Human Rights as a road to eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainability


A high level meeting on the contributions that human rights and the rule of law can make in supporting national and international efforts towards poverty eradication and sustainable development was held at the trusteeship council in UN Headquarters, New York. Ms. Kahn, the Director General of the International Development Organization, began the meeting by stating that we cannot eradicate poverty, promote sustainable development, or create inclusive economies without human rights and the rule of law. Next, H.E. Mr. Eliasson, the Deputy Secretary General, stated that the main human rights principles that need to be focused on are non-discrimination and equality. Furthermore, he spoke about the interdependence of civil, political, economic, and social rights, and how a stronger emphasis on the rule of law is needed to strengthen the Sustainable Development Goals.

The new post 2015 development agenda must reflect these rights, as well as reflect the ideal of “freedom from want and freedom from fear.” Following, Dr. Migiro addressed the challenge of closing the poverty gap between rural and urban settings. He also called for reforms in the security council and UN institutions to make them more accountable, as well the necessity of good governance for strengthening the rule of law. Mr. Strasser then spoke about how a human rights based approach represents a necessary paradigm shift in the way we approach development. He highlighted the importance of designing and implementing measures in the post 2015 development agenda in accordance with human rights law, and emphasized the importance of stakeholder participation.

Next, Mr. Kreutner spoke about the link between corruption, lack of human rights, and lack of development. He called for governments and political institutions to improve their reliability, accountability, and legitimacy, and called for a renewed global commitment to anti-corruption policies. Mr. Kreutner also said that checks and balances, separation of powers, anti-corruption mechanisms, and greater compliance networks are essential for good governance, and in turn poverty eradication and sustainable development. In conclusion, Mr. Lusiani gave a statement about how human rights norms and standards can be embedded into the existing framework of goals, targets, and indicators in the post 2015 development agenda. He called for an effective financing strategy, as well as an effective monitoring and accountability framework for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Meeting Title: Contributions of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Panel Discussion 1: “Exploring the contributions of human rights and the rule of law in supporting national and international efforts towards poverty eradication and sustainable development”
Speakers: Ms. Zarin Kahn, Director General of the International Development Organization; H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General; Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of Tanzania; Mr. Christoph Strasser, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid; Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy; Mr. Nicholas Lusiani, Director of Human Rights Policy Program at the Center for Economic and Social Rights;
Date: 10 June 2014
Location: United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

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