Working Group on the Right to Development

19-30 June,
Palais des Nations, Geneva.Mr. Chair,

Many steps have been taken since the 1986 Declaration on the right to development and constructive discussions have led to some key substantive components. Stakeholders are challenged to develop a global partnership for development, given MDG Goal 8. Future consultations have identified goals, but we are still a long way away in terms of concrete and pragmatic steps, strategies which can be translated into results.

The new dynamic created by the inauguration of the Human Rights Council should encourage all actors to move forward, mapping out a path leading to renewed political will, sustained commitment, energy and resource mobilisation for an effective realization of the RTD.

Franciscans International believes that a new RTD vision must be centred on genuine dialogue, cooperation and accountability. The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said such a dynamic will allow States to reach “agreement on issues where the Commission found consensus elusive.” In this spirit, the Council should endeavour to make the RTD as Annan said, “clear and specific enough to be effectively enforced and upheld.”

Bearing in mind three key references, first- As stated in Article 3 of the Declaration on RTD: “States have the primary responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favourable to the realisation of the right to development.”; second- The 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action clearly reaffirmed the RTD; and third - successive reports by the UN experts on the RTD stated that, “the human person is the central subject of development”. Furthermore, the “Draft norms on the responsibilities of TNCs and other business with regard to human rights” emphasized accountability be developed from a human rights perspective. Stakeholders must take concrete measures to implement criteria identified for the periodic evaluation of global partnership.

Mr. Chair,

Our organisation, being engaged for several years in the implementation of migrants’ rights, highly appreciated paragraph 61 of the Working Group report highlighting the nexus between international migration and development, as well as its relevance to Goal 8, and the need to deal with the challenges and opportunities that migration presents to countries of origin, destination and transit.

We also support what the Working Group and some delegations said this morning that the September 2006 high-level dialogue on Migration and Development must integrate a human rights based approach as a key component to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of the migrants, migrant workers and the members of their families.

Franciscans International will continue to monitor the RTD in the new Council and urges the new body to renew the mandate of the Working Group and its Task Force.

Thank you.

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Human Rights Council
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Human Rights Council