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 day, more than 100 experts, practitioners, academics, diplomats and representatives of NGOs, international organizations and National Human Rights Institutions discussed and debated the connectivity of human rights mechanisms.
At a meeting co-organized with the permanent missions of Costa Rica and Japan to the United Nations in Geneva, Geneva-based diplomats discussed the current status of the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies.
This public conference will discuss the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants in Europe and its contribution to the SDGs and the UN Decade of Family Farming.
Nicolas Axelrod / Ruom
Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en œuvre.
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 examines the relationship between the right to food and gender equality in ensuring food security in the context of land commercialization in two case-study countries, Cambodia and Ghana.
After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, this research project focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.