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NGOs urged to advance right to development
June 29,2021   By:CHINA DAILY
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A trainer shows volunteers how to dress hair at an NGO incubator park in Jinan, Shandong province. [Photo Provided To China Daily]
 
June 29, 2021 -- NGOs have become a strong force in channeling greater efforts to push forward the right to development, experts and representatives from international NGOs said on Monday.
 
Speaking at an online event running parallel to the ongoing 47th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, they also urged NGOs worldwide to provide assistance to their governments and multiply the effect and impact of development.
 
Xu Lyuping, vice-president of the China NGO Network for International Exchanges, said China has given a great deal of attention to the promotion of the right to development, which is facing various challenges around the world brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The right to development is the right of individuals and nations to actively, freely and meaningfully participate in the development of politics, the economy, society and culture, and to equally enjoy the benefits of development.
 
Xu said global progress in poverty reduction and sustainable development has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dealt blows to people's livelihoods by causing massive unemployment and making income gaps wider.
 
These shocks have not only slowed down the international community's development process but also hampered people's right to development, she said.
 
"NGOs, as an important force in global human rights governance, can contribute to protecting the right to development," Xu said, adding that NGOs worldwide can help people in different countries and regions get access to more development opportunities by advancing international cooperation.
 
She said NGOs should also earnestly safeguard the right to life and health, and deepen international cooperation and information sharing on epidemic prevention and control.
 
"We will provide necessary social services to vulnerable and marginalized groups to help them overcome the adverse effects of the epidemic, make concerted efforts in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, and build an equal and inclusive society," Xu said.
 
Blagovest Georgiev, an associate professor at Bulgaria's Sofia University, said the right to development has evolved into an undeniable human right, along with the rights to life and other basic human rights.
 
"The NGO sector is called upon to take part both in further detailing the development concept and its practical realization," he said.
 
He said NGOs are valuable instruments for countries and their people to promote their goals socially and politically.
 
The right to development, first proposed in the 1970s, has been emphasized by the UN and countries and regions across the world.
 
It has been recognized as a key element in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a poverty reduction, education and healthcare target approved by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

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