Olivier De Schutter and 21 independent experts of the Human Rights Council called for a ‘double accountability’ mechanism to underpin the sustainable development goals due to be set at the Rio+20 summit of 20-22 June.
“Global goals are easily set, but seldom met,” the experts warned in an open letter to governments, raising the bar for what the conference can and should achieve. “A real risk exists that commitments made in Rio will remain empty promises without effective monitoring and accountability,” they stressed on the eve of informal talks to kick-start the process.
The experts suggested that Rio+20 should establish an international accountability mechanism similar to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, which subjects each country’s human rights record to a State-led peer review, while national accountability mechanisms – involving civil society - should also be put in place.
“We must learn from the mistakes of the Millennium Development Goals and ensure that the new Sustainable Development Goals, and the means of reviewing them, are based on human rights from the start. Human rights must be the benchmark for whether or not inclusive, equitable and sustainable development is occurring,” the independent experts said.
Olivier De Schutter also made specific proposals on food security, including how the future Council on Sustainable Development and the existing Committee on World Food Security (CFS) should interact.
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