Sustainable Development


Authentic solutions to sustainable development prioritize the needs of the person and focus on harnessing human ingenuity to drive development, not on the reduction of population size

INTERNATIONAL LAW

No treaty mentions sustainable development, but international law includes numerous references to the dignity of the person and the inherent right to life

UN DOCUMENTS

The needs of human beings are the priority when considering sustainable development

Abortion is not to be promoted as a method of family planning, and any attempts by governments to control family size violate the fundamental right of individuals to decide the number and spacing of children**

False responses to sustainable development often lead to calls for demographic policies and smaller family size, which run contrary to core human rights treaties


The Rio Declaration states that, "To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies." - Principle 8


The ICPD states that, "To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate policies, including population-related policies, in order to meet the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." – Principle 6


The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation calls on states to "Address effectively, for all individuals of appropriate age, the promotion of healthy living, including their reproductive and sexual health, consistent with the commitments and outcomes of recent United Nations conferences and summits…" – Paragraph 54(j)

The Rio+20 outcome document, "The Future We Want," emphasizes "the need for the provision of universal access to reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health and the integration of reproductive health in national strategies and programmes." – Paragraph 145

ACTION POINTS FOR UN DELEGATES

  1. Introduce language that underscores the value of the person, and the importance of harnessing human ingenuity to drive development
    • Example from the 45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development "Adolescents and Youth"***

    "Recognizing further that adolescents and youth in all countries are a major resource for development and key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation…"

  2. Remove references to "population dynamics" and language that links development to reproductive health and smaller population size. Ensure that the focus remains on achieving conditions where every individual can flourish, and thereby contribute to authentic development
    • Example from the 45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development "Adolescents and Youth" (E/2012/25 E/CN.9/2012/8)

    "Calls upon Governments, in formulating and implementing national development plans, budgets and poverty eradication strategies, to prioritize actions to address challenges relating to the impact of population dynamics on poverty and sustainable development, keeping in mind that universal reproductive health-care services, commodities and supplies, as well as information, education, skill development, national capacity-building for population and development and transfer of appropriate technology and know-how to developing countries are essential for achieving the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals and can contribute to economic and social development and to poverty eradication"


    Proposed Deletion: remove "relating to the impact of population dynamics on" and "universal reproductive health-care services, commodities and supplies, as well as"

  3. Include strong language condemning forced reproductive health policies and procedures
    • Example from the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women "Agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls" (E/2013/27 E/CN.6/2013/11)

    "Condemn and take action to prevent violence against women and girls in health-care settings, including sexual harassment, humiliation and forced medical procedures, or those conducted without informed consent, and which may be irreversible, such as forced hysterectomy, forced caesarean section, forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced use of contraceptives…" – Paragraph 34B(aaa)