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Chinese youth representative Li Zhang delivered a speech at the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Li in United Nations Human Rights Council

Li in United Nations Human Rights Council

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, SWITZERLAND, April 16, 2024 / -- The United Nations Human Rights Council's 55th session on April 15, 2024, included a powerful speech on the rights to women's development by Li Zhang, a representative of China’s youth. Her discourse underscored the significance of career advancements for women and highlighted China's progress in aiding women to extricate themselves from poverty.

This session drew the active involvement of international government delegates, NGOs, and members of civil society, engaging in discussions across a spectrum of human rights topics, including civil and political rights. The Nanjing World Youth Development Center Foundation, an NGO holding a special consultative status with the UN, presented nuanced perspectives on matters of women's empowerment.

Li Zhang, a current student at Harvard Business School and an advocate of traditional Chinese culture with over five million followers globally, has been producing content on 'Chinese culture,' including micro-documentaries and talk shows that narrate the allure of traditional Chinese culture, the country’s major cultural essences, and the beauty of its intangible heritage. Through these mediums, she attempts to acquaint the world with compelling narratives about China. Leveraging her personal journey, she discussed the spectrum of challenges women face in education, employment, and broader life. She cited how China's poverty alleviation measures have assisted over 40 million women out of poverty, the majority through employment and social empowerment initiatives, showcasing the untapped potential for women's leadership.

Li further clarified that continuous development is not solely the outcome of economic expansion but must coincide with effective public policies, the safeguarding of rights, and enhancements in governance models. She pointed out that to guarantee the realization of human rights, surpassing traditional non-interventionism is essential, and achieving tangible human rights requires cooperative efforts and a constructive government role.

Li is no stranger to representing Chinese youth at the United Nations. As the founder of an NGO with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, she has previously discussed rights related to health and education in 2022 and 2023. Her latest speech at the Human Rights Council was not just an endorsement of women's power but also a plea for comprehensive global efforts to establish a robust framework for supporting women's professional development and equal rights. Her statements ignited empathy among participants, stressing the imperative and urgency of achieving gender equality worldwide.

In conclusion, Li stressed the need for collaborative efforts by all nations and societies to advance global human rights,
particularly in supporting and advancing women's development, calling for more comprehensive cooperation and deeper policy innovation. Her speech has prompted the international community to take a more earnest look at the significance of protecting human rights.

Dany Zhu
China Arab Center
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