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.



National experience with the right to development

The widespread acceptance and pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals represent a major consensus by the development community to eliminate poverty and accelerate human development. Two streams of thought have strongly influenced global and national strategies: the human development approach and the right to development approach. Defined broadly as an enhancement of capabilities, a widening of choices and an expansion of freedoms, human development calls on policymakers to focus on people and what they cherish and value in life. In the human development framework, human poverty is viewed as a denial of freedoms—economic, social, cultural and political. Such denials are traced to inadequacies and inequalities in the distribution of opportunities between women and men, across regions, between rural and urban areas and within communities. The exercise of tracking progress extends beyond merely monitoring trends in economic variables (which are no doubt important) to assessing changes in the quality of people’s lives. The focus shifts from an emphasis on economic growth to examining whether the benefits of growth are contributing equitably to tangible improvements in the lives of people.


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