Mar 10 2014
Past event

“Africa and the Right to Development: Towards the Post-2015 Agenda” Side Event

On March 10th 2014, during the Human Rights Council’s 25th session, the Universal Rights Group co-hosted a side event with the African Union, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, RADDHO and the permanent mission of Egypt.  The event was centred around Africa and the Right to Development, with a particular focus on the post-2015 development framework. It featured a distinguished panel of country representatives and human rights experts:

H.E. Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, President of the Human Rights Council

H.EMme Navanethem Pillay,UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

H.E. Ambassador Minelik Alemu Getahun, Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations in Geneva

H.E. Ambassador Jean-Marie Ehouzou, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations Office at Geneva

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Fayek, President of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights

Mr. Aboubakry Mbodj –The President of Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO)

In her intervention, the High Commissioner for Human Rights commented that the “concept of the right to development has deep roots in Africa”, and that “Africa’s natural and cultural heritage is a strong foundation for sustainable development.” While acknowledging the challenges posed by food shortages, lack of access to clean water, disease, poverty and income inequality, the High Commissioner struck a positive note on the potential of the post-2015 development agenda, saying that a “new social and international order underpinned by the right to development, with strong mechanisms to ensure monitoring and accountability, would address systemic failures, structural injustices and responsibility gaps in global governance. Our responses will be enriched by a sense of community and international solidarity, mutual accountability and shared responsibilities.” She concluded with a powerful quote from Nelson Mandela: “We don’t want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom. We shall have both.”

The interventions by the panel were followed by an engaged discussion among the over 60 participants, who included delegates from over 20 different states, along with representatives from NGOs and civil society.