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Right to Development

“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


DEVELOPMENT IS A HUMAN RIGHT FOR ALL


 

High-Level Task Force on the implementation of the right to development

 

The high-level task force on the implementation of the right to development was established by the Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 2004/7, and the Economic and Social Council, by its decision 2004/249, at the recommendation and within the framework of the intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development, in order to assist it in fulfilling its mandate . The function of the task force was to provide the necessary expertise to the Working Group to enable it to make appropriate recommendations to the various actors on the issues identified for the implementation of the right to development.

 

The task force initially examined the obstacles and challenges to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in relation to the right to development; social impact assessments in the areas of trade and development at the national and international levels; and best practices in the implementation of the right to development. Thereafter, the task force examined Millennium Development Goal 8, on a global partnership for development, which led to development of criteria for evaluation of global partnerships with the aim to improve their effectiveness in support of the realization of the right to development. As requested by the Working Group in 2006, the task force applied the criteria, on a pilot basis and for the period of 2007-2009, to selected partnerships (see the box below). The purpose of this exercise was to operationalize and develop further the criteria, thus contributing to mainstreaming the right to development in policies and operational activities of relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels, including multilateral financial, trade and development institutions.

 

The Working Group decided in 2009 to expand the scope of the criteria and requested the task force to revise them in order that they “address the essential features of the right to development, as defined in the Declaration on the Right to Development, in a comprehensive and coherent way, including priority concerns of the international community beyond those enumerated in Millennium Development Goal 8”.

 

Consequently and in conclusion of its mandate, the task force submitted to the Working Group the criteria and operational-sub-criteria for the implementation of the right to development. With the purpose of translating the right to development from political commitment to development practice, the criteria were designed to serve as an operational tool to:

  • assess the extent to which States are individually and collectively taking steps to establish, promote and sustain national and international arrangements that create an enabling environment for the realization of the right to development;
  • serve as a useful tool for stakeholders to assess the current state of the implementation of the right to development and facilitate its further realization at the international and national levels;
  • contribute to mainstreaming the right to development in the policies and operational activities of relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels, including multilateral financial, trade and development institutions; and
  • evaluate the human rights implications of development and trade policies and programmes.

The task force was comprised of five independent experts nominated by the Chairperson of the Working Group on the Right to Development in consultation with the regional groups of member-States, and representatives from the identified international trade, finance and development institutions.

The composition of the task force included:

Ms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia): 2004 (Chairperson)
Mr. Stephen Marks (United States of America): 2004 (member), 2005-2010 (Chairperson)
Mr. Arjun Sengupta (India): 2004
Mr. Silvio Baro Herrera (Cuba): 2004
Ms. Sabine von Schorlemer (Germany): 2004-2005
Mr. Leonardo Garnier Rimolo (Costa Rica): 2005
Mr. Habib Ouane (Mali): 2005
Ms. Solita Collas Monsod (Philippines): 2007
Ms. Margaret Sekaggya (Uganda): 2007-2008
Mr. Jorge Vargas Gonzalez (Colombia): 2007-2008
Mr. Nicolaas Schrijver (Netherlands): 2007-2010
Ms. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (Japan): 2009-2010
Mr. Raymond Atuguba (Ghana): 2009-2010
Ms. Flavia Piovesan (Brazil): 2009-2010

Annual sessions of the High-Level Task Force on the implementation of the right to development:

6th Session, 2010
5th Session, 2009
4th Session, 2008
3rd Session, 2007
2nd Session, 2005
1st Session, 2004

Global partnerships reviewed from RTD perspective

Millennium Development Goal 8, with its focus on international cooperation, is consistent with international responsibilities outlined in the Declaration on the Right to Development. Consequent to the Working Group recommendations, the task force assessed the following multilateral institutions or mechanisms from the RTD perspective:

Development aid:

  • Economic Commission for Africa/Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development-Development Assistance Committee: Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in the context of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
  • Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
  • African Peer Review Mechanism

Trade:

  • African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and European Union Partnership Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreements

Access to essential medicines

  • Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property
  • Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Debt Sustainability

  • the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
  • the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

Transfer of technology

  • Development Agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Clean Development Mechanism

See A/HRC/15/WG.2/TF/2/Add.1 and A/HRC/15/WG.2/TF/2/Add.1/Corr.1 for more information.