WANG Xigen: Value Divergences and Possible Consensus on the Right to Development between the East and the West
February 19,2020   By:
Value Divergences and Possible Consensus on the Right to Development between the East and the West
WANG Xigen
Abstract:Human rights mean everyone leads a dignified, descent life. In fact, the absolute poor population in the world amounts to 783 million, 10.3% of the world’s total population, 7.6 billion. Development and human rights have now become global issues. In this context, the United Nations identified the right to development as a human right in the Declaration on the Right to Development released in 1986. However, there has a hot debate between the East and the West over the right to development. It is actually the divergences between formal justice and substantial justice, between absolute liberalism and relative liberalism, between the international order that centers on dollar hegemony and international new political and economic order, between individualism and collectivism. Only by eliminating divergences and seeking common ground can we seek the right to equal development for all human beings. There are six possible paths for the East and the West to reach a consensus on the value of the right to development. First, people orientation. Guan Zhong was the first Chinese to propose such concept more than two thousand years ago; humanism was proposed in the West during the period of Renaissance; and it is proposed in the Declaration on the Right to Development that the human person is the central subject of the development process. Second, universal love. Confucius proposed the idea that the benevolent loves others; freedom, equality and universal love were proposed during the period of French Revolution; and the Declaration emphasized the protection of “every human person and all peoples”. Third, justice and fairness. Confucius considered the whole world as one community; in the West, justice was discussed in depth, from Aristotle to Rawls; and the Declaration proposes that the core of the right to development is equality of opportunity for development. Fourth, solidarity. The Mohists proposed the idea of loving each other and benefiting from each other more than two thousand years ago; The Frenchman Leon Duguit established the social solidarism jurisprudence; and the Declaration proposes the “principles of international law concerning friendly relations and co-operation”. Fifth, a community with shared future for mankind. The concept of stateless world was proposed in the ancient China and cosmopolitanism in the West; and the Declaration emphasized “all peoples” are the central subjects of human rights. Sixth, outlook of sustainable development. The harmony between human and nature was proposed by the Taoists more than two thousand years ago; the outlook of integrated development of economy, society and environment was put forward in the West. All the ideas are confirmed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted by the United Nations.
Keywords: Human Rights; Right to Development; Value; Divergence; Consensus
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