Panel discussion on the promotion and protection of the right to development – Commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development (Geneva, 15 June 2016)

The Human Rights Council decided in its resolution 31/4 to hold, at its thirty-second session, a panel discussion on the promotion and protection of the right to development, as part of the celebrations of the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development. The Council invited the High Commissioner to liaise with States and all stakeholders, including relevant United Nations bodies, agencies, funds and programmes, treaty bodies, special procedure mandate holders, national human rights institutions and civil society, with a view to ensuring their participation in the panel discussion.
The objective of the panel discussion was to increase awareness among all stakeholders, including Member States, relevant bodies of the United Nations system, United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes, in particular human rights mechanisms, as well as the international financial and trade institutions, of the distinct role and intrinsic value of the right to development as an inalienable and independent human right by virtue of which all human rights can be fully realized and all people can enjoy economic, social, cultural, and political rights.

The discussion focused on the promotion and protection of the right to development including in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 17, and in this context, to generate policy recommendations and practical measures for making the right to development a reality for everyone.  


The panel discussion was led by an expert moderator with presentations from invited experts, followed by an interactive discussion between the experts and participants: After the opening statement, the moderator introduced the topic and defined the scope of the discussion. The panellists then made their initial statements, answering specific questions and/or comments by the moderator.

The ensuing interactive discussion, chaired by the President of the Council, comprised two rounds of interventions by States and observers with comments and questions from the floor, followed by comments and replies by panellists. The debate continued with responses from the panellists and concluding remarks by the expert moderator.

The concept note of the panel discussion is available here


Representatives of Member States, UN agencies, academia and civil society and other relevant stakeholders, were invited to the workshop. The High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein opened the panel after the screening of a video produced by OHCHR to mark the thirtieth anniversary.

The moderator was H.E. Mr. Amr Ramadan, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.

The panellists were H.E. Ms. Flavia Piovesan, Secretary for Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice of Brazil; H.E. Mr. Wayne McCook, Permanent Representative of Jamaica and Chairman of the Group of 77 (Geneva Chapter); Dr. Mihir Kanade, Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights, and Director of the Human Rights Centre of the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica; and Mr. Martin Khor, Executive Director of the South Centre.