By: Tristan Arlaud

During the fourth day of the 48th Session on September 16, 2021, the Human Rights Council held an Interactive Dialogue with the Expert Mechanism on the right to development.

Ms. Klentiana Mahmutaj, Chair of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development initiated the dialogue. She presented the Expert Mechanism’s thematic study and second annual report on operationalizing the right to development in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The study emphasizes the need to put to practice the right to development on all levels. The obligations entail for States to:

•    Act individually as they formulate national development policies and programs affecting individuals whether under their jurisdiction or outside of their jurisdiction
•    Collaborate in global and regional partnerships

The study provides eleven recommendations addressed to states and International Organizations committed to working closely with all stakeholders to implement the 2030 Sustain Development Goals.

More than twenty delegations spoke and shared mixed views on three recurring topics. Firstly, countries expressed their concern about the impact of the Covid-19 on development, as the pandemic exacerbated social inequalities and restricted access to basic social and economic rights to many.
Secondly, delegations expressed unsupportive opinions on the creation of the Expert Mechanism; but still will continue to participate in dialogues, as they understand States’ crucial responsibility to prioritize the right to development by cooperatively acting with one another and the realization and protection of human rights. They accentuated that efforts need to be double in the wake of the pandemic to prevent any forms of retrogressive realization of economic, social, and cultural rights.
Thirdly, the importance of the 2030 SDGs was highlighted and the need for the operationnalization of the right to development. It is necessary to enhance international cooperation and collective work between all countries to better react to any events that may negatively impact society in the years to come.

During the discussion, states also exercised the right to reply. Unfortunately, participants exercising this right drifted away from the main topic of development, raising different and recurrent conflicting issues between nations such as Korea against Japan and Azerbaijan against Armenia. The use of such rights is critical in the work of the Council; governments should be reminded not to use the court as a means of dispute settlement on unrelated topics.

The Geneva International Center for Justice welcomes the recommendation of the Expert Mechanism for all NGOs to participate in public sessions of the Expert Mechanism. As the right to development is crucial, NGOs are immense contributors to the progressive realization of economic, social, and cultural rights; ergo, their participation should not be reduced.
GICJ further reminds all stakeholders of the importance of respecting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal to better our societies and improve communication and cooperation between nations in light of the detrimental effect of climate change.

Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice

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