Realizing the Right to Development

Essays in Commemoration of 25 Years of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development

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This book is devoted to the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development. It contains a collection of analytical studies of various aspects of the right to development, which include the rule of law and good governance, aid, trade, debt, technology transfer, intellectual property, access to medicines and climate change in the context of an enabling environment at the local, regional and international levels. It also explores the issues of poverty, women and indigenous peoples within the theme of social justice and equity. The book considers the strides that have been made over the years in measuring progress in implementing the right to development and possible ways forward to make the right to development a reality for all in an increasingly fragile, interdependent and ever-changing world.



The role of international law

While there is a fairly broad consensus on the underlying principles of the right to development, the most intense political division is between, on the one hand, the Non-Aligned Movement, whose Heads of State and Government have called for the United Nations to draft a convention on the right to development, and, on the other, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and others, which have strongly opposed this idea. The Working Group on the Right to Development has been able to achieve consensus by keeping a legally binding instrument among the possible outcomes of the process, without establishing that the process must automatically lead there. The key language in this regard is that the process “could evolve into a basis for consideration of an international legal standard of a binding nature, through a collaborative process of engagement”.


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