Initiative argues the case for rights-centred development

By on 13/04/2014

An initiative that aims to integrate human rights with sustainable development policies has issued a statement to inform the next stage of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

The Righting Finance Initiative was launched by a range of networks and organisations with mandates for advocacy of human rights. Its statement, ‘Co-Creating New Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development’, has been published in dialogue with the UN’s Conference on Sustainable Development.

At this conference, the UN advocated setting up an intergovernmental committee of experts on financing for sustainable development.

However, Righting Finance is concerned that globalisation has led to situations that are in conflict with an international human rights framework and sustainable development. Specifically, the initiative’s position is that governments need to ensure they do not lose sight of their basic duty to ensure human rights are respected over and above the requirements of private enterprises.

With increasing globalisation and with the growing presence and power of multinational corporations all over the world, Righting Finance sees a risk of governments putting the needs and pressures of the private sector above the wellbeing of their citizens.

The statement points to the situation where a transnational private entity uses its leverage to circumnavigate local laws, taxes and human rights responsibilities in most of the countries it operates in. It argues that the wealth and power of the transnational means it can lobby for law changes in a remote country which work solely to its own advantage.

Righting Finance sees a particular area of concern in partnerships in the private-public arena. It is sceptical about such partnerships in light of the shareholder and other pressures on private-sector companies.

Above all, Righting Finance wants to see governments around the world commit clearly to upholding the human rights and social developments of their own citizens. It feels the only way for that to happen is to ensure that governments use their powers more forcefully, without interference from the private sector.

About Kevin Sorkin

Pendragon International Media publish www.globalgovernmentforum.com, a community of senior government officials around the world. Global Government Forum is an important international network focusing on impartial, government news, analysis and best practice. The content addresses the real issues facing senior leaders in public service policy and administration today and aims to support them in developing public services for the future. Our aim is to help all organisations engage with this important community by improving understanding and strengthening relationships. I am the founder of the Civil Service Awards and Civil Service Live, which are now established industry leading brands and extremely important events for government. I also launched and published Civil Service World, civilserviceworld.com and Civil Service World Research and Information bringing together the civil service community to enable communication, sharing of best practice, inspire and motivate the civil service community. Over the years I have established relationships with the most senior officials in government and the private sector and have built a very strong and positive reputation across the industry.

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