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Series:

Sumudu Atapattu and Shyami Puvimanasinghe

Abstract

This chapter surveys salient aspects of the practical implementation of sustainable development. It provides some guidance from the ground up, through lessons from South Asia, in particular, public interest litigation in cases concerning economic development, environmental protection and social development, including human rights. The chapter traces the evolution of the concept of sustainable development, culminating in the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (sdgs), and its intrinsic links with international environmental law including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Against the backdrop of the larger picture of public international law, the chapter provides practical illustrations of case law from South Asia (especially India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on Sri Lanka) wherein judiciaries also engaged in defining sustainable development, giving it practical meaning and tools to achieve it on the ground. The chapter points to examples of a vibrant body of jurisprudence catalyzed by public interest litigation in cases combining human rights, environmental and developmental issues. These could provide good practices in the pursuit of the sdgs, and of sustainable development more generally. The chapter analyzes lawsuits moved by civil society action combined with strategies of innovation by the legal profession, and a certain degree of judicial activism, which could help bring about progressive development in the integration of human rights, environmental and development issues on the ground.

Implementation of the Right to Development by Optimizing wto Regulations

From the Perspective of the Doha Development Agenda

Series:

Wang Bei

Abstract

Human rights and development have become two significant topics in today’s world. The 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference recognized the crucial role of special and differential treatment provided for promoting the development of developing countries, especially least-developed countries. The provisions related to special and differential treatment scattered in wto agreements, however, are not without shortcomings that can severely impede the achievement of equal development as well as economic rights. The three defects—lack of precision, effectiveness and operability—have been identified in paragraph 44 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration. This chapter will evaluate the current regulations related to special and differential treatment in the wto from these three perspectives via empirical and value analysis methods. Apparently, amending the current provisions is the most direct way to address the problems. Even though it is very difficult to meet the consensus requirement stipulated in Article X of the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization considering the present international relationship, the method of amendment should not be neglected and given up on. While efforts are made to reach consensus toward amendment, some alternative approaches can be utilized in the short term. Both the Dispute Settlement Body and arbitrators should consider the interests and difficulties of less-developed countries when giving authoritative interpretation of the provisions guided by Article 3.2 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes. Moreover, improving the Monitoring Mechanism set forth during the Bali Ministerial Conference will alleviate the problem regarding poor implementation. All solutions to the problems above should be based on the theoretical consensus about the asymmetrical justice between developed and less-developed countries.

Series:

He Miao

Abstract

Allocation of carbon emissions is still a popular issue nowadays. There is no consensus on the relationship in the academic field between carbon emissions and a right to development, and there is little literature on the relationship between carbon emissions and a right to development and their developmental tendency. Essentially, the controversy on the right to development and carbon emissions is about the contesting of benefits. How can we clarify the relationship between carbon emissions and a right to development from a legal perspective? What type of model for the rule of law could promote clarification of the relationship between carbon emissions and a right to development while safeguarding the interests of developing countries? This chapter aims to answer these questions and propose some possible basic principles and a possible model for the rule of law on their relationship.

Series:

Zhang Aining

Abstract

The right to development is an inalienable human right, but its realization should be balanced by environmental rights. Development leads to environmental problems, and without the intervention of appropriate environmental policies, overall environmental quality is likely to be aggravated or exacerbated with economic growth. If damaged to a certain extent, it would make the development results impossible to enjoy and even lead to the total destruction of all civilizations, including the entire human race. The principle of sustainable development is the only way to implement the right to development for protecting the environment on which humans depend, and includes not only inter-generational equity but also intra-generational equity. Developed and developing countries should cooperate with each other in good faith in economic activities and major environmental issues that are of fundamental interest to humankind regardless of whether there exist relevant legal documents or not, particularly in those economic activities with potentially significant threats to the environment, such as international trade, international investment, the transboundary movement of toxic or hazardous wastes and extremely hazardous activities or significant technological risks. In this regard, the principle of common but differentiated responsibility is a practical model of international cooperation between developed and developing countries to ensure environmental target in development.

Series:

Carlos Alberto Aquino Rodriguez

Abstract

In December 1986 the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development, which compels states to take measures so their citizens can have access to basic resources, such as education, health services, food, housing, employment and the fair distribution of income. While many will put emphasis on the right to democracy, to vote and be elected, and the right to free speech, for many more people access to basic resources is probably more important.

