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1 September 2022:

Watch the Special Rapporteur’s intervention at a seminar on «The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of All Human Rights», organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: UN Web TV

In his contribution to the European Regional Seminar on “The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of All Human Rights” (Geneva, 1-2 September 2022), the Special Rapporteur put forward four key ideas:

One: Unless guided by human rights, the development process will continue to prioritize GDP growth — the creation of monetary value — as a precondition for everything else. He called this the «gravitational force of GDP increase as a measure of progress».

Two: Unless combined with strong accountability mechanisms and with the effective participation of people in poverty, the development process will not contribute its full potential to the realization of human rights.

Three: While development can (and indeed must) contribute to the realization of all human rights, it should not be seen as a pre-condition for such realization. Human rights should be seen as essential ingredients of development, not an «end prize» which are relevant only at the end of the process of development.

Four: We will fail to ensure development contributes to the realization of human rights unless we also address the international dimension: the international environment, under the regimes of international trade and investment law, in which States pursue their development efforts.

His conclusion: “Governments have until now pursued wealth creation, not poverty reduction; economic growth, not better well-being; the quantitative, not the qualitative: the figures, not the people. Human rights are there to remind us that we can and should do better.”