left behind. In practice, this means lifting 55.75 million people out of extreme poverty.
According to the UN expert, at the same time, China also needs to put in place meaningful accountability mechanisms that citizens can use when their rights are violated in the context of development-related activities.
“China has much to be proud of in the field of poverty alleviation. However, if it is to effectively ensure the implementation of its economic and social rights obligations, it needs to adopt more robust mechanisms for citizen involvement and for governmental accountability,” he noted.
During his nine-day visit to China, the human rights expert met and engaged with the central government and with local governments, non-governmental organizations, representatives of international organizations, and academic experts in China’s capital city of Beijing and in southwest China’s Yunnan province.
The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report with his full findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in June 2017.