HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY

The Third World and the Right to Development: Agenda for the Next Millennium
N. J. Udombana*
[F]our fifths of the world’s population no longer accept that the remaining fifth should continue to build its wealth on their poverty.1

I. INTRODUCTION It is no longer news that countries of the Third World are in a state of emergency. They are waging war against poverty, disease, and all the other evils that have plagued our generation. The war appears not to have abated, although some battles have been won. There has been some measure of progress within the last few decades. In some countries of the world, “Berlin walls” have been torn down—real walls and walls of the mind. However, in many other parts of the world, particularly the Third World, walls still remain. There are walls of power and poverty. There are walls that deprive people of their most basic rights. There are walls that divide societies between those who have and those who have not, between those who rule

* N.J. Udombana obtained his LL.B. (with Honors) degree from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria, in 1988, and a law degree from the Nigerian Law School. He received an LL.M. in 1991 from University of Lagos. In 1994, he joined the University of Lagos Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of Law. His research interests are in the areas of International Law (with specialization in Human Rights and Environmental Laws), Jurisprudence, and Constitutional Law. The author wishes to express thanks to Professor Yemi Osinbajo of the University of Lagos for his advice and comments on the initial draft. Any error in the final work is, however, my responsibility. 1. See Mohammed Bedjaoui, The Right to Development, in INTERNATIONAL LAW: ACHIEVEMENT AND PROSPECTS 1177, 1182 (Mohammed Bedjaou ed., 1991), excerpted in HENRY J. STEINER & PHILIP ALSTON, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS IN CONTEXT 1117 (1996). Human Rights Quarterly 22 (2000) 753–787 © 2000 by The Johns Hopkins University Press

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and those who suffer. There are walls that consign whole sectors of society to an existence barely worth the name. In short, there are walls of underdevelopment. So although some walls are falling, this is not the time to be complacent. It is not yet the time to celebrate Uhuru. The process is just beginning. New structures are yet to be built. Besides, there are still “many more lands to be possessed.”2 There are many more battles to be fought, many victories to be declared. Only an emergency organization—“a war syndrome”—can win this war. This article seeks to examine the concept of “the right to development,” or “development rights,” in relation to the Third World. Is the right to development an inalienable right? If so, what priority should countries of the Third World give to development? Should they place it above other rights? Can this be legally justified? How can Third World countries balance economic growth with basic human needs—and human rights? This article will also consider the consequences for the new millenium of the nearuniversal embrace of the market economy and the effects of the globalization of the economy on the right to development. What are the challenges that the right to development creates for contemporary international law?

II. CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS A. “Third World” Alfred Sauvy first used the expression “Third World” in 1955.3 It has, since then, caught on very successfully. However, a satisfactory definition has yet to be elaborated. The Chinese invented the theory of the “three worlds.”4 The first was constituted by the dual American-Soviet hegemony. The second consisted of such countries as China, the Western European States, Japan, Canada, and Australia. The last corresponded precisely to the developing countries, also described as the “Third World.” The term “Third World” can be defined according to many criteria. It can, for example, be defined from the political perspective. In this sense, it represents a group of states attached neither to the capitalist camp nor to the communist bloc; they are the non-aligned countries. Also, “Third World” can be defined from the economic perspective. In this sense, it means countries with the common characteristics of underdevelopment.

2. 3. 4.

Joshua 13:1 (King James). See MOHAMMED BEDJAOUI, TOWARDS A NEW INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORDER 25 (UNESCO, 1979). See id.

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Geographically speaking, the Third World mainly consists of the African, Asian, and Latin American states. These countries belong to the “storm belt.” They are so described because they have been through many disturbances.5 They have, for example, fought many battles for their national liberation and economic independence. The “Third World” is thus a geopolitical concept, based on inclusion in a geographical area—the Southern hemisphere—at the historical period of colonization. It is also based on the economic situation of underdevelopment. Some writers have made a further classification.6 They classify developing Third World countries into two groups. The first group consists of the low-income developing countries. These are largely made up of African countries, especially sub-Saharan African states; South Africa is excluded. The first group also includes Latin American states. The second group consists of the middle-to-high-income Third World countries. This consists of the high performing Asian economies led by Japan. It includes the socalled “four tigers”—Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. It also includes the newly industrializing economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.7

