United Nations General Assembly: Right to development – Explanation of vote

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Delivered by Ms. Emily Buist-Catherwood, First Secretary.

Thank you Chair.

I have the honour to deliver this explanation of vote on behalf of Switzerland and my own country New Zealand.

We fully support the goal of realising the right to development for all. We reiterate our unwavering support to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which builds on the Declaration on the Right to Development, and its implementation.

For us, human rights and development are inextricably linked. The right to development is firmly based on the indivisibility, interdependence and universality of all human rights. States have the primary responsibility for ensuring that the right to development is realised for their own citizens, with the individual being the active participant and beneficiary of this right.

We are also concerned that this resolution includes unclear concepts that risk undermining the universality of human rights and suggests a hierarchy of rights.

We further recognise the importance of responding to Covid-19 effectively to ensure that the right to development is fulfilled. We regret that some of the elements on access to vaccines in this resolution do not sufficiently reiterate the need for a strong multilateral response in this regard.

To achieve global progress on the right to development, it is crucial that we work to reconcile current divisions and find a common narrative. The proposal for development of a legally binding instrument is far from international consensus. We are not in favour of developing a legally binding instrument on the right to development as we do not believe it would be an appropriate and effective mechanism for progress. Nevertheless, we are convinced that there is room for pragmatic solutions in resolving the questions around this right and its implementation.

It is for these reasons that Switzerland and my own country New Zealand have voted against this resolution. We hope that a consensual approach can be found in future years.

I thank you.


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