Background

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, introduced the issue of human rights in development cooperation and stressed the need for the United Nations to stand on the principles enshrined in the Charter and on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enhance their integration in its policies and operations, as participatory development was more sustainable; accountable development was more efficient; non-discriminatory development was more equitable; and the empowerment of women, minorities and marginalized communities mobilized more development resources.

Discussion

Specific actions were proposed for CEB to bring forward the human rights message and ensure that development cooperation: a CEB joint statement calling for urgent and meaningful action to promote freedom from fear and want; a commitment to joint advocacy for the integration of human rights in the next quadrennial comprehensive policy review; an update the human rights guidelines for the resident coordinator system; an effort to explore possibilities for advancing human rights-based policy coherence among its members in the High-level Committee on Programmes; and a look at a possible reform of the current UN secretariat Executive Committees to mirror and give the same prominence to all three pillars (peace and security, development and human rights).
                   
CEB members reaffirmed their central commitment to human rights and a rights-based approach to development; welcomed the specific proposals, but considered that a more detailed examination was needed to take into account the different normative and operational functions of the organizations of the United Nations system; pointed out the advantages of each organization speaking out on human rights and development from its own perspective, but within one overall framework in order to be consistent and avoid the perception or question of double standards when implementing universally accepted norms.

Action

CEB requested the High-level Committee on Programmes to help advance the relevant issues of policy coherence on human rights, under the leadership of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.