A two-days Conference on the theme ‘Regional Perspectives on the Right to Development’ was jointly organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, University of South Africa. The Conference took place on 28 and 29 September 2017 at the University of Pretoria.
The conference was organised against the backdrop of the fact that over 35 years since the right to development gained universal recognition as an inalienable human right, implementation remains problematic. There is yet to be clarity and consensus on its conceptual nature. The conference brought together legal experts, emerging researchers and development practitioners from ten different countries, including South Africa, to share knowledge on how the right to development is perceived and applied at domestic and regional levels around the world.
The individual presentations and panel discussions featured theoretical and thematic conceptualisations on the conference theme as well as a robust multidisciplinary dialogue, scholarly analysis and critical commentaries on the right to development. Selected contributions from the conference participants will be compiled as chapters and published as a peer-reviewed edited book. The conference provided the opportunity for networking and collaboration and as the pioneer initiative of the fledgling Right to Development Unit at the Centre for Human Rights also set the pace for future annual conferences and other initiatives to promote the concept of the right to development.
The next conference is envisaged to take place at the same time with the Advanced Short Course on the Right to Development in August 2018 and we hope to have many more participants from other countries that were not represented at this year’s event.