I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries, Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
The realization of the right to development is of great importance to the EU. As in the past, the EU will continue to play an active role in the implementation of the right to development through the establishment of voluntary partnerships, support of programmes, and engagement in dialogue at national and international level. We are committed to ensure the realization of the right to development of each and every individual.
The EU would like to stress that it is the primary responsibility of States to create the conditions for the realization of the right to development, while acknowledging that national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment, as stated in the Monterrey Consensus.
In this regard, it is our understanding that human rights instruments address the obligations of a State to its citizens and not responsibilities or commitments between States. This has been expressed last year and repeatedly echoed during this year negotiations.
The right to development has been extensively discussed this year in Geneva at the HRC March session. The EU joined the delicate consensus achieved then, under the understanding that the work of the High-Level Task Force and the Working Group on the right to development does not necessarily imply a process leading to an international legal standard of a binding nature.
The EU has engaged constructively in the negotiations and put forward suggestions that, in our view, would balance the text and allow to reach a broader consensus, in line with the outcome of the HRC 4/4 resolution.
However, unfortunately not all our concerns were accommodated and the text now incorporates language which is not acceptable to the EU.
The resolution adopted in Geneva states that the implementation of the right to development comprises different steps and can encompass various forms, including guidelines, before considering the elaboration of an international legal standard of a binding nature. The EU regrets that the main sponsors were unwilling to reflect in this draft text the agreement reached last March
We believe that the fulfillment of the right to development must evolve on a consensual basis, avoiding politicization, and be primarily built upon the promotion and respect of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
The European Union would like to reiterate its willingness to continuing collaborating with the WG and the HLTF on the right to development, and is extremely disappointed that an agreement on the current resolution could not be reached.
For these reasons, Mr Chairman, the European Union can not support the draft text contained in L.49.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
*Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the stabilisation and Association Process