Human Rights

‘The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.’ (Article 1.1, Declaration on the Right to Development)

Historically, human rights and development have often existed in isolation of one another despite clear parallels and opportunities for convergence. Attempts at solidifying a closer relationship, such as the declaration of the right to development, have often been too vague, or experienced too much opposition from Western powers to represent a meaningful shift in how human rights and development are considered.

However, recent developments such as Agenda 2030, have put human rights into the development spotlight, explicitly recognising human rights rhetoric as central to what sustainable development aims to achieve, and drawing on past human rights treaties to help with the implementation of the SDGs.

While Agenda 2030 is not legally binding, unlike some international human rights treaties, according to the resolution’s declaration (point 10), ‘the new agenda…is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties…and informed by other instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development”. As a global community, we have the resources, knowledge and skills to reverse the trend of growing inequality, increasing poverty and pervasive human rights abuses. Yet, efforts by the global community to make serious progress towards ending human suffering continue to fall short. Hopefully with international cooperation for the achievement of the sustainable development goals, the eradication of human rights abuses will play a central role.

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