People visit a photo exhibition titled "For a Better Life of the People" at the Palaise des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept. 11, 2017. The photo exhibition titled "For a Better Life of the People" showcasing China's progress and achievements in the human rights promotions in the recent years opened on Monday at the Palaise des Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
GENEVA, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's progress in human rights promotion were applauded by a number of senior diplomats and international organizations' leaders who joined some 800 viewers at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition.
Titled "For a Better Life of the People" and showcasing China's progress and achievements in the human rights promotions in recent years, the exhibition was opened Monday in the Palaise des Nations, the UN headquarters in Geneva.
"I am able to visit China every year and I'm pleased and honored to have such an opportunity to see the progress being made there in human rights of its people," Ambassador William Lacy Swing, director general of the International Organization for Migration, told Xinhua.
He said the most impressive thing is the reduction of the poverty levels in China.
According to figures provided at the exhibition, since the start of its reform and opening up in 1978, China has lifted more than 700 million rural people out of poverty.
Ambassador Farukh Amil, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN and other international organizations at Geneva, told Xinhua that his country is always very happy to see China's development at such an "incredible speed."
"What I saw here at the exhibition is a testimony for that, and what I see here shows very clearly that China has improved the human rights situation for hundreds of millions of people," he said.
"What the Chinese government has done is to provide dignity to its people through development, through access to clean drinking water, through education and so on," said the ambassador.
Amil said it's normal for the world to have different understanding about issues, including human rights, "but the important thing is that how you put these differences in a harmonious and constructive way."
Ambassador Alexey Borodavkin, Russia's permanent representative to the UN Office and other international organizations at Geneva, also applauded China's development as being "very impressing, especially China's reduction of poverty and the sustainability of social and economic development."
"There are so many human rights fields being improved comparing with previous years, such as heath care, social care, education and so on. It's really an example of how sustained development can contribute to the promotion of human rights," he told Xinhua.
"Our understanding is that in order to promote human rights, we need economic development, improvement in education and reduction of poverty. Without that, we can not achieve our human rights goals," he said.
The exhibition, the first ever held in the Palaise des Nations, contains a collection of 70 pictures and 15 short videos.
"I believe they provide a comprehensive guide to how far China has come in social and economic development," Ma Zhaoxu, China's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN at Geneva, said at the opening ceremony.
"Over the past 40 years since the start of reform and opening up, particularly over the last five years, China has stayed committed to sustainable development," Ma said.
China is also making every effort to improve education, create more reliable jobs, deliver more rewarding incomes, weave a stronger social safety net, provide more advanced medical and health care, improve housing conditions and the natural environment, and offer a more enriched cultural life, he said.
Huang Junxian, inspector of the Human Rights Affairs Department of China's State Council Information Office, said that respecting and protecting human rights are a key principle of governance for the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government.
"It is also an important goal of pursuing socialism with Chinese characteristics," he said.