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Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development - Online Dialogue with Civil Society Organizations


Concept Note


Organizer:
UN Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development
Date and Venue:
21 October, 4pm to 7:30pm CET
Virtual
Objectives:
The purpose of this dialogue is to provide a platform for the Expert Mechanism to engage with Civil Society Organizations and Movements (CSOs) on promoting and operationalizing the right to development.

The dialogue has the following specific aims:

  • To assess civil society engagement with the right to development in their agendas and activities.
  • To address challenges and barriers that civil society groups face in their engagement with the right to development.
  • To explore strategies for enhancing civil society engagement with the right to development.
  • To share good practices, initiatives, and strategies on using the right to development framework for human rights advocacy and development work.
  • To Encourage CSOs’ engagement in the drafting process of a global legally binding instrument on the right to development.

Background: EMRTD Context 

This dialogue is organized as part of a series of stakeholder engagement meetings related to the mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (EMRTD). The EMRTD was established by the Human Rights Council in 2020 with a mandate to provide the Council with thematic expertise on the right to development in searching for, identifying, and sharing best practices with Member States, and to promote the implementation of the right to development worldwide. The work of the EMRTD has been guided by two overarching themes, namely, to reinvigorate and mainstream the Right to Development, and to empower civil society and grassroots organizations to use the Right to Development in their work. The EMRTD is therefore interested in learning from civil society organizations and movements, and supporting civil society engagement with the aim of identifying good practices, opportunities and challenges that can be shared with states, international organizations, and other stakeholders.

Civil Society Context

The Right to Development offers a useful framework for advocacy on a wide range of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, particularly related with inequalities and sovereignty and the duty to cooperate. However, many right-holders and civil society organizations and movements do not use the Right to Development in their advocacy work as widely and effectively as they can. In some cases, civil society groups are unaware of the Right to Development and the possibilities it holds as a tool for legal and social advocacy. Although the Declaration on the Right to Development itself does not create a cause of legal action, many of the elements of the right to development are reaffirmed in binding international law. The right to development is also affirmed in some legally-binding regional human rights instruments.

This EMRTD Dialogue offers a forum to promote the Right to Development among civil society groups, especially grassroots movements and organizations, learn from them, and inform them on the possibilities of the rights to development as an instrument of human rights advocacy and development practice. A key focus of the dialogue will be identifying and addressing the conceptual and practical difficulties of using the right to development in human rights advocacy. A related goal of the dialogue is to encourage CSOs’ engagement in the drafting process of a global legally binding instrument on the right to development.

Participants

  • EMRTD
  • Civil Society Organizations and Movements
  • OHCHR RTD section staff
  • EMRTD Academic Friends

Scenario of the event

The dialogue will be structured around specific Right to Development themes.
The meeting will be organized in two parts or sessions.

The first session of the dialogue will focus on introducing the EMRTD, the Right to Development provisions, and general strategies for realization, and the Draft Covenant on the Right to Development.
This session will be introduced by EMRTD members, once the experts presentations have been made, there will be space for participants´ questions and comments via chat.

The second session will focus on the criticisms, opportunities and challenges of civil society engagement with the Right to Development. The EMRTD is particularly interested in hearing from CSOs about the obstacles they face in engaging with the Right to Development and how these can be addressed. This session will be introduced by a CSO representative and will include remarks and interventions of participants.

This second session, where the EMRTD wishes to listen to civil society organizations and movements, will be guided by a number of leading questions presented at the end of this concept note. In addition to that, Civil Society Organizations and Movements will be invited to suggest topics of interest and issues of concern to be added to the agenda of future discussions.

The platform to be used will be Kudo in the form of seminars. There will be simultaneous interpretation into English, Spanish and French.

Preparatory Documents

Session 1 – 1 hour

The Right to Development Agenda

  1. Principles and Provisions: DRTD
  2. The Right to Development and the 2030 Agenda / challenges of Development Finance and the Political Economy of Development
  3. State Obligations on the Right to Development
  4. International cooperation and global partnerships
  5. Draft Covenant on the Right to Development

Session 2 –  2 hours with a 10 min break

Civil Society Organizations and Movements and their perspectives about Development and the Right to Development

Trigger questions:

  1. How civil society organizations and movements define development and what are the contributions you would like to make to the agenda of the Right to Development and to the SDGs?
  2. How can the Right to Development support ongoing struggles, including those related with the COVID-19 Pandemics?
  3. Which are the agendas that your social movement is interested in inserting or influencing within the framework of the Right to Development?
  4. How can the social movements contribute to the debate and final adopt of the Convention on the Right to Development?


Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development
Thematic studies
Sessions of the Expert Mechanism
Others involved
Contact information

EMRTD, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
OHCHR-emrtd@un.org