Tuesday, February 17, 2015

POST-2015 DECLARATION: Amnesty International lobby for explicit inclusion of human rights

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.




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