“We, heads of State and Government, … are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want.”
UN Millennium Declaration

Right to Development


ECOSOC special event

“The right to development and global partnership for development”

12 July 2011, 4-6 PM, Geneva, Switzerland

 4 December 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development by the General Assembly.

 General Assembly resolution 48/141, which established the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights, explicitly includes the mandate “to promote and protect the realization of the right to development and to enhance support from relevant bodies of the United Nations system for this purpose.” Through its annual resolution on the right to development, the General Assembly requests the High Commissioner to mainstream the right to development and to “undertake effectively activities aimed at strengthening the global partnership for development between Member States, development agencies and the international development, financial and trade institutions.”3 The meaningful implementation of this mandate requires support from ECOSOC which, as the principal UN organ to coordinate economic and social work of the fourteen United Nations specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions, provides the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.

Given a high level of complementarity and synergy between the High Commissioner’s mandate on the right to development and the coordination role of ECOSOC, and on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, a special event on “The right to development and global partnership for development” took place during the coordination segment of the substantive session of ECOSOC in July 2011.

This substantive ECOSOC session provided the international community with an opportunity to:

  •  Discuss the relationship between the right to development, as outlined in the Declaration on the Right to Development, and the objectives, programmes and activities of development partners in the UN-system;
  •  Facilitate dialogue with UN agencies on development as a human right;
  •  Share views on how system-wide coherence in policy and action, responsibility and accountability, can be achieved in the implementation of the right to development;
  •  Review how the promotion of the right to development and the achievement of MDG 8 can reinforce each other and how the UN system can use these synergies in the perspective of 2015 and beyond; and
  •  Identify initiatives and key areas for future cooperation and coordination in implementing the right to development.

Concept note


  • H.E. Mr. Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, New York and Vice-President of the Council


Group of States or regional groups