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REMARKS AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY EVENT TO COMMEMORATE THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT

New York, 8 November 2011


Secretary-General,
Madam High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Ambassador Chair of First Committee
Ambassador Chair of Second Committee
Ambassador Chair of Third Committee
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to join you in the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development. I am encouraged by this landmark event which brings together, several key components of the United Nations. This meeting is aimed at enhancing policy coherence in the global partnership for development which goes to the heart of my own vision and mission for the Presidency of the General Assembly that I have set forth before this Assembly. It is my conviction that great challenges can be best overcome through building bridges for a united global partnership and that social justice can flourish when Member States and the international community duly carry out their duties.


I wish to reiterate that the road to success must be founded on the principle of partnership and a deep sense of justice and mutual responsibility. I have made a personal commitment to strengthening the role of the General Assembly and improving its constructive cooperation with the other parts of the United Nations and other international organizations, acting as a bridge between developed, developing and least developed countries, to serve the interests of all alike.


At the outset of the 66th Session, I called upon Member States to come together at this critical juncture in the history of nations. The increasingly interdependent and interconnected world is forcing us to rethink the way we carry out the work at the United Nations. Future generations will hold us accountable for how we respond to the critical issues before us. This is our opportunity to define our place in this decisive moment in history and to prove that we, the international community, have the courage, wisdom and tenacity to seek creative and visionary solutions. In this context, I strongly support the call of the Secretary-General for a paradigm shift through making the right to development a reality for all.


I have seen the statements issued by the Committee on Economic Social Civil Rights and the nine human rights treaty bodies on the importance and relevance of the Right to Development to their work as well as by seventeen United Nations system agencies and other international organizations on the need for policy coherence in the implementation of the Right to Development. We are here today to emphasize the importance of the work being conducted and to commit to realizing this policy coherence.


As we commemorate the anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, I note that many of the global challenges which we face today can be addressed by the implementation of this right, confirming its renewed significance in this era of profound change.


As you know, I have identified four main priority areas of focus to frame the work of the General Assembly this year. In which my fourth priority is sustainable development and global prosperity, including pushing forward the sustainable development agenda, and safeguarding the human rights of people whose lives are most adversely affected by the earth’s rising temperature and strengthened partnership based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.


The Right to Development resonates with the three pillars of the United Nations Charter, as well as the four priorities mentioned above. I have expressed my resolve to ensure the full and effective implementation of all United Nations Declarations and Programmes and strongly believe that it is time to realize the Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted by a General Assembly resolution representing an overwhelming global consensus. Disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, is high on the agenda this year, and the move to see the interlink ages of peace, security, disarmament and development through dialogue among the three Committees is particularly welcome.

For my part, I pledge the wholehearted support of my office in advancing the Right to Development, primarily through our responsibility in leading the international community towards change for the sake of humanity. I would like here to lean on the words of Mahatma Gandhi, a voice that spoke for the power of humanity. Through his thoughts, words and actions of non-violence, he strived for the freedom of all nations and peoples, and struggled for the dignity of all persons and individuals: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

In closing, I would like to salute OHCHR for the “Signature Look” that will commemorate forever this day:

The sun represents mankind’s collective right and aspiration for a fair and good life through development.

The three people reaching for the sun is a symbol of solidarity and cooperation. And the inverted arc symbolizes a boat upon which we all rise and fall equally with the tides.

 

Declaration on the Right to Development at 25 Logo

 

Let’s use it efficiently and continue the campaign,

 

I thank you.

 

 



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