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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Outlines Key Elements for Post-2015 Agenda

OHCHR 26 June 2013: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has written to permanent representatives of UN Member States in New York and Geneva, outlining ten critical messages for the post-2015 development agenda.

In her open letter, Pillay emphasizes that the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) recognized the need for a human rights approach to development, and that many countries and stakeholders have called for human rights to be a fundamental basis for the post-2015 agenda. She urges States to take up this challenge.

Pillay proposes ten elements for the post-2015 agenda: a human rights-based approach; freedom from fear as well as freedom from want; equality as an aim, rather than economic growth; inclusion of marginalized groups; and an end to poverty; a healthy environment as the underlying determinant of internationally guaranteed human rights; international reform, to ensure human rights-based policy coherence at the international level; universal applicability; a strong accountability framework; and greater responsibility to be shown by the private sector, with appropriate government regulation.

She calls for the full application of the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. On accountability, she notes that the post-2015 agenda should be aligned with existing international obligations and human rights mechanisms, such as the UN Human Rights Council's (HCR) Universal Periodic Review.

Pillay reminds Member States that no human rights goal has been proposed for the post-2015 development agenda, emphasizing that instead of one goal the whole agenda should be built on a human rights foundation, and offering the full support of her office in achieving this. [High Commissioner's open letter] [OHCHR web page on human rights and the post-2015 development agenda] [UN  Non-Governmental Liaison Service web story]