The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) held its 10th Regular Session in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) from 27 November-01 December 2016. During its deliberations, the IPHRC Working Group (WG) on the Right to Development (RtD) carried out a follow up review of the Abu Dhabi Declaration on RtD, which the Commission adopted during its 2016 International Seminar on RtD on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Right to Development.
While reiterating and reaffirming the Abu Dhabi Declaration and its recommendations, the IPHRC WG on RtD proposed following concrete elements for full and effective implementation of the RtD by the OIC Member States:
As obligated in the Declaration, Member States to implement RtD: (a) internally, through formulation of national development policies for persons within their jurisdiction; (b) internationally, through the adoption and implementation of policies extending beyond their jurisdictions; and (c) collectively, through global and regional partnerships;
Member States have the primary responsibility for creation of national and international conditions favourable for realization of the RtD, uphold policy coherence and follow a human rights-based approach in all development processes ensuring participation, accountability, non-discrimination, equality and equity and consistency with international human rights standards at national, regional and international levels. In doing so, the States have the duty to take steps, individually and collectively, to formulate policies strengthening development cooperation, eliminating obstacles to development and ensuring appropriate means to foster comprehensive sustainable development;
Member States must make their best efforts, individually and collectively, to implement the RtD on the basis of agreed norms, to achieve at least the core requirements for development, which include reducing poverty and hunger, mitigating scarcity of water, providing education, health and housing and eliminating discrimination against women. Effective implementation of the 17 SDGs will help achieve most of these goals;
States must put special emphasis on implementation of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, as envisaged in SDG 5, through appropriate, non-discriminatory national policies and legislation to ensure their full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life;
Involve all stakeholders including States and Non-State actors, regional and international organizations, civil society and corporate sector to ensure that all people have equal opportunities to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social and cultural rights;
Have periodic evaluation of aid from the RtD perspective to ensure: (a) disbursement of targeted aid to the most vulnerable segments i.e. children, women and girls; (b) compliance with the guidelines provided in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness; and (c) stringent accountability and reporting mechanisms that are must for avoiding misuse of aid.
In addition to urging Member States to integrate the principles and norms of the RtD in their development programmes, the Commission also requested them to include a section on the implementation of the RtD in their national reports to the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda as well as to the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council. Such an approach will help internationalize and highlight the importance of Rtd approach in the implementation of SDGs.
IPHRC also requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to: a) provide technical assistance to the Member States in their efforts to devise and implement relevant policies; b) develop targeted capacity building programs for policy makers, corporate sector and civil society to raise awareness about the utility and importance of RtD as a mutually beneficial right; and c) mainstream the concept at all levels.
The Commission stressed the importance of fair trade and the need to enlarge opportunities for developing countries in the global economy through rule-based, open, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial systems. Concerning the right of everyone to benefit from scientific progress and its applications, IPHRC stressed the need to bridge the digital divide through development partnerships and transfer of new technologies, especially information and communication technologies.
The Commission recognized the emphasis placed by the OIC on the RtD and requested the Secretary General to further intensify the implementation of the OIC development initiatives in the field of health, education, skill development and job creation through microfinance support, vocational training in collaboration with IDB and ISFD.
It also requested the OIC-SESRIC to assist Member States to build national capacities, especially statistical capacities, through technical cooperation programmes for human rights impact assessments and other monitoring and evaluation tools to guide public policy at national and international levels. Also indicators for measuring disparities at national, regional and international levels against the implementation of the DRtD, may be developed.
IPHRC welcomed the appointment of the UN Special Rapporteur on RtD and requested him to work for system wide mainstreaming of the RtD and its fulfilment in the context of 2030 SDGs especially in the context of implementation of common but differentiated responsibilities. The Special Rapporteur was also urged to review the Final List of proposed SDG indicators to conduct impact assessment of various development policies and strategies on the realization of the RtD.
The Commission also requested the OIC Groups in Geneva and New York to: (a) develop consensus and intensify efforts to transform the UN Declaration on RtD into a binding instrument; and (b) seek implementation of the General Comment No.3 of the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, which obligates State Parties to international cooperation for development for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights for all at all levels.
Islamic Development Bank
Islamic Solidary Fund
SESRIC: Statistical Economic Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries