Annual High-Level Panel Discussion on Human Rights Mainstreaming under the theme “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Human Rights, with an Emphasis on the Right to Development”, Statement delivered by South Africa, 29 February 2016

Mr President,

South Africa aligns itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the NAM and the African Group. We also take this opportunity to congratulate the distinguished panellists for their presentations today.

South Africa welcomes the convening of this Panel which is timely for the Council in its 10th Anniversary - to reflect on how it can carry the vision encapsulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forward which in itself is a remarkable effort by the international community to give content to the Right to Development and build on the MDGs.

In essence 2030 Agenda, in its 17 goals, is explicit about what is required for the realisation of the Right to Development in the areas of education, health, human settlement, industrialisation, etc. with regard to finance, technology development and transfer and other support. Therefore, 2016 must be about the full and effective implementation of 2030 Agenda thereby ensuring the realisation of the Right to Development. For South Africa, these rights are explicitly enshrined in the Constitution.

While 2030 Agenda  is explicitly grounded in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Human Rights Treaties as well as the Declaration on the Right to Development. It is also firmly anchored in the Rio Principle, in particular, Common but Differentiated Responsibilities.

This principle is the basis of the moral duty by developed countries to support developing countries by all means in the implementation of 2030 Agenda. It is the basis upon which we can forge meaningful partnerships in the realisation of the right to development through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda while we all report to the High Level Political Forum established as per the Rio+20 Outcomes Panel under ECOSOC, which is the main accountability mechanism.

Mr. President,

The 2030 Agenda affirms the role of the state to drive development as we have done in South Africa by implementation of a number of holistic policies and programmes aimed at poverty eradication, job creation and addressing inequality under the National Development Plan. It would be perilous to our democracy if we relied on the market to address the legacy of apartheid. South Africa’s NDP is of course aligned to Agenda 2063. 

Continentally, the African Union through its Agenda 2063 anticipated the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  We hope that the implementation of 2030 Agenda will enhance the implementation of Agenda 2063 through its first 10 year implementation plan. 

I thank you

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