Putting humans rights conditions on cooperation impedes development: SA tells UN
States must refrain from the practice of “using human rights as a conditionality for development cooperation”‚ South Africa’s deputy minister of international relations said at a United Nations meeting on Thursday.
It was‚ Luwellyn Landers told a high-level meeting in New York‚ an “undue impediment to the realisation of the right to development”.
He also stressed South Africa’s strong belief “that the corporate sector has a responsibility and an obligation to invest in social development”‚ saying this “would significantly contribute to the mobilisation of local resources which are necessary for the realisation of the right to development”.
The meeting marked the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development‚ which aimed “to create conducive conditions at the national‚ regional and international levels so as to ensure the constant improvement to the quality of life of people everywhere”. “Sadly‚ not much progress has been registered in terms of the realisation of the objectives of the declaration‚” said Landers.
“The right to development is indispensable. It is intrinsically linked to the enjoyment of economic‚ social and cultural rights‚ which are essential in ensuring the enhancement of the quality of life of those afflicted by extreme poverty.”
But‚ while states were “duty-bound to ensure that their collective actions contribute to an enabling international environment for development”‚ Landers raised concern that “the growing practice of using human rights as a conditionality for development cooperation contradicts the principle of international cooperation”.
“States should refrain from this practice‚” he said. “South Africa reiterates the collective position of the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement taken in Havana‚ Cuba‚ in September 2006 for the UN human rights system to elaborate a Convention on the Right to Development as a matter of urgency‚ necessity‚ and priority.”