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One step closer to a real right to international solidarity in a world of ever deepening inequalities

GENEVA (17 June 2014) – Achieving the full realization of human rights for all rests on international solidarity, United Nations rights expert Virginia Dandan reminded the UN Human Rights Council, while urging States to redouble their efforts to furthering solidarity and shared responsibility as key values for international relations in the twenty-first century.

“The right to international solidarity is a fundamental human right enjoyed by everyone on the basis of equality and non-discrimination,” the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity said in Geneva during the presentation of the draft declaration* on the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity.

“The draft declaration is a significant step in the evolution of international solidarity into a concrete right,” she underscored.

Ms. Dandan noted that, international solidarity responds to our urgent need for change in a world divided by ever deepening disparities. “It allow us to focus on our common interests in creating a just and fair political and economic order where sustainable international relations prevail through equal partnerships and peaceful coexistence of a culturally diverse international community,” she said.

“The declaration brings us closer to the formal recognition of the human right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity - a right that will serve as a potent tool in addressing the structural causes of poverty, inequality and other global challenges that impede the full exercise and enjoyment of all human rights,” the expert said.

In crafting the draft declaration on the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity, the Independent Expert turned to States, UN agencies and independent experts, as well as non-governmental organisations, academics, national human rights institutions and local communities.

The draft declaration informs and strengthens the targets related to the UN Millennium Development Goals as they evolve within the post 2015 development agenda – “a unique opportunity to close the gaps that persist and to meet the most basic development needs of our poorest communities,” she pointed out.

“While serving as a timely catalyst for the pursuit of these essential needs, the draft declaration also provides a framework against which international commitments may be nurtured and monitored,” the expert said. “It anchors our next global development agenda in international solidarity which stands at the heart of a more sustainable and equitable development.”

Ms. Dandan urged governments to unite and to pursue global development that is grounded in a partnership between States, with human rights at its core. “The draft declaration on the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity is a beacon that will guide us towards this immense yet inevitable goal,” the Independent Expert concluded.

(*) Read the ‘Draft Declaration’: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session26/Documents/A-HRC-26-34_en.doc

Virginia Dandan (Philippines) was appointed Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is currently an independent specialist on human rights in development, focusing on the application of the normative content of economic, social and cultural rights. Ms. Dandan was a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1990-2010) and served as its Chairperson for eight years (1998-2006). She was also in charge of the Human Rights Community Development Project in Three Philippine Indigenous Peoples’ Communities (2008-2010). Ms. Dandan is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Solidarity/Pages/IESolidarityIndex.aspx

Read the Independent Expert’s reports to the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Solidarity/Pages/AnnualReport.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact Priya Gopalan (+41 22 917 9720 / pgopalan@ohchr.org) or write to iesolidarity@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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