UNDP pledges to strengthen commitment to human rights, sustainable development

UNDP pledges to strengthen commitment to human rights, sustainable development

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which turns 75 this year, has a central focus on dignity and equality of rights for all people. This is critical at a time in which we are facing multiple crises globally and leadership is required to advance bold solutions to protect human rights, particularly in crisis contexts.

Today, the Human Rights 75 Initiative event celebrates the anniversary and centrality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The event represents the culmination of extensive national and regional dialogues, thematic consultations, and recommendations from various sectors, paving the way for a visionary approach towards the next 25 years. The Pledging Session took place today at the Palais des Nations (UN Geneva).

Speaking at the occasion, Haoliang Xu, Associate Administrator and Under-Secretary General of UNDP, expressed gratitude to the organisers for convening discussions on the centrality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

“Today we face the highest number of conflicts since 1948 and we face the triple planetary crisis. These are human rights crises and crises for sustainable development”, said Mr. Xu, emphasizing the importance of human rights in sustainable development to successfully tackle those challenges. 

Today in Geneva, Mr. Xu announced three substantial pledges that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is putting forth as part of the HR75 Initiative. 

First, he declared, “we pledge to support Member States to operationalize the right of everyone to live in a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment in 100 countries by 2030”. 

In a world grappling with the escalating impacts of climate change and the ongoing destruction of our natural environment, this pledge will empower communities with innovative tools to safeguard the rights of both humanity and the Earth.

Secondly, UNDP commits to supporting Member States “to integrate human rights and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) systems in 75 countries”. 

With the 2030 deadline looming, this pledge underscores the need for a concerted effort to integrate human rights into the SDGs, making the promise to leave no one behind a reality.

Finally, UNDP pledges to enhance its rights-based programming for sustainable development, ensuring that no one is left behind in the development progress. In today’s statement, Mr. Xu clarified that this is how “we will make ourselves more accountable to achieve human rights objectives”.

As part of the broader Human Rights 75 Initiative, UNDP aligns itself with UN partners and Member States in their commitment to delivering on meaningful pledges. These collective efforts serve as a beacon for positive change, driving progress towards a future where freedom, equality, and dignity are enjoyed by all.

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