The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the University of Antwerp, cordially invites you to a webinar dialogue on clarifying the nature, content and importance of the right to development in Africa. The Dialogue will attempt to interrogate critical issues around Human Rights Based Approach to Development; Debt Financing, Taxation and development; IFFS and Development; Public Services and the SDG agenda; PPPs and development; Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Draft Treaty on Right to Development among others. These will help guide formulation of strategic interventions to inform the right to development discourse in Africa and international mechanisms.
Date: 19 - 20 August 2022
Time: 14:00 (SAST)
Register on Zoom
Over the years, the United Nations and its various organs have achieved critical milestones towards clarifying the nature, content and importance of the right to development, including Res:41/128 adopting the Declaration on the Right to Development 1986, Human Rights Council Res: 4/4 of 30 March 2007 and 9/3 of 17 September 2008, recalling all Commission on Human Rights resolutions on the right to development, HRC resolution 42/23 establishing the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (EMRTD) and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Similarly, the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development was informed by the Declaration on the Right to Development—which remains vital for the full realization of the 2030 Agenda, and discussions around human rights-based approaches to development. Under the broader theme of “Leaving No One Behind,” the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets set a mission to “end poverty”, “protect the planet” and ensure “prosperity for all by 2030. As such there is a high degree of convergence between human rights protection and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
While the right to development is still being viewed as contested in some forums and as such remains aspirational in many developing countries, it is a key provision within the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter)—reinforcing and protecting group rights (Article 22). Poverty in Africa is visible and widespread—this notwithstanding the vast riches exploited on the continent. The continent remains plagued with underdevelopment something traceable in part to historical exploitation in Africa, foreign debt and tax justice issues, high levels of illicit financial flows and increasing cases of foreign and local direct investments and infrastructural development strategies that have left many communities displaced, impoverished and exacerbated existing inequalities. It is without a doubt that if wellmanaged, these investments and other development initiatives, would spur socio-economic transformation and human capital development. However, many remain hugely associated with human rights abuses and violations, which ultimately affect human capital development and sustainable development. These challenges have also been viewed as concerns by the Human Rights Council in Res.42/23 highlighting the increasing number of cases of human rights violations and abuses by transnational corporations and other business enterprises, underlining the need to ensure that appropriate protection, justice and remedies are provided to the victims of human rights violations and abuses resulting from the activities of those entities, and underscoring the fact that they must contribute to the means of implementation for the realisation of the right to development. The Human Rights Council has previously noted that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is one of the critical elements in the promotion and realization of the right to development and is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
Furthermore, the increasing debt burden faced by the most indebted developing countries hasproved unsustainable despite repeated rescheduling of debt on the continent (UN independent Expert on Foreign Debt). This presents one of the greatest obstacles to sustainable development.
It is from this perspective that the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in partnership with the University of Antwerp have organized this roundtable dialogue on right to development to interrogate these critical issues and start designing strategies of intervention to enhance the right to development in Africa and feed into ongoing international mechanisms on the right to development. The Dialogue will attempt to interrogate critical issues around Human Rights Based Approach to Development; Debt Financing, Taxation and development; IFFS and Development; Public Services and the SDG agenda; PPPs and development; Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Draft Treaty on Right to Development among others. These will help guide formulation of strategic interventions to inform the right to development discourse in Africa and international mechanisms.