Rethinking Bretton Woods | Fri, Nov 22, 2013
In a chapter contributed to the book, Millennium Development Goals and Human Rights: Past, Present, and Future, recently published by Cambridge University Press, RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari examines the relationship between Millennium Development Goal 8 and international human rights standards from a theoretical and practical perspective.
The Millennium Declaration reaffirmed that all States “have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level.” Consistent with this one of the Millennium Development Goals adopted consensually by all governments, Goal 8, contains a number of specific commitments on the sort of international cooperation required on areas such as aid, trade and debt.
But how much did Goal 8 respond to human rights imperatives and how far did its implementation go in promoting human rights? What historical and legal trends were the backdrop to Goal 8 and what hope can we bear for the future as the international community evaluates a potentially new generation of development goals?
A chapter co-authored by Aldo Caliari and Mac Darrow for a book recently published by Cambridge University Press tries to answer these questions. The book, The Millennium Development Goals and Human Rights: Past, Present and Future, was edited by Malcolm Langford, of the University of Oslo, Andy Sumner, at University of Sussex and Alicia Ely Yamin, at Harvard University.
The chapter analyses the relationship between MDG 8 and internationally recognised human rights standards from theoretical and practical perspectives. It begins with a short summary of the salient features of the negotiating history and political context relating to MDG 8, followed by an analysis of the corresponding legal foundations for obligations of international cooperation and assistance in international law. Then follows a critical analysis of certain key policy commitments reflected in MDG 8, which provides the basis for forward-looking conclusions about the relevance of human rights to global justice claims as embodied in MDG 8 or post-2015 political agreements. The constraints of space preclude anything more than a very selective and synthetic analysis; hence this chapter focuses upon human rights in connection with aid, debt relief, and trade.