UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development visits Switzerland

Bern, 02.10.2019 - The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development visited Switzerland from 23 September to 2 October 2019. The purpose of this official country visit was to meet representatives from the Federal Administration, cantons and NGOs and learn about Switzerland's implementation of the right to development.

Everyone has the right to participate in economic, social, cultural and political development. This means, for example, providing access to education for all children, including those with learning difficulties or other disabilities, and ensuring gender equality in all walks of life.

The right to development was formally enshrined in the Declaration on the Right to Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986. Since then, a number of other international declarations and agreements have been adopted incorporating the right to development. Human rights and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing. The right to development therefore represents an additional tool for promoting human rights in general.

In October 2016, the UN appointed a Special Rapporteur tasked with contributing to the promotion of the right to development by advising governments and producing public reports. The current Special Rapporteur on the right to development is Saad Alfarargi of Egypt. Special Rapporteurs are experts who act independently of the UN and national governments and are not remunerated for their work. Switzerland has extended a permanent invitation to the Special Rapporteurs appointed by the UN Human Rights Council and strongly supports UN special procedures. Special Rapporteurs make a vital contribution to implementing human rights guarantees across the globe.

During his visit from 23 September to 2 October, Mr Alfarargi met representatives from the Federal Administration, the cantons of Bern, Zug and Ticino, and NGOs. He showed a particular interest in Switzerland's social policy and its implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Mr Alfarargi will submit a public report on his findings, including recommendations for Switzerland, to the UN Human Rights Council. Any recommendations made will not be legally binding.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs