After attending the Right to Development Task Force and 6th Session of the Working Group, Franciscans International and the Dominicans for Justice and Peace support the shift towards implementation and operationalization, and also to highlight crucial points and clarifications.

Mr. Chairman, we would like to present the relative definitions of the right to development, poverty and extreme poverty, as these three concepts are often confused in debate. The right to development was defined in the Declaration (A/RES/41/128) as "the 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." 

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/2001/10) has given a normative definition of poverty as  "a sustained or chronic deprivation of resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights." 

Extreme poverty was also defined at the Sub-Commission (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/13) as a situation of poverty, in which the number, extent and duration of deprivations of resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for an adequate standard of living is extremely difficult, or even impossible, for persons and communities, to regain the enjoyment of their rights, in a foreseeable future. 

We also note that while the realization of the right to development is of crucial importance, discussions must not sidetrack nor deviate from other debates on key human rights issues during the 61st session of the Commission and in ongoing discussions.  As Article 3 of the Declaration notes, “States have the primary responsibility for the creation of national and international conditions favourable to the realization of the right to development”.

Furthermore, our organizations:

  1. Support the renewal of the mandate of the Working Group and High-level Task Force;
  2. Encourage the active participation of all experts and agency representatives, in addition to the broader involvement of civil society in the Task Force;
  3. Welcome elements of the Working Group report including the trend for all stake-holders to have a common understanding of the substantive components of the right to development, references to the need for growth with equity and unsustainable debt burdens, the mapping of MDGs against international human rights instruments, and examining MDG 8 at the next Task Force session.
  4. Continue to stress the fundamental participation and empowerment of vulnerable groups such as women and indigenous peoples, while investigating how a denial of the right to development causes global phenomena such as human trafficking, irregular migration, forced labour, lack of access to land and the spread of global disease

Mr. Chairman, we conclude in the words of the High Commissioner, that the right to development must inform our quest for dignity at home, and our vision of globalization for the world. 

Oral, Written or Summary: 


Commission on Human Rights (61st Session) 2005
Meeting Year: 
Meeting Name: 
Commission on Human Rights (61st Session) 2005