MDGs and Human Rights - Conflicting or Complementary?
LEVE has chosen MDGs and Human Rights - Conflicting or Complementary? as the theme for the spring 2010. Here you can find an introduction to the theme.
About the group
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been hailed by some as the single most important international initiative in the history of development cooperation. Others have decried them as a betrayal of the universal values embodied in the Millennium Declaration and a distraction for many countries, particularly middle income, from other international commitments. A third stream has seen human rights and the MDGs as mutually reinforcing and called for bridges to be built in practice.
At the same time, the discourse and practice around the MDGs is not monolithic. The manner in which the goals and targets are being understood and implemented, at the national level and within development agencies, varies significantly. In order to understand whether human rights and MDGs and human rights are converging or conflicting, we require more knowledge on how both are interacting in practice.
The emerging post-2015 debate on the development paradigm is being strongly informed by calls for human rights to play a greater role. Some are calling for a return to the value-based approach of the Millennium Declaration, others for an explicit rights-based development agenda and others for target design that is harmonised with human rights. Still other voices are calling for the inclusion of Southern and grassroots voices in development agenda-setting this time. As 2015 approaches, we need to ask what we would do differently if a human rights approach was fully integrated.
LEVE has arranged three events to discuss some of the issues within the theme. The events were:
- Gender, Rights and the MDGs: Maternal and Reproductive Health, Seminar in cooperation with Amnesty International, February 4th, 2010.
- The MDGs and Human Rights, International Symposium in cooperation with Harvard University, Institute for Development Studies (IDS) and UNICEF, March 22nd - 23rd, 2010.
- Disability Rights and Development: Left Out of the Millennium Development Goals? This seminar is a follow-up from the Harvard Symposium "the MDGs and Human Rights" with Michael Stein from Harvard Law School, August 24th, 2010.