5 May 2008
The Human Rights Council appointed a new Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights during its 7th session held in March 2008. Mr. Cephas Lumina, a Zambian national, assumed his role on 1 May 2008.
The mandate, which succeeds that of the previous Independent Expert on the effects of economic reform policies and foreign debt on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, was extended for three years. Under the terms of the Human Rights Council’s resolution 7/4, the Independent Expert is called to pay particular attention to:
· The effects of foreign debt and the policies adopted to address them on the full enjoyment of all human rights, in particular, economic, social and cultural rights in developing countries;
· The impact of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations on the capacity of States to design and implement their policies and programmes, including national budgets that respond to vital requirements for the promotion of the realization of social rights;
· Measures taken by Governments, the private sector and international financial institutions to alleviate such effects in developing countries, especially the poorest and heavily indebted countries;
· New developments, actions and initiatives being taken by international financial institutions, other United Nations bodies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations with respect to economic reform policies and human rights;
· Quantification of minimum standards to support the realization of the Millennium Development Goals;
· Enhancement of consultations with all relevant stakeholders in the fulfillment of this mandate.
In addition, the Independent Expert is requested to:
· Explore further, in his analytical annual report to the Human Rights Council, the interlinkages with trade and other issues, including HIV/AIDS, when examining the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, and also to contribute, as appropriate, to the process entrusted with the follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development, with a view to bringing to its attention the broad scope of his/her mandate;
· Seek the views and suggestions of States, international organizations, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, regional economic commissions, international and regional financial institutions and non-governmental organizations on the draft general guidelines with a view to improve it, as appropriate, and to present updated draft general guidelines to the Council in 2010;
· Cooperate, in accordance with his mandate, with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as with the Advisory Committee, special procedures, mechanisms and relevant working groups of the Council related to economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development, in his/her work towards the improvement of the above-mentioned draft general guidelines; and
· To report regularly to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
Mr Lumina is a professor of Law from Zambia, currently teaching at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Mr. Lumina holds an LLB (with Merit) from the University of Zambia, LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, PhD in international human rights law from Griffith University in Australia and an Advanced Diploma in International Human Rights Law from Abo Akademi University in Finland. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from Griffith University and specialist qualifications in international humanitarian law and environmental litigation and advocacy. Dr Lumina is an Advocate of the High Court for Zambia (called to the bar in 1986) and has over 20 years’ legal research, practice and teaching experience in several countries, including Australia, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Uganda and Zambia.
Mr Lumina succeeds Mr Bernards Andrew Nyamwaya Mudho (Kenya) who was responsible for this mandate since 2001.
For more information about the mandate of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/special/themes.htm