Statement by H.E. Ms. Nazhat Shameem Khan, President of the Human Rights Council in the seminar on the Contribution of Development toThe Enjoyment of Human Rights
28 May 2021
Madam High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Honourable Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Bula Vinaka and Good Day,
It is my great honour to address you today during this intersessional seminar on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of human rights.
This event is a timely opportunity for all stakeholders to share good practices and experiences as well as identify gaps and challenges on this important topic.
Indeed, by better understanding how development contributes to the enjoyment of all human rights, the Council is better equipped to help all stakeholders in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and, thus, build societies which are fairer, more resilient, and built on the foundations of human dignity and equality.
In this connection, the Human Rights Council has undertaken a myriad of work to highlight the ways in which development contributes to the enjoyment of all human rights.
For example, I would like to highlight Human Rights Council resolution 41/19 entitled "the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights", which mandated this seminar. This resolution built upon the Council's resolution of the same name adopted in July 2017.
In both of these resolutions, the Human Rights Council recognized that "development and the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing".
It is precisely in this vein that I consider it essential to create synergies and establish a regular channel of communication and exchange between the three pillars of the United Nations, namely: Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development. Indeed, we cannot talk about human rights without talking about development and peace and security.
It is in this spirit that action by the United Nations must be inscribed, and the Human Rights Council can play a key role in providing States as well as the United Nations system with information and recommendations, in particular through the Universal Periodic Review and the special procedures mechanism. The systematic implementation of accepted recommendations can ensure the success and sustainability of efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by anchoring them firmly in human rights standards.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In addition to the aforementioned resolutions, the Human Rights Council has, since 2006, adopted annual resolutions entitled "the right to development". Additionally, last year, the Council held a biennial panel on the right to development at its 45th session last September.
I would also like to emphasize the important work undertaken by mandate holders and Council mechanisms to analyze and promote the right to development, including the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development, the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development and the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development, the 21st session of which just met from 17 to 21 May 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important the contribution of development is to human rights and how rights – ranging from the right to health to the right to an adequate standard of living to the right to education – can be compromised without the contributions of development.
The United Nations, its Member States, civil society organizations and all other stakeholders must ensure that, as we begin to move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, we properly analyze the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights and exchange best practices and lessons learned on the matter. These discussions, and this seminar in particular, will provide insights and actionable recommendations regarding how development can most effectively contribute to the enjoyment of human rights.
If I may, I would like to conclude on a personal note. As you know, I am from the Republic of Fiji, a Pacific Island State. For this reason, I know well how important the contribution of development is to the enjoyment of all human rights.
In Fiji, development is essential to ensure that all can enjoy human rights in the context of slow and sudden onset natural disasters brought on by climate change. Indeed, slow and sudden onset disasters threaten the enjoyment of a litany of rights – from the right to adequate housing, to the right to safe drinking water and sanitation and to cultural rights, among many others. But these threats can be mitigated with the effective planning and implementation of development.
With this in mind, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I encourage you all to consider how development both supports the enjoyment of human rights and can counteract threats to their enjoyment, with particular attention paid to exchanging best practices and lessons learned.
It is my hope that this seminar will serve to identify the areas for improvement as well emphasize the importance of having coherent and holistic UN action with regard to the pressing need of creating synergies between the pillars of Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development.
I wish you all a fruitful discussion.
Vinaka, I thank you.
 "The Right to Development", A/HRC/RES/45/6, 6 October 2020;
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