B. Development v. Underdevelopment Some countries are classified as developed, others as developing. Still, some are classified as underdeveloped. This raises a question. What is development? The answer is not that simple. Development is a many-sided process. At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity. It implies greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility, and material well-being. The achievement of these aspects of personal development is very much tied to the state of the society as a whole.8 At the level of the social groups, development implies an increasing capacity to regulate both internal and external relations. More often than not, development is used in a purely economic sense. In this sense, it is “seen as simultaneously the vision of a better life, a life materially richer, institutionally more modern and technologically more efficient and an array of means to achieve that vision.”9
5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

See id. at 25–26. See Yemi Osinbajo & Olukonyinsola Ajayi, Human Rights and Economic Development in Developing Countries, 28 INT’L LAWYER 727, 730 (1994). See id. See WALTER RODNEY, HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA 9 (1982). See Denis Goulet, Development: Creator and Destroyer of Values in HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A GLOBAL CHALLENGE 689–90 (K.E. Mahoney & Paul Mahoney eds., 1993).

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There is no doubt that economic growth is a necessary condition of development. In this regard, a society develops economically as its members increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment. This capacity is dependent on several factors. One is the extent to which the members of a society understand the laws of nature. We call this science. The other is the extent to which the members of a society put that understanding into practice by devising tools. We call this technology. It is, finally, dependent on the manner in which work is organized.10 We call this entreprenuership. Used in this wider sense, it can be said that there has been constant economic development within human society since the origin of man. Man has enormously multiplied his capacity to win a living from nature. People of diverse backgrounds have shown a capacity for independently increasing their ability to live a more satisfactory life through harnessing the resources of nature.11 Development, in the economic sense, also consists of a list of services and amenities that many take for granted. These include an adequate public transportation system, good communications—radio, television, telephone, and, with the information revolution, internet services. The list also includes efficient public administration with a trained civil service. These are the elementary components of a developed society; they make its smooth running possible.12 Development includes the acceptance and spread to the whole population of, at the very least, minimal standards of housing, education, and health. It means that all people are reasonably clothed and fed. It means that in hard times, such as unemployment, minimum assistance is available for those in need. In some countries, this assistance is referred to as social security. These, in broad terms, are the accepted results of development. A developed society may take many things for granted. It may take its educational system, for example, for granted. It may believe that its educational system—primary, secondary and tertiary—is producing people with the skills required to run the society efficiently. “[A] developed country assumes that it can find the skills it requires from the ranks of its own population.”13 It can, itself, provide for its own needs. It can solve problems of economic, technological, and scientific development. It also, sooner or later, generates a surplus of both capital and trained people that enables it to provide assistance for development elsewhere. There is, however, more to development than the economic well-being
10. 11. 12. 13.

See RODNEY, supra note 8, at 10. See id. at 11. See GUY ARNOLD, AID AND THE THIRD WORLD 23 (1985). Id.

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of the individual and society at large. The definition of development must encompass all aspects—economic, technological, organizational, and managerial. One cannot take a monolithic viewpoint in defining or conceptualizing development. After all, the primary aim of development is to satisfy man’s spiritual and material needs. Development, then, consists of the ability to maximize resources. It is for the benefit of human beings in all of their aspects, tangible and intangible.14 When these are absent, as they often are in Third World countries, we can rightly say that such a country is underdeveloped or, to put it euphemistically, developing. Development, from the totality of the foregoing, can be defined simply as the fulfillment of human potential. The juxtaposition of human rights with development implies that there is something called development, which can be identified, measured, and implemented. How then do we measure development? Antony N. Allot invented the “General Felicity Index (GFI).”15 According to him, we measure development by measuring the felicity of individuals. One measures “not just the increase in the number of factories or expansion of services, but basically whether life is happier and more fruitful and enjoyable for the individual. In doing this, one has to balance one factor against another.”16 Underdevelopment, on the other hand, is “a series of complex interacting phenomena, resulting in flagrant inequalities of wealth and poverty, stagnation, a relative backwardness compared with other countries, production potentialities which fail to progress as far as they might, economic, cultural, political and technological dependence.”17 The victims of such a phenomenon are the “Third World” countries. Some writers have, however, maintained that underdevelopment is not the absence of development.18 Every group of people has developed in one way or another and to a greater or lesser extent. Underdevelopment makes sense only as a means of comparing levels of development; it is tied to the fact that human social development has been uneven. From a strictly economic point of view, some human groups have advanced further than others. They have produced more, and consequently, have become wealthier.19 The United States falls into this category. Development, from the totality of the foregoing, can be defined simply as the fulfillment of human potential. The juxtaposition of human rights with
14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

