Commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development


The Human Rights Council organized a high-level event in the framework of its 52nd regular session to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development.

CETIM, committed for decades to the promotion of this fundamental right for popular struggles, did not miss the call and presented a statement to express its concern about an increasingly militarized international order.

It should be remembered that the great dominant powers never cease to question the right to development, which they consider an obstacle to their domination. In the same way, amalgams are maintained between development and the right to development by these same powers. Moreover, for the latter, development is nothing other than economic growth, to the benefit of the dominant elites and to the detriment of the people and the working classes. However, the painful experience of many peoples crushed by (neo)colonialism and the imposition of a development model generating misery and oppression, shows us the opposite. Indeed, growth is neither infinite nor unlimited; it only benefits a small minority who dispose of the often-non-renewable resources as they please, thus violating the basic rights of the vast majority of present and future generations.

It should be noted that the right to development is not limited to the economic aspect, as clearly stated in the first paragraph of Article 1 of the Declaration on the Right to Development: “The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.”

Those who think that the right to development only concerns the countries of the South are mistaken and seem to ignore the major problems in the countries of the North such as the dislocation of social cohesion; the rise of unemployment, racism and insecurity (in all senses of the word); the stirring up of conflicts by populist discourses between generations and corporations, etc.

Added to this is the growing militarization and exorbitant military spending in an international context characterized by the rise of reactionary movements and the intensification of imperialist strategies for world domination. The latter see their interests challenged by the momentum of new poles of power (multipolar world), thus intensifying the military confrontation. This context directly challenges the promotion and implementation of the right to development, in that the transfer of resources to the arms race means less budgetary resources in public services and key sectors such as health, water and sanitation, culture, education, food, housing, international cooperation, etc.

In its intervention, CETIM recalled that the Declaration on the Right to Development states: “to achieve general and complete disarmament under effective international control” with the purpose of “the establishment, maintenance and strengthening of international peace and security” (art.7)

Finally, CETIM reiterated its firm support for the adoption of a UN Convention on the Right to Development, with a view to forging a political and legal lever at the service of the self-determination of peoples and of the strategies of social movements to transform our societies in a sense of social and climate justice.

Read the full text of the oral statement in French

More :

Video streaming of the high-level event

Text of the UN Declaration on the right to development

Website of the UN Inter-governemental Working Group on the right to development

Publication of CETIM on the right to development

CETIM’s articles on the right to development :

Q&A on the Declaration on the Right to Development

New efforts at the UN for the promotion of the right to development

Monetary issues and the right to development

Significant progress on the Draft Convention on the Right to Development

Why a UN Convention on the right to development ?

Key points for a true right to development

Categories Articles News Right to development
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