Human Rights Policy Section of the Human Security Division, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
23 June 2014 ─ As the discussions around concrete targets that should guide the future sustainable development agenda become more concrete, the imperative of mainstreaming human rights becomes increasingly evident.
During a High-level event organised two weeks ago by the President of the UN General Assembly on the contributions of human rights and the rule of law to the post-2015 development agenda all delegations agreed on a number of points which fully reflect Switzerland’s position.
First, including the various aspects pertaining to human rights and rule of law in the future sustainable development framework is an imperative, not an option. The question at this stage is not whether these dimensions should be included, but how.
Second, important lessons learnt from the MDG process have to be taken into account. For instance, by setting targets measuring global averages, disparities in the access to health, education or decent employment were masked. This meant that a country could perform well in general terms but, at the same time, entire groups of the population may have been discriminated, excluded and marginalized.
Third, and in direct connection with the above, there is consensus around the necessity of making the often-cited principle of «Leave no one behind» a reality. The prominent inclusion of goals and targets aimed at reducing inequalities will be essential to reach this objective.
UN News Centre: At high-level event, UN officials call for human rights-backed development agenda