The Perfect Enemy | Response and recovery plans and policies on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from the perspective of the right to development at the national level
September 29, 2022
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Attachments

Human Rights Council
Fifty-first session
12 September–7 October 2022
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development

Summary

In the present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolutions 33/14 and 42/23, the Special Rapporteur on the right to development, Saad Alfarargi, examines response to and recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID19) pandemic from the perspective of the right to development at the national level, highlights good practices and reviews challenges in ensuring the meaningful participation of rights holders. The Special Rapporteur concludes the report with recommendations on integrating the right to development into such plans.

I. Activities of the Special Rapporteur

  1. The present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolutions 33/14 and 42/23, outlines the activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on the right to development since September 2021.

  2. In October 2021, the Special Rapporteur presented a thematic report to the General Assembly, in which he examined the relationship between the right to development and climate change from an international perspective. In the report, he noted the challenges that developing countries continue to face due to limited participation, access to information, accountability and remedies, funding and technology. In his view there must be a just transition away from a carbon-based economy towards one that is based on sustainable development, the protection of human rights and the principle that no one will be left behind. This future can only be achieved by understanding the Paris Agreement in the context of the right to development and equity between the global North and South, in which the global North assists the global South in building a climate-resilient economy. Such an economy will require significant funding for developing countries so that they can adapt to climate change and become equal partners in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. In his report, the Special Rapporteur also provided practical recommendations geared to meeting climate change challenges in four key areas: international cooperation; participation and access to information; accountability and remedies; and financial obligations for assistance to address climate change.

  3. In October 2021, the Special Rapporteur also issued a policy brief on climate action and the right to development, presenting a summary of his recommendations and encouraging all countries participating in the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate in Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, from 31 October to 12 November 2021, to integrate those recommendations into their decision-making.

  4. On 14 October 2021, the Special Rapporteur, together with five other mandate holders, sent a total of 44 letters to member States of the Group of Seven and the Group of 20, the European Union and the World Trade Organization, including to representatives of pharmaceutical companies that were either already producing or were preparing to produce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and to their home States. The letters called for urgent collective action to achieve equal and universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.

  5. On 3 November 2021, the Special Rapporteur participated in the fourth session of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development.

  6. On 4 December 2021, the Special Rapporteur issued a public statement on the occasion of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development, joined by 27 members of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development and special procedures mandate holders, calling for rapid implementation of the commitments made by countries at the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention.

  7. In its resolutions 33/14 establishing and 42/23 extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, the Human Rights Council requested that he contribute to and provide his views on the work of the Working Group on the Right to Development. The Special Rapporteur held interactive dialogues with the members of the Working Group during its twenty-second session, on 22 November 2021, and its twenty-third session, on 16 May 2022, providing an update on his planned work and engaging in a discussion regarding the implementation of the right to development. In the course of those dialogues, he also stressed the challenges and opportunities faced by the Working Group during the negotiations on the draft legally binding instrument on the right to development, encouraged Member States to engage in constructive dialogue and noted the numerous positive aspects of the draft.

  8. The Special Rapporteur participated in several online events related to the right to development, notably in two informal discussions organized by the Movement of NonAligned Countries in October 2021 and April 2022. He also participated in the first Global Citizens’ Assembly, held in October 2021 on the occasion of the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and in a conference organized by the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico in December 2021 on the challenges to and prospects of the human right to development. In April 2022, the Special Rapporteur delivered a statement to the World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF) Civil Society Policy Forum at a session devoted to the IMF gender strategy; participated in an online side event of the Economic and Social Council Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up, entitled “Filling the private finance regulatory gap: moving beyond the de-risking State”; and took part in the meeting on the human right to science, organized within the framework of the Geneva Human Rights Dialogues organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

  9. In July 2022, the Special Rapporteur will participate in the high-level political forum on sustainable development, the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.