The policies for the realization of the right to development do not include only those that deliver economic growth. While this is important, as shown by the experience of China’s impressive high economic growth that has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and given them access to basic resources, certain social and public policies are also needed. In this chapter, Peru’s social policies to eliminate poverty are presented. Peru has been successful in reducing poverty, as shown by the fact that the poverty rate has decreased from 54.7% in 2001 to 22.7% in 2014. This has been achieved through policies that allow poor people greater access to health, social security and education, and these policies are Peru’s best practices for the realization of the right to development.

Series:

Zhang Wei and Zhang Aitong

Abstract

With the changes in development of the concept of human rights, thinking concerning the relationship between human rights and development is becoming deeper and deeper. Against this background, the authors profoundly realize that both recognizing economic development as the first priority as some developing countries do, and considering human rights to be the most important thing as most developed countries do, are unilateral and harmful to social progress. Human rights and development are interdependent and mutually promotional. This chapter introduces the three main viewpoints of the relationship between human rights and development. Based on the changes in attitudes of the UN and China to the relationship between human rights and development, this chapter holds that although it is great progress for the Chinese government to understand that human rights and development are interdependent, there are still many difficulties in realizing their mutually beneficial relationship in reality. These difficulties are due to the lack of professionals who enjoy a good understanding of the rules of social development and are capable of practicing human rights theories. Therefore, the authors suggest that the promotion of human rights education is instrumental in the development and progress of human society.

Series:

Zamir Akram

Abstract

Since human rights cannot be fully realized without addressing human needs, there is a symbiotic relationship between human rights and human development. This fact is recognized by all the major international instruments, agreements and resolutions of the UN in particular the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Conventions on civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights. These instruments became the basis of the Declaration on the Right to Development adopted in 1986 which establishes the right to development as a human right, equal and indivisible from all other human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, despite a lapse of 30 years, the right to development has not been implemented due to differences between the developed and developing states, which exist due to international systematic issues as well as ideological divergence. These differences have undermined efforts by the international community, despite the use of various mechanisms led by the UN Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as the Working Group on the Right to Development, to implement the Declaration on the Right to Development. The consensus adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals contained in the 2030 Agenda in 2015 has raised hopes that it would now be possible to realize the right to development. Since the 2030 Agenda is grounded in human rights instruments including the right to development and seeks to pursue the same development goals as these instruments, it provides a road map for implementing the right to development, hence the close relationship between the right to development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Series:

Flavia Piovesan

Abstract

Considering the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development as a dynamic, living instrument of enduring value in addressing current and emerging challenges central to development, this chapter focuses on the conceptual bases and the legal framework of the right to development. As components and dimensions of the right to development, it embraces social justice; participation, accountability and transparency; and international cooperation. It concludes by analyzing the contemporary challenges and perspectives of the implementation of the right to development, inspired by the human rights-based approach to development and by a development approach to human rights.

Role of Rural Regulations in Environmental Protection and Green Development

Findings from Wendou Village in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Minority Autonomous Prefecture Pinghe County Hekou Township in Guizhou Province

Series:

Gao Qicai

Abstract

The widespread involvement in social action involving environmental protection, green development and sustainable development by means of people-oriented rural regulations in Wendou Village in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Minority Autonomous Prefecture in Guizhou Province is unique, and is in keeping with the basic spirit of the Declaration on the Right to Development. Wendou has long been known to cherish the tradition of making rural regulations to govern the village and protect the environment. At the entrance to Wendou there is a stone stele showing “Stele of Six Points for Prohibition” and another stele recording management of forestry resources set up twelve years after the first one. The prohibitory regulations on the steles gradually became customary law in the form of rural regulations, which have had a significant role in environmental protection in Wendou Village. Adhering to those self-governing traditions, Wendou villagers enacted the Villagers’ Self-Governance Agreement on September 10, 2015, which stipulated the villagers’ and the village committee’s obligations in environmental protection both directly and indirectly. The green development mechanism and system set up in Wendou Village severely punishes environmental destruction. Wendou’s experiences show that rural regulations have a positive effect on environmental protection.

Series:

Mofihli Teleki

Abstract

The means for implementing the Declaration on the Right to Development (drd) are advanced by some scholars, citing the conflicts between universalism and cultural relativism constraints. In this chapter, I propose that there could be an arbiter between these two frames of thought. The proposed arbiter in this instance is an African philosophy called “Ubuntu”. Although Ubuntu is an ethic and philosophy, it has been used in various settings in the post-independent era of the African continent. Ubuntu has been used as a source of law in countries such as South Africa. In this chapter, I argue that Ubuntu should be institutionalized in order for it to become an arbiter between universalism and cultural relativism.