However, there are statements within CST that seem not to take into account the full economic reality of underdeveloped countries. In particular, it could be argued that insufficient attention has been given to the successful development of many countries without aid. Comparing the performance and policy background within such countries might assist us in developing an appropriate Christian response in these difficult areas. This more fruitful response, too, draws on the resources of CST. The principle of subsidiarity warns against the dangers of large institutional efforts to combat problems that are essentially local and impervious to grand schemes.
Perhaps popes and bishops have not always applied the lesson of subsidiarity as vigorously as they should when assessing the likely result of recommended approaches to fostering the development of poor nations. With a fuller appreciation of the economics of development, of the history of successful development, and of the effects of government-to-government aid, Catholic leaders will be better able to apply the principles of the social teaching in ways that further the goal of genuine human development for all people.
Most secular discussion of aid and development implicitly assumes that development involves a movement toward economic prosperity and the production and consumption of material goods. While this is sometimes qualified by highlighting provision for basic health care and a desire to improve life expectancy, the basic poverty benchmarks relate to material living standards. Indeed, services such as health and education are often regarded as important because they are seen as a path to material prosperity. In this context, aid is generally thought of as a means of lifting people out of material poverty—or, at least, the provision of assistance to help people lift themselves out of material poverty.
Clearly, development in a Christian context also has an economic aspect. This, in turn, requires the availability of certain goods and services such as clean water, adequate food, basic education, shelter, and health care. While the main focus of our discussion will be on such economic aspects of development, it is important to note two qualifications.
The first is that economic development is but one aspect—and not the most important—of human development. A fuller concept of development—what Pope Benedict callsintegral human development—understands true human fulfillment to come through spiritual progress, an achievement to which material development acts in service. The second point is that development should take place in the context of a people living out objective moral truths. This is a theme that is stressed inCaritas in Veritate, discussed below.
As such, for example, the Church would not regard it as valid to use artificial methods of population control, even if it could be shown that such methods brought about higher material living standards or a lower level of dire poverty. Father Rodger Charles, SJ, summarizes the idea of true development effectively, based on an understanding of two encyclicals,Populorum progressioandSollicitudo rei socialis. The main features, he argues, are these: true development must be moral; people should not become slaves to consumer goods through overdevelopment; people must be free to own property and save; cultural identity and openness to God must be respected; the rights of the person—including young, old, and those of all political views—must be respected; development must also respect the natural world.
It should be said that there is no conflict between true development as defined by the Church and the set of conditions that most economists believe should exist if there is to be material development. However, understanding material development in the wider context of true development is an important check on those who may define development too narrowly.
True development is compatible with various political systems, but it is not compatible, for example, with systems in which those with particular political or religious beliefs are oppressed. Countries that have managed material development while practicing such oppression are not to be admired. We may be able to learn something from those regimes that have reduced absolute poverty while neglecting other aspects of development, and the reduction in absolute poverty is certainly a consolation.
However, we should ensure that the other aspects of true development are not neglected by countries whose governments have achieved reductions in poverty while preventing, sometimes brutally, other aspects of the development of the human person. At the same time, we should not be comfortable with regimes that allow political participation in democracy if economic freedom is not permitted and economic development cannot take place. The source o Most secular discussion of aid and development implicitly assumes that development involves a moveme Some of the debatable recommendations offered in Church documents appear to be based on mistaken obs If poverty is falling in many countries, it leads to the questions of why that is so and whether aid The mix of charity and political action that is appropriate in order to help the poor is not somethi All rights reserved.
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Haiti and Integral Human Development | Development and Peace
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These gaps include lack of thematic balance with a disregard for civil and political rights in areas such as personal security, administration of justice and political participation; poor specification, especially in relation to their qualitative aspects and non-alignment of global goals, targets and indicators with human rights treaty standards; inappropriate adaptation of global goals to national contexts; failure to address discrimination and increasing inequalities; weak accountability for both process and outcomes; and non-participatory processes and disregard for process aspects in general.
In the face of current challenges, the post development agenda offers a key opportunity to strongly advocate for the broad-based inclusion of human rights principles of transparency, accountability, participation, non-discrimination and human rights policy coherence within the trade, investment, economic, regulatory and development spheres.
In an increasingly globalized world, international cooperation must be improved to facilitate compliance with human rights obligations and responsibilities and the effective mobilization of maximum available resources for the realization of human rights.
Pope: ‘Fihavanana’, sharing for integral human development
By , OHCHR expects to have contributed to the achievement of the results outlined on the table above. While several United Nations agencies and organizations are well equipped to undertake work on economic or development dimensions, it should be emphasized that OHCHR, as the repository of the international human rights norms and standards, is the only UN entity explicitly mandated to provide guidance on human rights and promote their integration in all programmes and policies of the United Nations system.
This has become particularly evident during the Universal Periodic Review UPR process during which Member States are increasingly accepting recommendations related to these issues. The Office has a track record of active and strategic engagement in global conferences, General Assembly agendas and inter-agency mechanisms, and has succeeded in significantly changing policies to increase system-wide policy coherence and increased human rights accountability. The Office has a major role to play in ensuring that the post development agenda provides a sustainable, meaningful, universal and balanced framework addressing freedom from fear and freedom from want for all, without discrimination.
Moreover, the landmark Declaration of the second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development was firmly human rights-based.
Furthermore, with active contributions from OHCHR, UN entities working in sectors such as food, housing and water, have begun to address responsible governance of global systems. As a result, a monitoring and early warning mechanism on food commodities in international markets has been established.
The UN human rights mechanisms have played an important role in this achievement by issuing guidance on how to safeguard human rights in the context of international trade and investment agreements.
Our development approach
The periodic and public character of the review of the human rights situation conducted by the human rights mechanisms, which OHCHR supports, allows for timely inputs, follow-up and monitoring, creating a useful avenue for engagement with governments and other development partners. The Office works with relevant human rights mechanisms to bring together businesses, States, civil society organizations, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders to make meaningful progress toward increased awareness and implementation of human rights standards.
OHCHR promotes and supports the establishment of mechanisms for meaningful consultation and participation of affected groups in development projects and the exploitation of natural resources.
The Office builds on the human rights standards and principles and its accumulated experience to develop policy frameworks, interpretative guidance and capacity-building and training tools for relevant stakeholders. In recent years, OHCHR has developed expert knowledge and materials relevant to development and economic issues, such as: the content and monitoring of economic, social and cultural rights ESCR , including the scope and content of these rights as they apply to migrants in an irregular situation; the development and use of human rights indicators; human rights-based assessments of the MDG process and of political and economic policies and accountability in the post development agenda; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and human rights-based approaches HRBA in development programming and budget processes.
The increasing engagement of all UN human rights mechanisms with economic and development issues will build knowledge and capacity for the application of human rights in those areas. OHCHR has developed considerable experience in highlighting the human rights dimensions and impact of economic activities and policies, including austerity measures, both globally and in specific country settings. Stay Informed.
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