Globalization, Human Rights and Development Are Inextricably Linked [Archives:2001/26/Focus]

June 25 2001

Abdulkadir Al-Ariki 
Environment / Development Specialist and EIA Practitioner 
Any country committed to launch full-scale campaigns against poverty should also be committed to full and equal rights to all. Hence what the poor need most is not only resource for safety net but resources to build effectively their own organizational capacity. Consequently ensuring such capacity building is the most needed from both governments and donors who should know that one of the major source of poverty is people’s powerlessness. For example, organized refugees can influence humanitarian aid providers and help hold them accountable. This is in full compliance to the fundamental principles of human rights and development. And now in the Globalization Era, it is the right time to confess that human development is essential for realizing human rights and human rights are essential for full human development. 
At last the international concerned body recognized that human rights should be the core of development. That means every human being has the right of access to basic education, health care, shelter and employment. So no development could be achieved without an access to the basic rights of all men and women to participate equally in society. Can people genuinely take advantage of freedom in the presence of want, from discrimination, injustice and violations of the rule of law ? So, real steps have to be taken by all parties concerned including governments, rich countries, international, multinational companies and NGOs. Towards creating and generating the kind of socio-economic growth needed by adopting accountable and effective systems of institutions and laws. This means all people should be economically engaged. 
In its yearly report of “Human Development Report 2000” UNDP focused on strengthening the existing relations between human rights and human development. Recently, this has been realized by international bodies and missions of the United Nations on the base of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However it is a good sign, as to declare that poverty eradication is not only a goal of development but it is a central challenge for human rights in the 21st century. This means that the rich nations have to pay for the poor nations costs and debts for identified services for global benefits. And the flow of aids should be extended particularly to trade investments, technologies and flow of man power. Hence, the existing trend of globalization should be concentrated on human rights as it is concentrated around capital and trade. Ms. Fokoda-director of human development office- confirmed global issues require a global acceptance. “The human rights principles and its protection should be integrated in the rules and institutions of globalization. The UNDP yearly report of human development-2000- stated that in order that the economy of LCD’s faces the challenges posed by the increasing integration of international economy the international organizations such as WTO and the multinational companies should take their responsibility to strengthen their policies for enhancing human rights principles. Knowing the existing trade rules is based on mending approaches which is in a state of complete isolation from the principles of human rights, environmental conventions and agreements. The same report states that the multilateral trade agreements have tremendous negative impact on the prosperity of the people and their rights. Hence it is necessary to carry-out an impact assessment (EIA) on it as an intrinsic part of the negotiations of accession to WTO. The report criticizes the trend of followed trade and economic negotiations secrecy by most of countries. This contradicts the transparency and accountability rules necessary in the process of establishing economic policies. In turn this will deprive citizens from the right of participating and discussion of the development options and choices. Hence they have to carry-out the burden to pay-out the new imposed national debts. 
The LCD’s have the right to participate in the decision-makings negotiations and settling of conflicts. The ground will not be fairly shared when the resources of the players and their technical experiences and capacities of negotiations are largely unequal or radically different. 
The growing of global interdependence underlines the need for the international community to take much stronger actions to promote human rights. In addition there is pressure on all “Fortunate” 500 companies to recognize and support human rights, labor standards-and to join in support of the Secretary-General’s Global Compact (Human Development Report,2000) for achieving the so called 20:20 compact for all least developed countries by 2010. Above all there is a shift from poverty eradication as a development goal to poverty eradication as socially just goal, fulfilling the rights and accountabilities of all actors. But the real essence of human development should extend further to other areas highly valued by the people such as : participation, security, sustainability, guaranteed human rights-all needed for being creative and productive and for enjoying self respect, empowerment and sense of belonging to a community. 
In conclusion, human development should be deeply understood in every aspect, materially and ethically and should mean more than meeting the basic needs: food, health, shelter, long life. There is no peace without reducing the existing gap between the rich and the poor within and among countries. There will be no peace without correcting the unfair trade exchange and without preventing concentration of economic and political uncontrolled power. We cannot alleviate or reduce poverty without embodying in our system a certain level of social justice, ensuring equitable distribution of resources at micro and macro-levels. In addition, at international level the existing dualism should be put at end to, e.g. dualism in implementing human rights,equity, liberty, democracy and human rights of refugees living in both developed and LCD’s. Hence, Globalization era should the era of eradication of the cause and source of human sufferings and tragedies. Poverty of the Forced immigrants, Refugees or displaced persons.