UN Human Rights Council Social Forum: Right to Development
The GI-ESCR participated in the Social Forum held by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in October 2011 which focused on the 25th Anniversary of the Right to Development. A presentation was made by the GI-ESCR which emphasized how strategic litigation and other forms of legal advocacy can support the human rights-based approach to development, which also provides the means by which rights holders can shape the definition of human rights standards from the perspective of marginalized or vulnerable groups as well as hold actors accountable to those standards. The GI-ESCR recommended increasing the use of legal advocacy as a means of enforcing the right to development; to support universal ratification of international human rights treaties, especially the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and to find ways to better utilise the treaty bodies’ periodic review process to monitor the human rights based approach to development. As concerns the post-2015 MDG framework, the GI-ESCR suggested that in order to truly promote the right to development, it was crucial to expressly incorporate the human rights-based approach to development as an explicit and central pillar of the post-2015 development framework.
The intervention and following interactive dialogue resulted in the Social Forum concluding that “Normative frameworks were already in place in relation to many of the elements of right to development: existing human rights mechanisms and provisions needed to be utilised and right to development had to be invoked more routinely through employing strategic litigation and legal advocacy. This would provide the means by which rights holders can shape jurisprudence from the perspective of marginalized or vulnerable groups and thus help define human rights standards and hold actors accountable.”
The intervention and following interactive dialogue also resulted in the Social Forum adopting as one of its six recommendations that “Debates on achievement of MDGs and any post-2015 development vision must explicitly incorporate multi-dimensional aspects of the right to development and all human rights. There is a need to focus on implementing existing human rights obligations at the core of development agendas.”