In September 2015, the UN General Assembly will adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs address a wide range of development issues, reflecting the three ‘pillars’ of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. As a globally agreed blueprint for 2015-2030, the SDGs are likely to become the major point of reference for development actors at all levels and will have a significant impact on the human rights agenda for years to come. Many governments, bilateral donors, multilateral institutions, civil society organizations and corporate actors will seek to align their policies and programmes with this new sustainable development agenda. More broadly, the significance of the SDGs lies in the boost they can give to the accountability of states to their people and to the financing and implementation of existing development and human rights commitments. Importantly, the SDGs are designed to be universally applied and are not limited to so-called developing countries. Therefore, the next 15 years offer a crucial opportunity to promote development approaches that contribute to the protection and fulfilment of human rights, through domestic policy and resources, international collaboration, and global financial flows. As independent institutions of accountability mandated to ensure international commitments are upheld domestically,1 National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) will undoubtedly have a role to play in promoting and protecting human rights in the context of the SDGs. This Briefing Paper focuses on the distinct contributions that NHRIs can make to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. It outlines the importance of the SDGs for human rights and highlights a number of specific opportunities for NHRIs to effectively fulfill their role in the context of the new global development agenda, sharing examples of development-related work from a number of institutions in all regions.
Jensen, et. al. (2015). REALIZING RIGHTS THROUGH THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: THE ROLE OF NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS. The Danish Institute for Human Rights. https://www.cesr.org/sites/default/files/NHRI_realizing_rights_sdgs_0.pdf
Steven L. B. Jensen, The Danish Institute for Human Rights Allison Corkery and Kate Donald, Center for Economic and Social Rights