See Development and Human Rights: Report of a meeting held on July 7, 1980, 6 HUM. RTS. REV. 194, 195 (1981). See id. at 195. Id. Yves Lacoste, Geographie du Sous-development (1976), quoted in BEDJAOUI, supra note 1, n.3 at 24. See RODNEY, supra note 8, at 21. See id.

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development implies that there is something called development, which can be identified, measured, and implemented. How then do we measure development?

1. Causes of Underdevelopment
One-third of mankind lives in the most deprived developing countries. This portion of the population receives only 3% of the total world income.20 Much of mankind lives in a state of endemic poverty and hunger.21 This is, however, not the case in the developed countries. The population of the United States, for example, represents only about 6% of the world’s population. However, it consumes 55% of all the natural resources of the earth.22 It is further “calculated that an American child consumes roughly 500 times more material resources than a child in an underdeveloped country.”23 Some countries have food surpluses and financial resources that enable them to acquire what they lack, at the expense of others. Europe, for example, draws largely on the resources of other continents for its food supplies. This paradox needs to be emphasized. It explains the pauperization of dehumanized people gradually falling into a state of absolute poverty. The industrialized countries constitute the chief markets for foodstuffs. Reports indicate that countries representing half of the world population take eighteen percent of grain imports.24 The developed country’s food production is related to monetary market demand—not to the needs of human beings. The Third World man is deprived of food for the benefit of a man living in a prosperous country. What is more, he is deprived of food for the benefit of that man’s animal. Grain consumption by animals in the prosperous states takes precedence over human consumption of grain in the underdeveloped countries. Animals in the “advanced” states eat one-quarter of the world output of grain.25 This is the equivalent of human consumption of grain in China and India combined!26
20. 21.

22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

See Abdellatif Ghissassi, in Eric Laurent ed., Un Monde a Refaire, Debats de Franceculture, Trois Jours pour la Planete 81 (Paris: Menges, 1977). See, e.g., Report of the World Summit For Social Development: Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, adopted 12 Mar. 1995, U.N. GAOR, Annex I, at 7, U.N. Doc. A/ CONF.166/9 (1995) [hereinafter Copenhagen Declaration]. See Lazar Mojsov in Laurent, supra note 20, at 144–45. See BEDJAOUI, supra note 1, at 27. See id. at 30 n. 2. See id. at 31. See the “intelligent, enlightening, provocative book,” as J.K. Galbraith describes it, SUSAN GEORGE, HOW THE OTHER HALF DIES: THE REAL REASONS FOR WORLD HUNGER 26 (1977).

