Towards 30 years of the right to development


“Hope lies in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the solemn pledge of all the world’s governments,” said Craig Mokhiber, who heads the Development and Economic Social Issues Branch of the UN Human Rights Office, “and in the international solidarity and cooperation that must anchor the right to development in the issues of people on the ground.”

Mokhiber was speaking of the Declaration of the Right to Development, which for nearly 30 years has declared a human right directly connected to improving welfare and livelihoods, as well as peace and security for all individuals and peoples.

Today marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration by the UN General Assembly, which Mokhiber has called one of the most under-used documents in the human rights toolkit.

“The hallmark of rights-based development, the Declaration emphasizes the dignity of the human person, even in the face of governmental excesses and corporate abuses; when exploiting natural resources and unabated consumption have become matters of first concern; when financial speculation thrives for global elites, and vulture funds feed on the misery of the hungry,” he said.

2015 has seen a renewed spotlight on the right to development via the creation of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals and global arrangements in development finance and in climate change.

4 December 2015

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