Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative. We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to development.
All around the world, primarily in the Global South developing countries, mega mining, oil extraction, agroindustry and real estate projects by transnational corporations that use their lobbying power and corporate donations to further policies of privatization, deregulation, tax cuts and free trade deals causing deforestation, rivers and oceans degradation, air pollution, habitat destruction, climate disasters and poor and indigenous peoples displacement. All with the promise of development and questionable arguments that oppose development of other rights, dividing them or relegating ones over the others.
As the SR stresses, rights-holders participation is crucial. Feminist, indigenous, campesinos, environment and other movements have mobilized for years and often face repression, police and army brutality, violence and death. We don’t forget Beta Caceres, feminist environmental activist and community leader murdered in Honduras in 2016, or Emilia Herrera Olbrecht, trans woman activist fighting for Mapuche lands in Chile murdered in 2021, among hundreds of activists murdered during the last years.
Surely, collection of data and assessments of consequences of climate change is crucial. However, we already have data that evidences the profound mismatch between neoliberal capitalism, together with patriarchy, racism and colonialism and the right to development and the environmental crisis. This discrepancy will only bring more exclusion, inequality and social control that impacts disproportionally on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups; and will never bring development, and even less sustainable development.
Now more than ever, it is time for this Council, the UN system and member states to recognise that a rooted, comprehensive and transformative change and approach on current economic and political order, is the only way to achieve sustainable development and human rights.