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High-Level Task Force on the implementation of the right to development (2004-2010)

The high-level task force on the implementation of the right to development was established by the Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 2004/7, and the Economic and Social Council, by its decision 2004/249, at the recommendation and within the framework of the intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development. The purpose of the task force was to provide the necessary expertise to the Working Group to enable it to make appropriate recommendations to the various actors on the issues identified for the implementation of the right to development.

The task force initially examined the obstacles and challenges to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in relation to the right to development; social impact assessments in the areas of trade and development at the national and international levels; and best practices in the implementation of the right to development. Thereafter, the task force examined Millennium Development Goal 8, on a global partnership for development, which led to development of criteria for evaluation of global partnerships (see below the list of the partnerships reviewed by the Task Force) with the aim to improve their effectiveness in support of the realisation of the right to development.

The Working Group decided in 2009 to expand the scope of the criteria and requested the task force to revise them in order that they “address the essential features of the right to development… including priority concerns of the international community beyond those enumerated in Millennium Development Goal 8”.

Consequently and in conclusion of its mandate, the task force submitted to the Working Group the criteria and operational-sub-criteria for the implementation of the right to development. With the purpose of translating the right to development from political commitment to development practice, the criteria were designed to serve as an operational tool to:

  • assess the extent to which States are individually and collectively taking steps to establish, promote and sustain national and international arrangements that create an enabling environment for the realisation of the right to development;
  • serve as a useful tool for stakeholders to assess the current state of the implementation of the right to development and facilitate its further realisation at the international and national levels;
  • contribute to mainstreaming the right to development in the policies and operational activities of relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels, including multilateral financial, trade and development institutions; and
  • evaluate the human rights implications of development and trade policies and programmes.

Members of the High-level Task Force

The task force was comprised of five independent experts nominated by the Chairperson of the Working Group on the Right to Development in consultation with the regional groups of member States, and representatives from international trade, finance and development institutions.

The composition of the task force included:

  • Ms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia): 2004 (Chairperson)
  • Mr. Stephen Marks (United States of America): 2004 (member), 2005-2010 (Chairperson)
  • Mr. Arjun Sengupta (India): 2004
  • Mr. Silvio Baro Herrera (Cuba): 2004
  • Ms. Sabine von Schorlemer (Germany): 2004-2005
  • Mr. Leonardo Garnier Rimolo (Costa Rica): 2005
  • Mr. Habib Ouane (Mali): 2005
  • Ms. Solita Collas Monsod (Philippines): 2007
  • Ms. Margaret Sekaggya (Uganda): 2007-2008
  • Mr. Jorge Vargas Gonzalez (Colombia): 2007-2008
  • Mr. Nicolaas Schrijver (Netherlands): 2007-2010
  • Ms. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (Japan): 2009-2010
  • Mr. Raymond Atuguba (Ghana): 2009-2010
  • Ms. Flavia Piovesan (Brazil): 2009-2010

Global partnerships reviewed from RTD perspective

Millennium Development Goal 8, with its focus on international cooperation, is consistent with international responsibilities outlined in the Declaration on the Right to Development. Consequent to the Working Group recommendations, the task force assessed the following multilateral institutions or mechanisms from the RTD perspective:

Development aid:

  • Economic Commission for Africa/Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development-Development Assistance Committee: Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in the context of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
  • Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
  • African Peer Review Mechanism


  • African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and European Union Partnership Agreement and Economic Partnership Agreements

Access to essential medicines

  • Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property
  • Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Debt Sustainability

  • the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
  • the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

Transfer of technology

  • Development Agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Clean Development Mechanism

Reports, studies and research papers from the High-level Task Force