The Declaration on The Right to Development in Danger!

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986, the Declaration on the Right to Development has become an obstacle to proponents of neo-liberalism. It stresses the right of all peoples to “freely determine their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development”, to exercise “full and complete sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources”, the right and obligation of each State to “formulate appropriate national development policies that aim at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom”, and the obligation of all States to “co-operate with each other in ensuring development and eliminating obstacles to development.”
Needless to say, these principles do not satisfy proponents of a world without restrictions to the flow of capital and the pillage of transnational corporations; needless to point out that this Declaration clashes against the policies of the WTO, IMF, World Bank, and places in an awkward position the government who are subjected to neoliberal policies.

Human Rights Commission 2002

An Appeal by CETIM and AAJ and signed by 82 NGOs and Social Movements to Working Group on the Right to Development. Oral Statement by CETIM and AAJ.



We the undersigned:

- Reaffirm that “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” ;

- Also reaffirm that “the respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples to self-determination” , as well as “the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members” implies “the exercise of their inalienable right to full sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources” ;

- Demand a democratic international order, based on democratic principles, allowing for the full participation of each country to partake in economic decision-making and to define trade policy at the international level;

- Also reaffirm that, “Participation, if it is so effective in mobilizing of human and natural resources and combating inequalities, discrimination, poverty and exclusion, must involve genuine ownership or control of productive resources such as land, financial capital and technology. Participation is also the principal means by which individuals and peoples collectively determine their needs and priorities, and ensure the protection and advancement of their rights and interests” ;

- Urge the independent expert to focus on implementing the right to development, on the bases of the Declaration on the right to development, in accordance with the mandate entrusted by the Commission on Human Rights, specifically to “to enhance efforts to consider and evaluate the impact of international economic and financial issues on the enjoyment of human right” ;

- Urge the Working Group to focus, on one hand, on a follow-up mechanism on the implementation of the right to development and, on the other hand, on a mechanism introducing sanctions for violations to the right to development, and economic, social and cultural rights.


1) Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España (Spain)
2) Association internationale de Techniciens, Experts et Chercheurs - AITEC (France)
3) Alliance Universelle des Unions Chrétiennes de Jeunes Gens - UCJG
World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations - YMCA
4) AL SUR DEL SUR. Plataforma contra la Impunidad y por los Derechos Humanos (Spain)
5) Amandamaji ry (Finland)
6) Asamblea por los Derechos Humanos del Cono Sur (Chili)
7) Association Américaine de Juristes - AAJ
American Association of Jurists - AAJ
8) Action populaire contre la mondialisation - APCM
9) Association pour le Développement de la Sériciculture (France)
10) Association Sainte Catherine (France)
11) Attac Belgique
12) Attac Bienne (Switzerland)
13) Attac Bretagne (France)
14) Attac France
15) Attac Genève (Switzerland)
16) Attac Neuchâtel (Switzerland)
17) Attac Rhône (France)
18) Attac Savoie (France)
19) Attac Bellegarde-Pays de Gex (France)
20) Bangladesh Krishok Federation
21) Centre Europe-Tiers Monde - CETIM
Europe-Third World Center
22) Colectivo de Solidaridad por la Justicia y dignidad de los Pueblos
23) Comisión para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Centroamerica - CODEHUCA
24) Comité pour l'Annulation de la Dette du Tiers-Monde - CADTM (Switzerland)
25) Comité pour l'Annulation de la Dette du Tiers-Monde - CADTM (France)
26) Comité pour les droits humains "Daniel Gillard" (Belgium)
27) Commission Tiers Monde de l’Eglise Catholique - COTMEC (Switzerland)
28) World Confederation of Labor - WCL
29) Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas - CNOC (Guatemala)
30) Déclaration de Berne (Switzerland)
Berne Declaration
31) Entrée9 (France)
32) Fédération des Associations pour la Défense et la Promotion des Droits de l’Homme
Federacion de Associacones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos
33) Fonds de Coopération au Développement - FCD - Solidarité Socialiste (Belgium)
34) Fédération Générale des Femmes Arabes
General Arab Women Federation
35) Food First Information and Action Network - FIAN (France)
36) Fédération Internationale des Mouvements d'Adultes Ruraux Catholiques - FIMARC
37) Federation of Indonesia Peasant Union - FSPI
38) Focus on the Global South (Thailand)
39) Fondation Ficat Barcelone (Spain)
40) Forum contre le racisme (Switzerland)
41) Forum du tiers monde (Senegal)
42) France Libertés Fondation Danielle Mitterrand
43) Fundacion Celestina Perez de Almada (Paraguay)
44) Grandmothers for Peace (Finland)
45) Hijos por la Identidad y la Jsuticia contra el Olvido y el Silencio - H.I.J.O.S. (Mexico)
46) Instituto de Derechos Humanos Pedro Arrupe (Spain)
47) International Alliance of Women - IAW (Australia)
48) Intervida
49) Jeunesses alternatives (Switzerland)
50) KongoNetzwerk (Germany)
51) Ligue internationale des femmes pour la paix et la liberté - LIFPL
Women's international League for Peace and Freedom - WILPF
52) Ligue internationale pour les droits et la libération des peuples - LIDLIP
International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples
53) Lucha contra la pobreza y protection del medio ambiente (Paraguay)
54) Madera Association (France)
55) Mouvement d'Action Paysanne - MAP (France)
56) Mouvement for National Land Agriculturel Reform (Sri Lanka)
57) Mouvement Indien "Tupaj Amaru"
Indian Movement"Tupaj Amaru"
58) Mouvement Mondial des Mères
World Movement of Mothers
59) Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l'Amitié entre les Peuples - MRAP
Movement against Racism and for Friendship among peoples
60) Nord-Sud XXI
North South XXI
61) O.I.N.G.D. CIVIMED Initiatives (France)
62) PACS - Instituto Politicas Alternativas para el Cono Sur (Brazil)
63) Pain pour le prochain (Switzerland)
64) Pax Romana
65) Plate-Forme Haïtienne de Plaidoyer pour un Développement Alternatif - PAPDA (Haïti)
66) Public Services International (France)
67) Red Solidaria por los Derechos Humanos - REDH (Uruguay)
68) Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights - WGNRR (Netherlands)
69) Servicio Paz y Justicia - SERPAJ (France)
70) Sindicato de profesores del Reino Unido "NATFHE" (United Kingdom)
71) Survie France
72) Syndicat interprofessionnel de travailleuses et travailleurs - SIT (Switzerland)
73) SWISSAID (Switzerland)
74) Swiss Coalition of Development Organisations (Switzerland)
75) Union des Juristes Arabes
Union of Arab Jurists
76) Union des Syndicats Autonomes de Madagascar - USAM
77) Via Campesina
78) VIVA IQUIQUE. Asamblea por los Derechos Humanos del Cono Sur (Chili)
79) Women against nuclear Power (Finland)
80) Women for Peace (Finland)
81) Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action - YUVA (India)
82) Zone110 (Belgium)