The Covid 19 pandemic has increased inequalities within countries as well as spectacular inequalities between the so-called developed countries and third world countries.
According to Oxfam, the world’s richest 1% have twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people
This catastrophic increase in poverty, therefore, makes imperative the implementation and promotion of the right to development.
What is it ? Which right and which development are we referring to?
The Declaration on the Right to Development (DRD) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1986. It results from efforts of the Non Aligned Movement to establish a fairer and more equitable New International Economic Order. The DRD opposes the dominant ideology in which economic growth is the primary objective of development.
On the contrary, the DRD asserts that the human person – individually and above all, collectively – is at the heart of all activity not only economic but also social, political and cultural. In this sense, it must be the central subject and not merely the object, of a development process that is based on people’s active, free and meaningful participation.
The objective of the Right to Development is to achieve self-determination and sovereignty of peoples regarding their choice of development model, in a spirit of equality and mutual respect. The Right to Development also implies that the benefits of development be distributed equitably. The DRD postulates that all States, individually and collectively, adopt as a priority, the realization of all human rights (civil, political, economic, social and cultural). After tough negotiations over the wording of the text, a number of powerful Northern states tried to scrap it, to soften it and even to misrepresent its content. Constantly attacked by these states, the DRD has never been implemented. It directly opposes current political policies, in particular those of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and NATO. The policies of these institutions run counter to the aspirations of peoples of the South to autonomy and self-reliant development.
Nevertheless, thanks to the perseverance of many countries of the Non Aligned Movement (which today includes more than 120 states) and China, a process to develop a draft Convention on the Right to Development has been initiated recently at the United Nations. The aim is to make the Right to Development “operational”. In May 2023, the intergovernmental working group of the Human Rights Council on the Right to Development will consider the last draft of the Convention and its commentaries. CETIM actively participated in the discussions. Indeed, for more than two decades, our association has regularly intervened at the UN and follows developments closely in order to ensure that the Right to Development is not forgotten or diverted from its purpose. It also watches closely to make sure that its implementation is not systematically obstructed but on the contrary, is properly supported and promoted.
CETIM publications related to the right to development(other publications are only available in French here)
The Intergovernmental Open-ended Working Group on the Right to Development
Special Rapporteur on the right to development
Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development
CETIM’s statements at the UN
The 23rd Session of the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development was held in Geneva (16-20 May 2022) in the context of growing inequalities, wars and multiple crises (political, economic, social, ecological, and health), exacerbated by Covid-19.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL 49th session The right to water of the Syrian population, and in particular of the peasant communities who depend on it for agriculture, is systematically violated in the framework of the military occupation of the territory by Turkey and pro-Turkish militias. Read the written statement in English
PRESS RELEASE Geneva, March 29, 2022 – The International Commission of Inquiry on Syria presented its annual report at the 49th regular session of the HRC. The report highlighted the catastrophic humanitarian and human rights record of the conflict over the past 11 years, while omitting the role played by foreign military occupation forces in […]
WORKING GROUP ON THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT 22nd Session CETIM made several comments in relation to the debate on the human rights obligations of transnational corporations. Confusion is being maintained on this subject in certain circles, whether or not deliberately, despite the fact that it is an extremely important question for the achievement of the […]
The last CETIM bulletin of the year 2021 has just been published. Read it here in full. It deals among other things with the criminalisation of informal trade in Chile. As well as the binding treaty on transnational corporations that CETIM and its partners are defending at the UN.