Holy See Defends "Right to Development"

Calls It a Basis of the Duty of International Cooperation

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GENEVA, MARCH 29, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A right to development constitutes the foundation of the duty of international cooperation, the Holy See told the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.



Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer to the U.N. office in Geneva, expressed this point last week when he spoke for a second time during the session of the Human Rights Commission. The session began March 15 and ends April 23.

"The Declaration on the Right to Development adopted by the General Assembly in 1986 is unique among other international human rights standards in that it identifies the individual person as the focus and beneficiary of the right, with the state as the primary duty bearer," the papal representative stated in his address Wednesday.

"At the same time, it makes an explicit connection between this right and the obligation for international cooperation to assist individual states in their duties as the primary promoter and protector of the individual's right to development," he added.

"If globalization makes the single state less autonomous, it imposes greater responsibility on the international community to help it in securing the right to development," the archbishop said.

"In this global partnership, resources allocation plays a crucial role and their priority should be directed to enhance the creativity of individuals, women and men, so that they remain the real protagonists of any development," he added.

Quoting John Paul II, the archbishop said that "many people, perhaps the majority today, do not have the means which would enable them to take their place in an effective and humanly dignified way within a productive system in which work is truly essential."

"They have no possibility of acquiring the basic knowledge which would enable them to express their creativity and develop their potential," he said, quoting the encyclical "Centesimus Annus," No. 34.

"We believe that states have the primary responsibility to promote, protect and implement the right to development," the archbishop said on behalf of the Holy See.

"The complementarity of different stakeholders proves effective and productive when subsidiarity is respected and the same goal is pursued of social inclusion development of personal capabilities," he said.

Archbishop Tomasi added: "Thus, in dealing with the international system of governance, states, including the poorest, should be permitted rightful access to the decision-making procedures of organizations and institutions which affect their future."