New York, 4 December 1986
F o r t h c o m i n g
Introductory note to be published
The Declaration on the Right to Development was adopted by the General Assembly by resolution 41/128 of 4 December 1986, and its text is annexed to that resolution.
On 10 February 1975, the Commission on Human Rights decided to place on its agenda the “Question of the realization of the economic, social and cultural rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and study of special problems relating to human rights in developing countries”. In this context, at its thirty-seventh session, in 1981, the Commission established a Working Group to study the scope and contents of the right to development. At its forty-first session, in 1985, the Commission transmitted to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, the report of the Working Group and other relevant documents, so as to enable the Assembly to adopt a declaration on the right to development. In 1986, during the forty-first session of the General Assembly, the Third Committee considered several proposed amendments to the text and completed its consideration of the draft declaration, which was then submitted to the General Assembly for adoption.
The Declaration contains 10 articles. Article 1, paragraph 1 proclaims that the right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. The Declaration identifies the human being as the central subject of development (article 2, paragraph 1) and attributes States the right and the duty to formulate appropriate national development policies that aim at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals (article 2, paragraph 3). The following provisions of the Declaration identify the responsibilities and duties of States with regard to the right to development.
Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs
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