Global goals are easily set, but seldom met: human rights experts

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Olivier de Schutter

A group of UN independent experts is calling on States to make sure human rights accountability measures are part of the UN's Rio+20 sustainable development conference's goals.

In an open letter to world Governments, 22 independent human rights experts say "global goals are easily set, but seldom met." They say a real risk exists that commitments made in Rio will remain empty promises without effective monitoring and accountability.

Olivier De Schutter, who signed onto the letter is the Special Rapporteur on the right to food.

"There is a growing impatience in the world with international summits that arrive at very grand declarations which are not followed in practice by governments and we've had many of those since the Rio conference of 1992. Our governments have a tendency to sacrifice the long term interests of sustainability on the alter of the short term interests of pleasing voters."

The group suggests Rio+20 establish an international accountability mechanism similar to the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review. That measure subjects each country's human rights record to a State-led peer review on the basis of information submitted by the country concerned, UN entities, civil society and other stakeholders.

The first round of informal negotiations on Rio+20 began in New York Monday.

Duration: 24″

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