Vienna Human Rights Conference Echoes Concerns on Finance Rules (October 2013)

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Thu, Oct 17, 2013

By Aldo Caliari


A broad consensus on the importance of tackling financial abuses to protect human rights was achieved by human rights advocates meeting in commemoration of the 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights in Vienna last summer. A blog posted on reports on the relevant aspects of the declaration issued by conference participants.



Twenty years after the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and its Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action were adopted, more than 140 civil society representatives from around the world gathered at Vienna to commemorate the occasion. The 2013 conference, convened under the theme “Strengthening the Human Rights Movement Globally: Vienna +20,” was held in Vienna on June 26-27, and agreed on an Outcome Document that was presented by civil society at a High Level Conference on Vienna +20 hosted in the same city by the Austrian government.


Just as the commemoration of Vienna + 20 allowed a look at the achievements of the conference playing over two decades, it allowed a look at the changes in the world and debate on the responses they merit. Noticeably, the concerns that groups such as RightingFinance have been voicing about the role that financial regulation and macroeconomic policies play in the respect, protection and fulfillment of rights are echoed and broadly supported in the Outcome Document approved by the participants. The Outcome Document states that “When governments choose to service financial debts over social ones, and when financial regulation is in the interest of finance rather than people, the most marginalized suffer, while those who profited from financial speculation enjoy impunity.”

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