Agenda for Sustainable Development and Realization of the Right to Development - Group A - Humanrights

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Agenda for Sustainable Development and Realization of the Right to Development
December 02,2016
Agenda for Sustainable Development and Realization of the Right to Development
Abdul Wadud AKANDA 
The Declaration on the Right to Development broke new ground in our struggle for human dignity, freedom, equality and justice. The Declaration establishes in unequivocal terms development as a human right. It called for every member of society to have the right to participate fully, freely and effectively in vital decision making process. The Declaration stressed equal opportunities for all peoples and for all countries. It demanded better governance of the international economic framework. Most importantly, it strengthens the notion that human rights are indivisible, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. 
There has been a long standing debate in the human rights arena whether human rights are compatible with development or vice versa. Some people continue to question if right to development is at all a human right. This unfortunate debate over the past decades impeded implementation of the Declaration and realization of right to development. 
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development last year was a welcome development in this regard. The 2030 Agenda covers very essentials of the right to development – poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, energy, economic growth, climate change. Not only that, we can see a symbiotic relationship between the right to development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The two are mutually supportive and re-enforcing. Both recognize and seek to benefit humanity on equitable, non-discriminatory basis. Both promote the idea that no one should be left behind. Both envisage the need for international cooperation and commitment to achieve inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
The Declaration on Right to Development clearly states that the human person is the central subject of development and should be the active participant and beneficiary of the right to development. On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda is an agenda for ―people, planet and prosperity‖. Indeed, the adoption of 2030 Agenda has offered us a unique opportunity to renew our resolve to implement the Declaration and make Right to Development a reality for all.
Neither the Sustainable Development Goals nor the right to development would move forward in the absence of genuine international cooperation and assistance. Let us, therefore, take a new vow to resolve our differences and work in a spirit of collaboration and compassion for the effective implementation of this inalienable right. 
(The author is Senior Assistant Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh)