Central govt appointing young HK officials to UN a breakthrough: Lam

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/23 21:13:41

A Hong Kong youth delegation to the Chinese mainland is launched in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, June 25, 2018. Organized by the Committee of Youth Activities in Hong Kong, a delegation of some 150 Hong Kong youths on Monday went on a five-day tour to Shenzhen, Wuhan and Beijing to learn about the reform and opening up in the Chinese mainland. (Xinhua/Mao Siqian)

The central government of China has appointed five Hong Kong young civil servants to work in the United Nations (UN), which is a breakthrough for the city of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said on Monday.

Analysts hailed the move as innovation within "one country, two systems" that is beneficial for the youth in the city and a balanced voice over the situation in Hong Kong against Western bias.

Lam said at a press conference on Monday that the appointment is the first time that civil servants of the HKSAR government would take up positions in the UN under the recommendation by the central government as Chinese nationals. 

She noted the appointment is a new initiative of the country to support the city's young people in displaying their talents on the international stage, which is a breakthrough for Hong Kong.

The government is committed to cultivating young talents with a sense of commitment to society, a sense of national identity, and a broad vision for the future and the world, said Lam.

The five civil servants would start their service as junior professionals at UN headquarters in New York and other offices separately. They have worked in different government departments in Hong Kong with periods from five to eight years, according to Lam.

The five civil servants had taken a one-week training course in Beijing to strengthen their understanding of the UN, China's foreign policy, and the current international situation, Lam said.

Xie Feng, commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR, said the appointment reflects the love and support from the central government for young people, and demonstrates the inherent advantages of "one country, two systems."

Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, former director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), congratulated the five civil servants at a press conference. 

She said that under the UN mechanism only sovereign states have the right of speech and negotiation. She said she hopes the five HK international civil servants with Chinese nationality can seize the opportunity and achieve a deeper understanding of the concept of nationhood.

One of the five selected civil servants thanked the central and regional governments, saying that he would apply his experience in the UN to his government post after returning to Hong Kong. 

Lawrence Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that the appointment broke institutional barriers between the civil servant systems in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, and is an innovation in enhancing the compatibility of the "two systems" in the one country framework. 

Tian Feilong, associate professor at Beihang University in Beijing, said that Hong Kong civil servants working in the international organization could help balance global public opinion over the Hong Kong issue and assist the international community to understand more about Hong Kong and the "one country, two systems" objectively and comprehensively.

Current mainstream Western media reports tend to listen more to Hong Kong protesters and in turn have concocted many biased reports.
Newspaper headline: Central govt appointing HK officials to UN a breakthrough: Lam


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