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Right to Development ‘Task Force’ established

14 April 2004

The UN Commission on Human Rights currently meeting in Geneva has adopted a resolution on the right to development establishing a High-Level Task Force on the implementation of this right. The objective of the Task Force is to assist the Working Group on the Right to Development to fulfil its mandate, and will include consideration of solutions for implementation of the right to development and the dissemination of best practice in this area. MRG has been involved in the efforts to establish an effective UN High-Level Task Group and greatly welcomes the strong vote in favour of this resolution (49 votes in favour, 3 against).

The Conclusions and Recommendations of the Working Group on the Right to Development which sat from 11-20 February 2004, suggested that this subsidiary body to the intergovernmental Working Group be comprised of 5 Independent Experts. The Task Group will meet for 5 days prior to the next session of the Working Group. As its central objective the Task Group will have the strengthening of global partnerships for development, notably through detailed exchanges with the representatives of trade, finance and development organizations. The resolution recognized the broad and constructive participation of NGOs in the work of the 5th Working Group, which called for the Task Force to be established, and welcomes the active participation of NGOs in enhancing the realization of the Declaration on the Right to Development.

It is anticipated that among the first issues to be addressed will be the Obstacles and challenges to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in relation to the right to development. MRG will continue to raise the importance of integrating the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples in the MDGs as essential to achieving the Goals and to lifting the most marginalized groups out of poverty and towards the realization of their rights. Addressing the ‘Future of the Right to Development’, MRG staff member, Dr Margot Salomon, raised these and other key issues when speaking on a lunchtime panel with the Independent Expert on the Right to Development, the Chair of the Working Group on the Right to Development and the World Bank representative to the UN organized by the Franciscans International at the Commission on Human Rights.

‘The future of the right to development lies with the most marginalized. Movement towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals can only happen if we explicitly target minorities and indigenous peoples and ensure their rights are realized within the MDGs, the first issue for analysis and recommendations by the Working Group’s Task Force’, stated Dr Salomon.

Notes for editors

For more information, contact the MRG Press Office on [email protected].