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Clearly, the above concepts show that “Western man has escaped for the moment the poverty which was for long his all-embracing fate.”27 That statement is a very bold and comfortable assertion! However, the same cannot be said of Third World countries. In this part of the globe, “poverty had always been man’s normal lot.”28 There are vast millions of hungry, discontented, and disoriented people in the Third World. The World Summit for Social Development was held in Copenhagen from 6 to 12 March 1995.29 The document that followed revealed, inter alia, that more than one billion people in the world live in abject poverty. A large proportion of these people have very limited access to income, resources, education, health, or nutrition. The majority of these are women, and they are found particularly in Africa and the least developed countries.30 What are the causes of such underdevelopment? This is an area where the debates are fierce. The two major paradigms that have dominated the field are the modernization theory and the dependency theory.31 Simply stated, the modernization theory holds that development is an inevitable, evolutionary process of increasing societal differentiation that would ultimately produce economic, political, and social institutions similar to those in the West. The outcome of this process would be the creation of a free market system, liberal democratic political institutions, and the rule of law.32 Dependency theory, on the other hand, argues that the sources of underdevelopment are to be found in the history and structure of the global capitalist system. Underdevelopment of the Third World, according to these writers, is the product of historical forces and a direct result of the contact between the hitherto underdeveloped social formations and the forces of Western imperialism.33 The historical and political reasons for the present disorder can be mainly expressed in terms of imperialism, colonialism, and neocolonialism.34 Dependence, exploitation, the looting of the resources of the Third
27. 28. 29. JOHN K. GALBRAITH, THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY 32 (1979). Id. at 29. Also known as Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, adopted 12 Mar. 1995, at Annex I, ¶23, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.166/9 (1995), available on gopher://gopher.undp.org:70/00/ unconfs/wssd/summit/off/a—9.en>. Id. at ¶ 7. See generally ANTHONY CARTY ED., LAW AND DEVELOPMENT (1992). See Brian Z. Tamanaha, The Lesson of Law and Development Studies, 89 AJIL 470, 471 (1995). For an informative discussion of modernization theory, see DAVID APTER, RETHINKING DEVELOPMENT: MODERNIZATION, DEPENDENCY, AND POST-MODERN POLITICS (1987). See generally Francis G. Snyder, Law and Development in the Light of Dependency Theory, 14 LAW & SOC’Y REV. 723 (1980). See generally RODNEY, supra note 8, at 22; FRANTZ FANON, THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH (1968); Julius O. Ihonvere, Underdevelopment and Human Rights Violations in Africa, in EMERGING HUMAN RIGHTS 57 (George W. Shepherd, Jr. & Mark O.C. Anikpo eds., 1990). For

30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

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World, and the introduction of zones of influence have marked international relations with “organized” or “institutionalized” disorder. “The cruel, inhuman law of maximum profit has succeeded finally in establishing disorder, with the Faustian power of multinational firms, the gigantism of military-industrial complexes, and the ecological disaster.”35 The colonizers exploited the natural resources and labor of colonized areas.36 They sold their products to colonized areas. They restricted colonized areas from competing with products produced by the colonizing country. They set up and protected corporations, plantations, and whitesettler enclaves in colonized areas. Exclusive licensing and trade rights and legal regimes from the colonizing countries often accompanied colonial structures.37 The first industrialized nations were, at the same time, leading world powers. They were largely able to control external development factors to their advantage. Colonialism and imperialism, to whom the present developing countries fell prey, brought further acquisitions. There were no impediments to, or imbalances affecting, development along the lines of the East-West and North-South dichotomies. The industrialized nations were, therefore, a step ahead in innovational terms. They had a significant competitive advantage. They took a protectionist stance whenever expediency required. They established free trade after they had achieved international competitiveness.38 On the other hand, free trade was forced upon the modern developing countries at an early stage from the outside. This promoted the formation of single-crop farming structures. It hindered well-balanced development based on indigenous resources and competence.39 The consequences of these disorders are still with us today. Not many people share this view. Some scholars, pointing to the success of the high performing Asian economies, insist that the “dependency theory” is not credible; these Asian countries were equally victims of dependency and imperialism.40 For them, the reasons for continuing underdevelopment should be sought elsewhere. The reason lies partly in the dictatorships of Third World governments.41 This is a persuasive argument
an interesting theoretical application of underdevelopment theory in Africa in general, see CLAUDE AKE, REVOLUTIONARY PRESSURES IN AFRICA (1978). See BEDJAOUI, supra note 1, at 20. See Manfred Wöhlcke, The Causes of Continuing Underdevelopment, 47 LAW AND STATE 51, 55 (1993). For an excellent description of these activities, see David Greenberg, Law and Development in Light of Dependency Theory, in LAW AND DEVELOPMENT 89 (1992). See Wöhlcke, supra note 36, at 55. See id. See Osinbajo & Ajayi, supra note 6, at 737. See id.

