Trusteeship Council Chamber at UN Headquarters in New York
Thursday, February 19, 2015
(Statement made by Dil Bishwakarma, known as DB Sagar, Founder and President, International Commission for Dalit Rights)
Co-facilitators Ambassador Kamau and Ambassador Donoghue, Excellencies, my fellow colleagues: It is my honor to be here.
For the post-2015 development agenda, we must discuss not only means of implementation, but also meaningful implementation. Meaningful implementation begins with fulfilling existing international human rights agreements by Member States, which are foundations of universality, equality, non-discriminatory measure, collective wellbeing, and civic engagement.
The new declaration must ensure meaningful civil society and all stakeholders’ engagement, particularly of marginalized and disenfranchised groups, both in policy formation and implementation processes, in order to enable an environment for development, good governance, rule of law, and social justice.
The declaration must reinforce the duty of states to mobilize the means of implementation in collaboration with civil society and all stakeholders, particularly marginalized groups. Findings by the International Commission of Dalit Rights show that states were (and are) unable to recognize the inherent dignity of nearly 300 million people locally and globally, who have been facing a modern-day slavery of untouchability, caste (work and descent), and gender-based discrimination and violence in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and other parts of world. The majority of these people were out of reach from the MDGs, especially children, women, and girls who face multiple forms of discrimination and violence based on caste, gender, and social status.
The vision for the road to 2030 must recognize all forms of discrimination and inequality as a key challenge on the road to 2030, and create affirmative actions to fulfill the rights of all vulnerable and marginalized groups, particularly those who face intersecting inequalities based on caste, race, gender, ethnicity, indigeneity, disabilities, and status of origin (migrants).
The new declaration must require states to fulfil their constitutional, legal, and international obligations to eliminate structural barriers and foster inclusive norms that enable good governance, rule of law, social justice, and human rights accountability of all development actors, including citizen-led systems of monitoring.
We believe that building the legal and institutional frameworks to strengthen the United Nations will drive us towards achieving the new development agenda by 2030. The new declaration must, therefore, call for the development of specific legal and institutional mechanisms, which will ensure that respect, protection, and fulfillment of human rights is at the heart of sustainable development. It should also call for affirmative policies to ensure proper participation and engagement of organizations led by people that are most vulnerable and who have been most marginalized – such as Dalits – within UN systems and national governments. This is how we can achieve true global partnership.
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