Press Conference to Launch ‘Hong Kong 2020’
on 24 April 2013
by Mrs Anson Chan GBM GCMG CBE JP
Ladies & Gentlemen,
First of all welcome and thank you for attending this press conference.
Today, I and my colleagues wish to formally announce the launch of ‘Hong Kong 2020’. Our aim is to provide a platform for soliciting views on how, as a community, we can work towards consensus on the constitutional changes necessary to achieve full universal suffrage for election of the Chief Executive in 2017 and all members of the Legislative Council by 2020. Having gathered views we will then develop, in turn, proposals for submission to the Government on changes to the composition of the Legislative Council in 2016, on the election of the CE in 2017 and on elections to LegCo in 2020.
Why are we launching this new initiative at this time?
As you know I have been publicly active in promoting the implementation of universal suffrage since 2006. In September that year I formed my ‘Core Group’ to develop proposals which culminated in the publishing in March 2007 of our paper: ‘The Road to Democracy’. This paper recommended a step-by-step approach to the orderly phasing in of full universal suffrage for election of the CE and all members of the Legislative Council, ideally in 2012 but no later than 2016.
Following the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, in December 2007, that election of the CE by universal suffrage may be introduced in 2017 and all members of LegCo in 2020, I dissolved the Core Group and set up the Citizens’ Commission for Constitutional Development in April 2008. The CCCD Steering Group has met regularly since then to monitor, comment on, and lend active support to initiatives that promote achievement of these goals.
We are now at a pivotal juncture in our journey to achieving full universal suffrage. While our Chief Executive treads water and refuses to commit to a timetable for the next phase of public consultation on constitutional reform we are losing precious time. As a matter of urgency we must begin to chart a course towards necessary changes in the composition of LegCo in 2016 so that, in turn, these can pave the way for establishing the Nominating Committee that will be responsible for nominating candidates for the post of Chief Executive to be elected by universal suffrage in 2017.
It is for this reason that I have decided to re-launch the CCCD under the name of ‘Hong Kong 2020’ to make clear that we are united in our commitment to meeting the 2020 target date envisaged in the NPC Decision. I am joined this afternoon by my fellow members of the Hong Kong 2020 Steering Group, all of whom have worked closely with me in the former CCCD.
We believe constitutional reform concerns every one of us in Hong Kong. The decisions that are taken in the coming months will have profound implications not just for us, but for succeeding generations. It is therefore vital that public consultation on these changes be:
- l open and transparent;
- l inclusive of different views; and
- l truly representative of the concerns and aspirations of the majority of Hong Kong citizens.
Over the next few months we will commence our work by reaching out to the widest possible cross-section of the community including representatives of the business sector, the professions, academia and district based organisations. Through contacts with student and alumni groups we will get a feel for the aspirations of young people, the voters of tomorrow who are becoming increasingly politically engaged.
We also intend to make maximum use of the internet and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to solicit public views and feedback on our emerging ideas. We will shortly be launching our website at www.hongkong2020.com. Please also “like” our Fan Page on Facebook as well as follow us on Twitter @info_hk2020.
In short we want to hear views and concerns from all shades of opinion. We are particularly anxious to establish a dialogue with representatives of the business sector, through whatever channels they feel most appropriate. We are approaching this task without preconceived ideas; our only bottom line is that the final package must be faithful to the core principles of universal and equal suffrage enshrined in Article 25 (b) of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and embodied in Articles 26, 39, 45 and 68 of our Basic Law, namely the right of every citizen – and I quote:
“To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors.” (Article 25 (b), ICCPR)
In conclusion, all of us round the table remain passionate about our work. We are passionate because we believe that genuine universal suffrage on the basis of “one man, one vote” is the best means of getting the legitimacy to the Chief Executive, securing good governance, maintaining our life style and preserving the rule of law and the rights and freedom that we currently enjoy. This is important not just in our lifetime but for future generations to come. And I can ensure you that all of us round the table will spare no efforts to achieve the promises which Beijing has made to the people of Hong Kong.