Dear President Fu Zitang, ladies and gentlemen,
In this special period when the epidemic is already under control in China while still spreading overseas, we hold this video seminar themed on “Comparison of Human Rights Values between the East and the West in Epidemic Prevention and Control”, which comes in a timely and relevant way. On behalf of Huazhong Univesity of Science and Technology, I would like to extend thanks to China Society for Human Rights Studies for its guidance and support, as well as to extend a warm welcome to all the experts present.
Huazhong University of Science and Technology is among the first group of national key universities of “Double First-class Initiative” under the direct administration of the Ministry of Education of China. Over the past six decades and more, adhering to the mission of “fostering talents, driving innovation, fulfilling responsibility”, the university has been committed to promoting the integration of humanities and science education and has developed into a key comprehensive university that offers a full range of courses in liberal arts, science, engineering, medicine, administration, law, etc., making tremendous achievements in talent training and scientific research. In the Academic Rankings of European Universities, our university is among the top 50; in the world discipline ranking of US News, we have 3 disciplines among the top 10 and 6 disciplines among the top 30 globally; in social sciences, we’ve joined the top 1% in the ESI world ranking.
The Institute of Human Rights Law of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, as the organizer, is a trans-disciplinary and innovative independent entity established to integrate the human rights research resources of the whole school. The Institute adheres to the unity of Chinese characteristics and international vision, the combination of cross-disciplinary integration and highlighted advantages, and the connection between theoretical research and publicity and education. It aims to interpret the theoretical system of human rights with Chinese characteristics and contribute Chinese values, Chinese experience and Chinese wisdom to the construction of human rights in the world. By virtue of advantages amassed over 20 years’ practice, it has developed eight major focuses and distinctive features, covering human rights research with Chinese characteristics, research on the right to development, scientific and technological innovation and human rights, public health and human rights, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, civil and political rights, creative dissemination of Chinese human rights stories, and research on human rights education. From 2017 to 2019, the Institute had 453 papers on human rights published in CSSCI journals, 78 books published through People’s Publishing House, China Social Sciences Press, Commercial Press and overseas famous publishing houses such as Springer in Germany and Brill in Netherlands, and 2 articles released in People’s Daily, Guangming Daily, China Daily and other newspapers. It has submitted 101 advisory reports to the central and local governments, the UN Human Rights Council and other international organizations; presided over 53 scientific research projects of various types, represented by major projects of the National Social Science Fund; won 10 awards of various types, including the First Prize for Outstanding Achievements in Humanities and Social Sciences in Chinese Universities; and held 60 lectures on Chinese traditional culture on CCTV. The Institute has created a human rights law education system that covers all levels of learning from undergraduate, postgraduate to doctoral programs and held a series of training sessions on human rights, thereby making its own contributions to the dissemination of human rights knowledge among national staff in the judicial and security system and members of the community, the raising of human rights awareness, and the strengthening of the protection of human rights and the rule of law.
Wuhan, as one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak, had been hit hard. As a national top university based in Wuhan, Huazhong University of Science and Technology has made outstanding contributions to and played a pivotal role in the anti-epidemic battle. Among all the colleges and universities in China, Huazhong University of Science and Technology has contributed the greatest number of beds and medical staff to the anti-epidemic battle. The university has 10 affiliated hospitals all identified as designated hospitals, sent about 33,000 medical staff to the anti-epidemic frontline, provided more than 8,900 beds and managed nearly 6,000 beds in shelter hospitals, making great contributions to winning the battle against COVID-19. After the initial victory in fighting the epidemic in Wuhan, Tongji Hospital and Union Hospital affiliated to our university held video conferences with medical institutions and relevant organizations in more than 30 countries and regions in a timely way to share anti-epidemic practices, winning widespread recognition from international counterparts. On the other hand, the school has given full play to its scientific and technological advantages in medicine and engineering, guided epidemic prevention and control and clinical practice with scientific breakthroughs, invested emergency funds of RMB 50 million, mobilized more than 30 scientific research organizations to participate in scientific research projects on epidemic prevention and control. A number of experts and scholars have been actively involved in scientific research, with emphasis on the tracing of the new coronavirus, rapid detection and treatment, clinical drug screening, vaccine R & D and other aspects. In April 2020, the National Health Commission decided to set up a national medical center for major public health emergencies with Tongji Hospital affiliated to our university as the pillar force. At the same time, in terms of decision-making and consultation services provided for the combat against COVID-19, our experts served as leaders of the comprehensive expert panel on COVID-19 prevention and control of Hubei Province. They offered relevant national departments suggestions and more than 100 advisory reports, which were adopted by both central and local departments, thus making major contributions to protecting the people’s rights to life and health.
Today, holding a seminar like this is of great realistic significance for us to summarize lessons and experience, be fully prepared for the global pandemic prevention and control, and find solutions to problems concerning the human rights protection. In a globalized era, human beings are faced with many common questions, which require exchanges and mutual learning to seek the answer. Scholars around the world should respect and be honest with each other, conduct full exchanges in research outcomes, bridge the gap in understanding and enhance mutual trust, so as to provide academic support for the development of the world's human rights cause. This seminar responds to the new requirements for enhancing civilization exchanges and strengthening friendly cooperation in the new era. It provides an important platform for experts and scholars from different countries to conduct in-depth exchanges and dialogues, which will be conducive to boosting mutual understanding, respecting differences and fostering common progress.
Finally, I wish this seminar a complete success! Thank you!