Side Event to the 69th UNGA session - Rights-Based Approach – a Contribution for the post-2015
Co-organised by the European Commission and the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
24-24 September 2014, Lunch debate, Hotel Westin Grand Central: 212 East 42nd Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues), New York, NY 10017

For many years, countries have been exploring effective ways to integrate human rights within their national policies and poverty reduction strategies. Multilateral and bilateral donor agencies and partner countries have been actively supporting this work, and exploring effective means of integrating human rights standards and principles within their programmes of cooperation and national policies. In particular, several countries, a number of UN bodies and various donors, including recently the European Union have moved towards a rights-based approach to development.

For the United Nations, this work began in the mid-1990s but since 2003 has been guided by the UN Common Understanding on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Development Cooperation. This practice has been supported by a growing body of inter-disciplinary research, showing how a human rights-based approach can not only strengthen the processes of development, but also generate more equitable and sustainable development results.

The integration of human rights within the post-2015 development agenda would give further impetus to this body of practice.
Hence, in parallel with the inter-governmental negotiations on the post-2015 agenda, it would seem timely to take stock of some of the more important lessons emerging from experience to date in order to help shape an agenda for the effective implementation of the post-2015 development agenda in practice.

In order to feed in this debate with concrete elements, this side event will examine comparative experience in implementing Rights Based Approach to national level policy-making and development cooperation, as embedded in relevant inter-governmental agreements and underpinned by strong partner country national ownership.

To this end, the event will provide an opportunity for participants to:
1.    Exchange experiences and lessons learned regarding the implementation of a rights based approach to national development planning and development cooperation,
2.    Identify gaps and challenges in this regard that will require further attention and support in a post 2015 development agenda,
3.    Identify opportunities, but also resources and capacities necessary for further working in partnership with development partners and relevant multilateral stakeholders, including UN bodies and international financial institutions, in order to further strengthen efforts to promote a rights-based approach to development cooperation.

Format and Outcome
This side event will take place on the 24th of September in New York. It will consist of a two hours interactive multi-stakeholder roundtable of discussion.

EU Member States, representatives of United Nations Agencies, representatives from partner countries from the global South are invited to participate and to share their experience of implementation of a Rights Based Approach to Development.

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