Does sustainable development need human rights?

By Platform Agenda 2030

When the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, human rights organisations found themselves in a dilemma vis-à-vis this global reference framework supposed to point the way to a sustainable future. The 2030 Agenda did not create a legally binding framework but represented a voluntary commitment by states. Which horse did they want to bet on? On the agenda 2030 with a shared vision, ambitious goals and systemic responses? Or on the established, legally binding human rights conventions?

The Danish Institute for Human Rights resolved the dilemma with its groundwork: It analysed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets compared to existing obligations under international law. The analysis revealed that almost all of the sub-goals have a legal equivalent under international law. Their implementation is therefore by no means based solely on voluntary action. It became clear that the SDGs and human rights are two sides of the same coin. 

The Swiss CSO Platform Agenda 2030 published a short document showing how strongly the 2030 Agenda is based on human rights. And how we can use established human rights procedures to strengthen sustainable development. The document is available in German, French and Italian


Publication in German:

In French:

In Italian:

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