The Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on the Right to Development met virtually for its 21st session from 17-21 May 2021 to discuss a new draft Convention on the Right to Development. The session had originally been scheduled for May 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The experts from the drafting group emphasized that the draft Convention was not seeking to impose new obligations upon States but sought to draw upon existing State obligations regarding the right to development, international human rights law, and the UN Charter. According to the discussants, the nature of such obligations were fully in compliance with the States’ sovereignty.

Discussions also highlighted the inclusion of possible extraterritorial obligations for States in the draft Convention, as well as gender mainstreaming in the text. The draft Convention also proposes the possibility of setting up a Conference of Parties and an implementation mechanism. The final provisions are very similar to existing human rights conventions, particularly the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

(The South Center)

The text of the draft convention is available hereA/HRC/WG.2/21/2 – E – A/HRC/WG.2/21/2 -Desktop (