OHCHR’s work on the right to development

The United Nations has played a key role throughout the emergence and development of the right to development both before and after the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development. Read more about the milestone events in the right to development.

The right to development is the only human right specifically mentioned in resolution 48/141 of the General Assembly, by which it established the position of High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The General Assembly has asked the High Commissioner to "promote and protect the realization of the right to development and to enhance support from relevant bodies of the United Nations system for this purpose".

In addition, the General Assembly annually calls upon the High Commissioner to mainstream the right to development and “undertake effectively activities aimed at strengthening the global partnership for development among Member States, development agencies and the international development, financial and trade institutions”.

Furthermore, the Human Rights Council annually calls upon the High Commissioner to ensure “inter-agency coordination within the United Nations system with regard to the promotion and realization of the right to development.” Both the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner report annually to the General Assembly and to the Council on the implementation of these requests and related activities as listed below:  

OHCHR works:

  • to advocate and promote the right to development through research, good practices, expert meetings, and production of public information materials;
  • to facilitate political dialogue on the right to development through its support for the HRC (intergovernmental) Working Group on the Right to Development;
  • to develop thematic expertise and provide technical advice through support for the HRC’s Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development;
  • to support monitoring and analysis of the right to development through support for the special procedures (especially the SR on the Right to Development) and the treaty bodies (especially the Committee on Economic and Social Rights);
  • to empower civil society actors to mobilize around the right to development; and
  • to mainstream the right to development across the work of the UN development system (through intergovernmental and interagency partnership, advocacy and technical advice).

Read more about various mechanisms, their mandates and the reports they produced.