The right to development: initial report

August 2017
Issued by:
The Special Rapporteur on the right to development
To the HRC at its 36th session, September 2017


In its resolution 33/14, the Human Rights Council established the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to development for a period of three years, and requested that the Special Rapporteur report annually to the Council and the General Assembly.

The Council appointed Saad Alfarargi as Special Rapporteur on the right to development at its thirty-fourth session and he formally took up his role on 1 May 2017.


In his report, drafted in the short period after his entering into office, the Special Rapporteur outlines his preliminary views concerning the background and context of the mandate, highlights certain challenges for its implementation and presents an outline of the preliminary strategy that will inform his work under the mandate, including strategic considerations that he will take into account and specific work streams. The report also includes the Special Rapporteur’s approach to engagement with stakeholders, as well as his methods of work.

More than 30 years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development, there is a need to reinvigorate the advocacy process for its implementation. Business as usual will not be sufficient to achieve progress. The right to development is not just a declaration or a topic for political debate within the United Nations or political forums. The reality outside these forums is that of billions of people who are in need of improvements in their lives and who are entitled to have their human rights, including the right to development, realised.

On the basis of Council resolution 33/14, the Special Rapporteur identified several major areas of focus that he would like to develop in the course of his mandate:

  1. Identify and work to remove structural obstacles to the implementation of the right to development through consultations, in particular regional consultations, on some of these issues.
  2. Develop a constructive dialogue and consult with States and other relevant stakeholders to identify, exchange and promote good practices relating to the realization of the right to development
  3. Explore practical measures and providing recommendations for the realization of the right to development at the national and international levels.
  4. Contribute to the work of the Working Group on the Right to Development, with a view to supporting the accomplishment of its overall mandate.