22 September 2016, New York – European Union Statement delivered by EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, at the High Level Segment on the Right to Development, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development
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We wish to reiterate our support for the right to development, as based on the indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights as outlined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the multidimensional nature of development strategies and the role of individuals as the central subjects of the development process.
The EU is fully committed to a rights-based approach to development, encompassing all human rights, including the right to development. The right to development requires the full realisation of civil and political rights, together with economic, social and cultural rights, and a mix of policies, creating an enabling environment for individuals, involving a wide range of actors, at all levels. We emphasise that the primary responsibility for ensuring that the right to development is realised is one owed by States to their citizens.
We must recognize that divergent views in the understanding of the right to development remain.
We would like to re-state our position that we are not in favour of the elaboration of an international legal standard of a binding nature as we do not believe that this is the appropriate mechanism to realise the right to development.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development marks a paradigm shift towards a more balanced model for sustainable development. It recognises the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for all human rights – including the right to development – on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels, and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions. Strongly grounded in international human rights standards and a Human Rights based approach to development, the new Agenda strives to leave no one behind and puts the imperative of equality and non-discrimination at its heart.
With its universal applicability and its importance in shaping development priorities, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will open up new avenues to integrate human rights into global and national policies in both developed and developing countries over the next 15 years.
The European Commission’s follow-up to the 2030 Agenda will be ensured through a Communication on ‘Next steps for a sustainable European future’, to be published before the end of the year. This initiative will show the significance of the SDGs for Europe and explain how the EU contributes to reaching them both internally and externally. It will show the coherence between EU policies and map out the EU policies implementing the SDGs. It will touch upon related initiatives such as a review of the European Consensus for Development and the work done by Eurostat on monitoring SDGs. The Commission will also present a specific proposal to review of the European Consensus for Development in order to make sure that the EU development policy best responds to the challenge of the implementation of the Agenda.
The EU is engaged in establishing an integrated and systematic monitoring system for the Agenda 2030, to keep track of progress towards achieving the SDGs and to respond to the UN reporting requirements.
On the external implementation front, the EU is committed to achieve the SDGs in an ambitious manner, through the whole range of external actions and with all partner countries, developed and developing. Where appropriate, we will support our partner countries to put in place enabling policy frameworks and assist in the implementation of policies and programmes required to achieve the SDGs.
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