CHINA. WEN SAYS COUNTRY WORKING HARD TO RATIFY UN RIGHTS CONVENTION
April 21, 2005: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao insisted his country had made progress on improving its human rights record and said Beijing was working towards ratifying a UN convention on the issue.
"We are making efforts to be able to ratify it as soon as possible," Wen said in a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
China signed the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights in 1998 but had so far failed to ratify it, despite repeatedly saying it would.
"I spoke with Prime Minister Raffarin about the preliminary work we have undertaken on this," Wen said, pointing to efforts China was making to reform the way it handed down the death sentence and its re-education through labor program. He said that "even the most critical countries regarding China's human rights are obliged to recognize that China has made structural progress on this question". (Sources: Agence France Presse, 21/04/2005)