– In Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development
The International Seminar on the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Right to Development was held in Beijing on Dec. 4-5, 2016. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter of congratulation to the seminar. Liu Qibao, a member of the Political Bureau and Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department, attended the seminar and made a speech. The seminar, co-hosted by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by more than 150 representatives from over 40 countries, regions and international organizations.
It was agreed at the seminar that the Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted by the United Nations 30 years ago, has played an important role in promoting the development and progress of human society. The participants spoke highly of the achievements made by many developing countries, including China, in ensuring their people’s right to development, and praised China’s active efforts in implementing the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The participants agreed that peace and development remain the dominant themes in today’s world. Underdevelopment is one of the causes of many problems faced by the world. The fundamental cause of poverty, the refugee crisis, conflicts, war, terrorism and extremism lies in underdevelopment, and solutions to all these problems have to be sought through development. Presently, the North-South gap in economic development is still very wide. The international community should therefore make poverty and hunger elimination its primary task, tackle imbalances in development and promote sustainable development.
At the seminar, participants engaged in brainstorming and discussed “sharing development for the benefit of people from all countries.” They made the following proposals:
– Development is the eternal theme of human society, and the right to development is a universal and inalienable human right. It is the ideal pursuit of human society to offer equal opportunities for development, share the fruits of development, enable everyone to enjoy full development and personal dignity, and realize the right to development. The development of human society is presently at a transitional stage. It remains a long-term task for human society to ensure people from all countries enjoy adequate right to development and to seek more advanced stages of development.
– The right to development is a general and basic human right that is closely related to all other human rights. Guarantee of the right to development is manifested in the realization of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, and in the acquirement of civil and political rights. The international community should therefore attach equal importance to the promotion and protection of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights as well as civil and political rights.
– The right to development is an individual as well as a collective right. All people enjoy, individually and collectively, the right to development to pursue more comprehensive development. Governments are obliged to keep improving conditions to facilitate the development of all nations and individuals, so that each individual can pursue personal development with dignity, contribute to society and share opportunities to achieve their personal full potential and their dreams.
– The right to development requires sustainability. Countries, societies and individuals should all bear obligations and responsibilities for sustainable development. To realize and guarantee the right to development, they need to conform to the concept of balanced and sustainable growth, and promote harmony between man and nature, economy and society. Consumption and production should be conducted in a sustainable manner. All countries should manage the Earth’s natural resources in a scientific way and take a sustainable and renewable approach while seeking economic and social development.
– People all over the world should enjoy the right to development, and countries should seek ways to work together to promote development and remove barriers. The realization of the right to development requires governments to map out strategies and policies consistent with their countries’ domestic situations. It also requires the international community to seek equitable, open, all-round and innovation-driven development, enhance cooperation, strengthen support for developing countries, especially for the least developed countries, promote inclusive development and build a community with shared future for mankind.