Human Rights Council Experts Call for Equality, Social Security and Accountability in Post-2015 Agenda

Human Rights Council21 May 2013: A group of 17 independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council have recommended equality, social protection and accountability as key priorities for the post-2015 development agenda.

The independent experts were Special Procedures mandate-holders, including, among others, the UN Special Rapporteurs on extreme poverty and human rights; the right to food; the human rights of migrants, and the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. They spoke on the occasion of the third meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is tasked with shaping a new set of global goals for the period after the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

They called for equality to be incorporated as a stand-alone and cross-cutting goal that should progressively eliminate disparities within and among countries. They recommended that the provision of social protection floors be adopted as a post-2015 goal, including the right to social security. They proposed that accountability mechanisms be developed at both national and international levels, with progress at the international level being monitored by existing intergovernmental institutions in a process similar to the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review system.

They highlighted that human rights norms and standards can strengthen effectiveness and accountability, and provide concrete guidance as to how goals and targets for the post-2015 development agenda should be framed. They recommended the collection and analysis of disaggregated data on development achievements by gender, age, disability and other features, so as to avoid focusing only on aggregate measures of progress. [UN press release] [UNOHCHR press release] [Full text of message]