China Invites NGO's to Human Rights Talks
Monday, 8th November 2004 at 12:11 pm
The Chinese Government has invited Australian NGOs to attend the next round of bilateral Human Rights Dialogue in China next year.
According to the Federal Government this is an unprecedented development and demonstrates the growing maturity and strength of Australia’s relationship with China.
The invitation follows the eighth round of the annual Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue held in October.
For the first time, a range of Australian non-government organisations met formally with the Chinese delegation, led by China’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Shen Guofang.
These NGOs included the Human Rights Council of Australia, the ACTU, the National Council for Human Rights Education, the Australian Council for International Development and the United Nations Association of Australia.
The Government says the meeting was fruitful for both sides and resulted in the invitation for the NGOs to visit China next year to build on this constructive start.
The Australian delegation was led by Dr Geoff Raby, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and included Senator Marise Payne, Mr Tom Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, and officials from other relevant government departments and agencies.
The dialogue was established in 1997 to strengthen mutual understanding, discuss human rights issues and identify practical means of cooperation.