The 2011 Social Forum on the Right to Development
1) promotion and effective realization of the right to development;
The second round table addressed “Measures and actions needed to make the right to development a reality for everyone at the local, national, regional and international levels.” During this round table panellists expressed the necessity to make the Right to Development a reality by going beyond simply a theoretical and legalistic discourse. It was underlined that the Right to Development is universal, therefore should be easily accessible by everybody, including the most vulnerable such as persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous people, minorities, women and children. The dialogue provided evidence for the fact that human rights are drivers of development, as well as social inclusion and justice. Furthermore, participants reiterated that the right to education is an essential instrument to achieve development. Particular attention was also given to participation, which is a fundamental element for the civil society in democratic countries. The role of cultural activities in development efforts remains significant and its critical review should be more safeguarded. Despite the fact that integrating process of the Right to Development into international law remains a complex affair, international law is a relevant tool for its promotion and realization. The last round table focused on “International assistance and cooperation”. Panelists, State representatives and NGO members recognized the high value in the promotion of an enabling environment for the realization of the right to development. An environment wherein all actors contribute to the realization of the Right to Development.. States and governments should give free access to these actors, especially NGOs, where important decisions are made. The debate showed that international cooperation is fundamental to find new solutions to recent problems. Participants in the forum also recognized climate change as a factor undermining human rights to development. Climate justice is a priority to ensure the full achievement of the Right to Development. The issue can be effectively dealt with by delivering clean energy and investing in the green economy. It is necessary for an overall substitution of the paradigm of global economic growth with that of renewable energies. Several participants expressed their concern on the difficulty to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), when governments use them to justify evictions and forced removals of marginalized people. The conference ended with a discussion on the relevance of a new international development architecture that embeds respect for human rights into international trade, finance and private investments. Finally, several speakers mentioned the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, evidencing that it marks an occasion to promote human rights and sustainable development.