New Publication on the Role of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Monitoring the SDGs that Seek to Realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Cover page of the publication Cover page of the publication

Our new publication No One Will Be Left Behind looks at the role of United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to realize economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR).

The publication discusses the mutually reinforcing relationship between the SDGs and ESCR. ESCR can offer a legal foundation and guidance in the implementation of SDGs, and the SDGs may increase support for the realization of ESCR.

‘It is a call to build more bridges between the SDGs and human rights, to ensure that a human rights-based approach will be followed in the implementation of the SDGs, but also to make sure that equality, non-discrimination, participation and attention to the most vulnerable and those who are left behind are fully integrated’ underlines Dr Christophe Golay, author of the publication and Strategic Adviser on ESCR at the Geneva Academy.

A Need for Greater Accountability and Better Targeting

The publication highlights that the weakness of the 2030 Agenda lies in its limited accountability framework, based on voluntary national reviews and soft guidance from peers. In that context, UN human rights mechanisms – UN treaty bodies, the UN Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodical Review and Special Procedures – can give the SDGs a strong legal basis and provide a means of accountability via independent mechanisms. They can transform the SDGs’ beneficiaries into rights-holders, and UN Members States as those having legal obligations to implement the 17 goals.

‘UN human rights mechanisms have unique expertise in monitoring the realization of ESCR in UN Member States, promoting equality and non-discrimination and pushing for the adoption of laws, policies and programmes that target the most vulnerable and those who are left behind’ highlights Dr Golay.

The publication underlines that the international human rights system can provide guidance to states in the implementation of the SDGs, as well as to national, regional and international mechanisms established in the framework of the 2030 Agenda, notably the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

‘If this expertise, accountability and targeting are not fully integrated in the SDGs’ architecture and implementation, I am afraid we won’t be able to reach these goals by 2030’ Dr Golay adds.

Concrete Recommendations on the Way Ahead

The publication draws attention to the need to fully integrate human rights into the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, while also providing a set of concrete recommendations for states, UN human rights mechanisms, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the HLPF as to how this might be done.

The Geneva Academy acknowledges the contribution by the International Solidarity Service of the Republic and State of Geneva which funded the publication and related background research.

Video

No One Will Be Left Behind

In this video, Dr Chistophe Golay, Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) at the Geneva Academy, presents our new publication No One Will Be Left Behind which looks at the role of United Nations human rights mechanisms  in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to realize ESCR.

 

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Participants in the Regional Consultation for Asia in New Delhi News

A Regional Consultation in New Delhi on the Future of UN Treaty Bodies

17 October 2017

Hosted by the South Asian University and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) at the South Asian University campus, the New Delhi meeting brought in specialists from the region to share their views on the future of UN treaty bodies.

Read more

Experts at the annual seminar on use of force and less lethal weapons News

Experts and Law Enforcement Practitioners Discuss New Standards on the Use of Less Lethal Weapons

6 July 2018

Last week, at our annual seminar held in the context of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on the use of force, participants discussed human rights challenges related to the use of less-lethal weapons and the development of new international standards.

Read more

The press is briefed by the representatives of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, Palais des Nations. 5 September 2018 Event

International Humanitarian Law in the Work of United Nations Human Rights Bodies

2 November 2018, 13:15-14:45

This panel will focus on the practicalities of how international humanitarian law is used and the role it plays in the work of the UN human rights machinery.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

8 March - 5 April 2019

This short course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

General view of the room XX and delegates during of the High Level Segment of the 31st Session at the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, February 29, 2016 Short Course

Optimizing the Human Rights Council: At the Interplay Between Law and Politics

23 January - 1 February 2019

This short course focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.

Read more

Data connections with a man's shadow on the back Project

HUMAN RIGHTS, BIG DATA AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

Started in May 2016

We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.

Read more

Wheat field Project

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and the Protection of the Right to Seeds in Europe

Started in January 2018

The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.

Read more