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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

23. U.S. Comments to the Right to Development Working Group (February 25-March 8, 2002)


Mr. Chairman,

My delegation has already taken the floor to share with Mr. Sengupta and the Working Group some of our views with respect to the recommendations contained in his report. Among them, we briefly mentioned our concerns with his concept of "development compacts," which in our view replicate relationships that already exists between recipient and donor states. In this intervention, we wish to expand on this topic.

We fully agree with Mr. Sengupta that the formulation of development programs require the full and active participation of all stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, in an open and transparent process. My government is committed to development and to the well-established idea of international cooperation for development. We believe that development is the key to creating a world that is stable, secure and prosperous. We have extensive bilateral development assistance programs with a number of countries and we have helped create and support a vast system of international institutions that are devoted to the cause of development.

The notion of "development compact" that Mr. Sengupta advocates is a bilateral process that is best left to existing mechanisms, such as agreements between governments and between governments and developing agencies.
Previous speakers have rightly noted that an array of efforts to further strengthen the good governance of international and national mechanisms to achieve tangible development goals continue to take place in a myriad of fora, many of which enjoy a level of expertise and experience that we could not and should not replicate in this Working Group.

The creation of a financial monitoring institution under the auspices of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, and the creation of a fund for development outside of existing International Financial Institutions would duplicate existing mechanisms and would distract human rights attention from the promotion of individual rights and fundamental freedoms without which the right to development cannot be realized.


Mr. Chairman,
Thank you for allowing my delegation to make a brief statement on the subject of a permanent follow-up mechanism.

Mr. Chairman, we have found the debate thus far to be interesting and informative. As you have stated repeatedly, a serious effort is being undertaken to find points of agreement that can result in a report based on consensus. We could not be more supportive of this goal.

However, we believe that it is clear from our discussions, especially as it concerns the international component, that further debate is required in order to find points of mutual agreement. We therefore believe that it is premature to discuss the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism. Furthermore, the combined work of the Independent Expert, the activities of the Right to Development Branch and discussions in this Working Group already constitute, at different levels, appropriate mechanisms for the realization of the Right to Development.

We firmly believe that more discussion is needed before we can say that there is agreement on the establishment of a so-called permanent follow-up mechanism. It is difficult for us to envision at this time the role that any such mechanism would have. We therefore believe that it is premature to contemplate the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism.

Thank you.

Addendum to the Chairman's Report

Comments Submitted by the United States to the Conclusions Adopted by the Third Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Right to Development

The United States appreciates the efforts of the Working Group on the Right to Development Third Session, especially the efforts of the Chairman.

The conclusions represent a substantial advance over previous years and demonstrate an increased coherence with development dialogues in other fora and in particular with this year's major international conference.

However, we would have preferred a document that more fully reflected the variety of viewpoints expressed during the discussion.

The United States has fundamental differences with the text's conclusions and recommendations and therefore must disassociate itself with the same. We note that there is still no consensus on the precise meaning of the right to development.

Nevertheless, the United States continues to support further discussion in the proper fora that address development and that would genuinely help Member States of the United Nations reach our shared goal of sustainable development.

As President Bush recently stated on the eve of the Financing for Development Conference, good government is an essential condition of development. We would also want to underscore here the three broad standards that the President has outlined as necessary elements for successful development: ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom.

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