15 January 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
During one week, 14 academics from five countries deepened their knowledge and expertise of United Nations human rights mechanisms during a customized training course co-organized with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights of the University of Oslo.
Our new Research Brief The Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas discusses the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, including states and United Nations human rights mechanisms, in implementing the UN Declaration.
La trilogie ‘Des Procès peu Ordinaires’ continue avec la projection du film Le Tribunal sur le Congo de Milo Rau.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
This project analyzed how United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies and relevant UN Charter-based mechanisms and entities have addressed the implementation of the right to education and other relevant rights in armed conflict and armed violence.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.