UN Experts ask States to Include the Promotion of Human Rights in Rio+20

On March 19th, 2012, a group of 22 independent experts of the UN urged the governments to include the respect and the promotion of human rights among the objectives of the International Summit on durable sustainable development “Rio+20”, which will be held from the 20th to the 22nd of June 2012. The experts also expressed their fear that the complexity of the objectives would negatively influence their accomplishment.

Rio+20 has to lay the basis for new strategic priorities which are meant to overcome the weaknesses of the MDGs by integrating the concept of sustainable development with the respect and promotion of human rights. Twenty years after the Conference of Rio and ten years after the Summit of Johannesburg, it is clear that the scope and the effectiveness of the measures taken must be verified in accordance with human rights. As a matter of fact, they have guided the political action for the last 60 years and they should constitute an element of cohesion during the whole Summit. According to the experts, States now have the chance both to make the necessary changes and to obtain better results than in the past.
Among others, the commission of experts was composed by Olivier De Schutter (Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food), Catarina de Albuquerque (Special Rapporteur on the Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation), James Anaya (Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People), Magdalena Sepulveda (Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights) and Rashida Manjoo (Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences).