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Side-Event on Human Rights Mainstreaming in the Post-2015 Development

13 June 2014

Excellencies,
Madam Deputy High Commissioner,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to attend this side-event on Human Rights mainstreaming in the Post 2015 Development Agenda, together with my predecessors and, presidents of the Human Rights Council of the 5th, 6th, 7th cycles, respectively.

My presentation will focus on the Human Rights Council contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as well as the effort to mainstream human rights in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Human rights are essential to achieving and sustaining development. The Millennium Declaration, adopted by the world’s leaders in 2000 recognized the interrelation between human rights and development.

Despite this acknowledgment, the MDGs were not sufficiently associated with human rights and did not attach appropriate attention to issues related to discrimination and inequalities.

Fourteen and half years later it is clear that the objectives of human well-being and dignity for all, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will not be achieved if the MDGs are pursued in isolation from human rights.

Unfortunately, while some countries are on track to reaching a few of these Goals, more than a billion people are still trapped in extreme poverty. The challenges are most severe in the least developed and landlocked countries, small island developing states and those vulnerable to natural hazards and armed conflicts.

Yet, even in countries scoring major successes, large disparities still persist, with millions of people left behind in the race towards achieving the MDGs. It is thus essential to renew our commitment to a human rights-based development approach.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

An assessment of actions and initiatives undertaken by the Human Rights Council to the implementation of the MDG has led us to conclude that the Human Rights Council has contributed a lot for advancing certain goals and objectives namely goals No. 1,2,3,4,5 concerning: reducing extreme poverty and hunger by half by 2015, ensuring education for all, promoting gender equality and empowering women, as well as reducing child and maternal mortality through universal access to health care services.

As for the implementation of goals 6, 7 and 8 aimed to combat epidemics of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, achieving sustainable development and building a global partnership to respond to the specific needs of the least developed, landlocked and small island developing countries.

The Council held several high-level panels and debates on a wide range of subjects and themes aimed at promoting and protecting the rights to education, to health, to development, to access to safe drinking water and housing conditions, to decent work as well as to access primary public health care systems.

The Council has also worked on developing partnerships and specific programs to support and provide technical assistance and capacity building to the least developed, landlocked and small islands developing countries in the field of human rights as well as to facilitate their participation in the Universal Periodic Review and to the regular Human Rights Council sessions.

It also did a major contribution to the implementation of Millennium Development goals 2, 3 and 4 with the adoption of guiding principles on extreme poverty and human rights, on Business and Human Rights, and for the Alternative Care of Children.

In addition it has also developed the World Programme for Human Rights Education, a global initiative of the United Nations designed to build knowledge and skills, attitudes and behaviours, in order to promote and uphold human rights as well as concrete measures to integrate human rights education in all sectors.

Among the twenty special sessions held by the HRC, two were organized to tackle the consequences of the negative impact of the global food crisis and the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on the effective enjoyment and realization of universal human rights.

Various resolutions and decisions were adopted by the Council, to establish new mechanisms, special procedures mandate-holders on a range of thematic issues aimed to meet the need of mainstreaming human rights in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

Moreover, numerous excellent ideas are emerging, some advocating the mainstream of women's rights, the rights of migrants, the right of the disabled persons, others are pushing for the freedom of expression on the internet, the protection of the human rights of journalists, as well as migrant workers, to be included among the main priorities of the post-2015 development Agenda.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The UNSG Special Advisor for the post-2015 Development Agenda is making great efforts to preserve the indivisibility of the rights while trying to keep all countries on board. The diversity of perspectives is making the task increasingly difficult and that is why all views must be taken into account in the process to achieve a balanced Agenda.

The Council should continue to respond to increasing requests for more assistance and advice on human rights issues from member states to ensure quick, appropriate and concerted reaction tohuman rights crises but also to improve situations on the ground in the long run.

I thank you.