Exactly 30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared that all human beings have the right to development, which ‘is an inalienable human right.’ On Dec 4, representatives from the government, academia and international organizations gathered in Beijing to discuss how this declaration is relevant today.
On Dec 4, 1986, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development, which states that “ ... Every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.”
Since then, understandings of the right to development have been divergent among global members. The head of the CPC Publicity Department Liu Qibao shared China’s perspective.
“We believe that the rights to subsistence and development are the primary, basic human rights. The right to development is an extension and guarantee of the right to subsistence. It is a comprehensive and universal human right,” Liu Qibao, secretariat of CPC Central Committee Publicity Department, said.
“Ladies and gentleman, poverty eradication continues to be one of the critical elements in the promotion and realization of the right to development. Its success will be measured, therefore, by the impact of the goals on the lives of the poorest and the most vulnerable. In this regard, China’s experience serves as an example for other countries,” UN Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said.
Over the past three decades, China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty and implemented reforms on land-use rights, education, social security and healthcare.
This year’s United Nations Development Program ranks China 90th out of 188 countries in terms of human development levels, and says China belongs to the high-level group. However, the UNDP also says that China still faces a number of challenges, including social inequalities, economic slowdowns and an aging population.
China’s Gini coefficient, which measures a country’s wealth gap, has surpassed the international red line of 0.4.
The UNDP is encouraging China to use “social innovation” to increase its inclusiveness, pursue more equal development and narrow the gap between different regions, social groups and genders.