The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue held a panel discussion on “The Right to Development, 30 years later: achievements, challenges and the way forward” on 5th of December 2016, in Palais des Nations.
The objective of the event was to commemorate the 2016 Human Rights Day and the 30th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, and in this regard, to allow international experts, diplomats, and representatives of NGOs and academia to exchange views on the issues related to the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development.
The Panel was moderated by Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre and panellists included Ambassador Zamir Akram, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the Right to Development, Dr. Manuel Montes, Senior Advisor on Finance and Development at the South Centre, Prof. Koen de Feyter, Chair of International Law at the University of Antwerp, and Prof. Dr. Nicolaas Schrijver, Chair of Public International Law and Academic Director of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University and Expert Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Panel was opened by Ambassador Vaqif Sadiqov, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre’s Board of Management.
During his opening remarks Ambassador V.Sadiqov mentioned that Azerbaijan has achieved impressive results on many Millennium Development Goals, and has considerably improved its rating in human development index moving from the 91st place in 2004 to 78th in 2015, and advancing from medium to high human development group. He also stressed that, currently, Azerbaijan is adapting its national sustainable development strategy taking into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, he highlighted the importance of the newly established National Coordinating Council for Sustainable Development which aims to define the national priorities until 2030, corresponding to global goals and targets, and to ensure the compliance of state programs and strategies covering the socio-economic spheres with the SDGs. Ambassador V.Sadiqov also informed the audience about the activities of Azerbaijan in international development efforts in responding to humanitarian and socio-economic challenges the developing countries face, in particular through the Azerbaijan International Development Agency and the Haydar Aliyev Foundation.
The panellists discussed the issues related to the achievements, challenges and the way forward on the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development, and also highlighted the ways on how to better promote international cooperation for the realization of the right to development.
Discussions with the audience highlighted the necessity to make all possible efforts in building bridges between developed and developing countries, and to make development a reality for all.