Human Rights and Inequality is the Concern for Post 2015 Development Agenda

Human Rights and Inequality

Dhaka 1st April 2014. Today in a panel discussion held in Dhaka Reporters’ Unity Mr. Roberto Bissio, the Coordinator of Social Watch, a global civil society alliance working in more than hundred countries, said that the enforcement for human rights and addressing inequalities should be the main concern in setting post 2015 development agenda.

The panel discussion titled “Post 2015 Development Agenda: Future Global Development Partnership” organized by EquityBD, Social Watch Bangladesh and Unnayan Samunnay. The panel discussion is moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD and other speakers of the session are Ahmed Swapan of VOICE, Aminur Rasul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Prodip K Roy of Online Knowledge Society, Dr Sohel Iqbal, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF) and Barkat Ullah Maruf of EquityBD.

Barkat Ullah Maruf has given a short description on how EquityBD and others in Bangladesh engaged with the policy discourse on post 2015, he mentioned that there should be an agenda on reducing arm race expenditure in the discourse. Dr Sohel Iqbal said, achievements in future is hardly possible without any agenda to establish internal good governance of political parties.

Aminur Rasul said that climate change is the biggest threat to achieve development in Bangladesh. Badrul Alam mentioned that, the dumping of industrial agriculture products in the name of food security should immediately stopped. Food sovereignty with agri ecology has to be considered for future sustainable development, he added.

Ahmed Swapan mentoined that, without addressing structural issues i.e., root causes which are responsible for creating rich and poor, eradication of poverty is not possible. He raised the question on private sector’s role in future Post 2015 sustainable development agenda.

Roberto Bissio, the key discussant of the program today, criticized the World Bank’s setting of poverty threshold of earning $1.25 a day. He said that even if the things go on ‘business as usual’ it would be achieved in any way. So, it can’t be the goal to press the governments to accelerate the poverty eradication efforts.

Mr. Roberto also criticized, as it is a mere income approach of defining poverty. He urged for taking human rights approach instead, as it is already elaborated in the human right charter that human being require the fulfillment of different civic, social and economic rights.

He mentioned that there is a big hypocrisy within GDP approach, as it does not reflect the growing inequalities between different classes within a population and in the country or international level. Finally he expressed worries of recent developed countries’ position on private sector’s role in the development assistance, in fact which is for market expansion of multinational companies in developing countries. And also it is an approach of risk compensation to those companies in developing countries. Official development assistance from developed countries must go to the poor directly without any involvement of private sector companies, he stressed on.

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