TWS || Nick Waigwa
Amnesty International has written to permanent missions in New York advocating for explicit inclusion of Human Rights among the key principles mentioned in the post-2015 Declaration.
In a letter dated 13th February 2015, Amnesty International says that the progressive realization of Human Rights & Gender equality for everyone should be recognized in the post-2015 development agenda as a crucial outcome that the world is aspiring to reach.
The Amnesty International further notes that human rights should be acknowledged as the foundation of the post-2015 agenda if the new global development blueprint is to be truly transformative and all inclusive.
Taking note of the importance the United Nations Member States in the Open Working Group outcome document and the UN Secretary General have accorded to human rights in his synthesis report to the General Assembly, Amnesty International notes that the post-2015 Declaration will not only set the tone & level of ambition but also act as an enabler of human rights from being aspirational to operational.
“We appreciate that co-facilitators, Ambassador Kamau and Ambassador Donoghue, mention human rights in their elements-paper issued on 5th February 2015. However, these crucial aspects must be explicitly included as part of the vision of the agenda itself.” Amnesty International
Below are some formulations by Amnesty International on how to give expression to the vision of a bold and ambitious post-2015 Declaration, as contained in the letter signed by Renzo Pomi, the Amnesty International Representative at the United Nations.
1. Human Rights as an essential foundation for sustainable development
We recommit ourselves to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and rededicate ourselves to strive for a world in which every person lives free from fear and free from want, in dignity, equality and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
2. Universality and indivisibility of human rights
We will ensure the full respect, protection and promotion in all our countries and territories of all human rights, including the right to development, for all. This includes the right to live in freedom, peace and security, and the right to an adequate standard of living, including the rights to food, housing, water and sanitation, the rights to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and education, the rule of law and the overall commitment to just and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
3. Importance of equality, in particular gender equality
We commit to leaving no person behind, and to achieving equality in law and practice to ensure that all persons can live in dignity. We recognize that the participation and empowerment of women, is an effective way to overcome poverty and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable, and therefore commit to strive for gender equality and full respect of women and girls’ equal rights. We also commit to pay particular attention to the development needs and rights of the most marginalized individuals and groups in our societies as a matter of highest priority.
4. Importance of accountability and good governance
We will promote participation and democracy, and strengthen the rule of law at all levels. We will respect and implement all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. As Governments, we will hold ourselves and others to account to deliver on the aspirations of our people, and recognize that success in full achievement of the sustainable development goals depends on good governance at the national, regional and international levels and on transparency in the financial, monetary and trading systems.