Accountability in the post-2015 development framework: what role for National Human Rights Institutions?

“Last month, CESR Executive Director Ignacio Saiz joined a panel discussion on the way forward for national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the post-2015 development agenda. Hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the panel was part of a seminar for NHRIs to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Paris Principles, the normative framework that defines the role, composition, status and functions of these institutions.

Accountability gaps have impeded the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And while NHRIs have often been cited as key mechanisms for filling these gaps, their comparative strengths and weaknesses in this regard have only recently been explored in depth.

As debates on what the post-2015 framework should look like progress, there are clear expectations that NHRIs will form part of the accountability infrastructure supporting it. But what should NHRIs do specifically? CESR suggested four broad proposals for NHRIs to consider:

1.Contributing to global decision making on the post-2015 framework.

2.Engaging in the process of tailoring goals, targets and indicators nationally.

3.Monitoring and reviewing progress on agreed commitments.

4.Enforcing accountability and enabling access to justice and remedies.”

Click here to read the full proposals.

The call to include Human Rights in the post-2015 agenda was backed by the UN Secretary General:

The UN has just released the Secretary General’s report to the forthcoming General Assembly on progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and recommendations for what should replace them in 2015. The report, entitled “A life of dignity for all,” is a powerful and timely endorsement of the need to follow up the MDGs with a holistic and transformative framework of development commitments anchored in the universal fulfillment of human rights.

Echoing the central premise that has motivated CESR’s advocacy and analysis over the last two years, the report asserts that ending poverty is “a matter of basic justice and human rights”. It includes a welcome recognition that freedom from fear and want are inseparable, and that human rights encompass the economic and social dimensions of human well-being. “No person should go hungry, lack shelter or clean water and sanitation, face social and economic exclusion or live without access to basic health services and education”, says the Secretary General. “These are human rights, and form the foundations for a decent life.”

Click here to read the full commentary; click here to view the UNSG’s report A life of Dignity for All


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