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India raises concern over China’s Belt and Road Initiative

India on Friday raised concern over China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council, underlining that the ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) project ignores New Delhi’s core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.

While asserting that India shares the international community’s desire for enhancing physical connectivity and believes that it should bring greater economic benefits to all in an equitable and balanced manner, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Virander Paul said, “Regarding the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is being projected as the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the international community is well aware of India’s position. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“India reaffirms its commitment to the implementation of the Right to Development,” he added.

Paul said in his statement on the Report of the Working Group on the Right to Development that India understands that the right to development remains extremely important for an overwhelming majority of the global population. However, it is regrettable that even after three decades of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, and after 19 sessions of the working group on this subject, the right still remains a distant reality.

He further said that progress in the working group is possible only if participating member states demonstrate the necessary political will for seeking common ground with a result oriented approach.

“We agree that the process of development needs to be nationally owned and driven by national needs and priorities. However, what it needs to be complemented by is equitable economic relations and a favourable environment at the international level. It is high time that we recognise the Right to Development is central to the realisation of all other human rights,” he said.


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