35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

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because not all human rights abuses in the Third World are the results of historical process. Many are consequences of the internal political decisions of sovereign Third World states. These states are laboring under the yoke of dictators, who have planted seeds of discord in their various countries.42

C. Right to Development It is now customary to discuss human rights in terms of “generations.”43 The first generation consists of civil and political rights. These rights are libertarian in character, relating to the sanctity of the individual and his rights within the socio-political milieu in which he is located. The second consists of economic, social, and cultural rights. These are positive rights in the sense that they require the affirmative action of governments for their implementation.44 The third encompasses “solidarity rights.”45 Each generation of rights has its distinctive characteristics, each more developed and sophisticated than its predecessor. Some, however, see this concept of “generations” as misleading,46 for it implies that one generation is replacing the other even though it may carry over the characteristics of the earlier generations. It also implies to the idea of succession and to a possible historical description of the field of human rights in neat and chronological terms.47 The truth of the matter is, according to this view, that the various so-called generations of human rights, especially the first generation of civil and political rights and the second of social, economic and cultural rights, have themselves grown and expanded in a more or less parallel way.48 These criticisms notwithstanding, this paper intends to maintain this classification. Development rights are, therefore, classified as belonging to the “third generation of solidarity rights,”49 which includes “the right to
42.

43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49.

See N.J. Udombana, The Rule of Law and the Rule of Man in a Military Dictatorship in CURRENT THEMES IN NIGERIAN LAW 73 (I.O. Agbede & E.O. Akanki eds., 1997); see generally Richard Falk, Militarization and Human Rights in the Third World, 8 BULLETIN OF PEACE PROPOSALS 220 (1977). See, e.g., Karl Vasak, A 30-year Struggle, 11 UNESCO COURIER 29 (1977). See C. Welch Jr., Human Rights as a Problem in Contemporary Africa, in HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA 24 (Welch and Meltzer eds., 1984). Karel Vasak, For the Third Generation of Human Rights: The Right of Solidarity, Inaugural Lecture, Tenth Study Session, Int’l Inst. of Hum. Rts., July 1979. See Cees Flinterman, Three Generations of Human Rights, in HUMAN RIGHTS IN A PLURALIST WORLD 76 (Jan Berting et al. eds., 1990). See id. See id. See Karel Vasak, For the Third Generation of Human Rights: The Right of Solidarity, Inaugural Lecture, Tenth Study Session, International Institute of Human Rights, July 1979, at 3.

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development, the right to peace, the right to environment, the right to ownership of the common heritage of mankind, and the right to communication.”50 Proponents of a third generation of rights emphasize that these rights will reinforce existing human rights, enhance their effectiveness and make them more relevant to both governments and individuals.51 These rights aim at transgressing the traditional limits of human rights; it is “a reply to the new challenges and ambitions which are placed before us.”52 The right to development, as a specie of solidarity rights, has been defined as the right of each people to freely choose its economic and social system without outside interference or constraint of any kind, and to determine, with equal freedom, its own model of development.53 The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) defined it “reluctantly”54 as “the right of all people all over the world and of every citizen to enjoy all human rights.”55 Although the contours of this right are vague,56 it undoubtedly encompasses many economic, social, and cultural rights.57

III. DEVELOPMENT AS A HUMAN RIGHT58 A. Evolution of the Right Many factors were responsible for the emergence of the category of rights involved in development. One was the emergence of a numerically
50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57.

58.

See id. See Flinterman, supra note 46, at 77. Id. at 78. See Mohammed Bedjaoui, The Right to Development in INTERNATIONAL LAW: ACHIEVEMENT AND PROSPECTS 1177, 1182 (Mohammed Bedjaoui, ed., 1991); see also HENRY J. STEINER & PHILIP ALSTON, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS IN CONTEXT 1116 (1996). See Rhoda E. Howard, Human Rights, Development and Foreign Policy, in HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT: INTERNATIONAL VIEWS 215 (1989). INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS, DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW 223 (1981). See FRANK NEWMAN & DAVID WEISSBRODT, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS 409 (1990). Cf. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted 16 Dec. 1966, G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), U.N. GAOR, 21st Sess., Supp. No. 16, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 993 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force 3 Jan. 1976), reprinted in 6 I.L.M. 360 (1967); see also African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted 26 June 1981, O.A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 Rev. 5 (entered into force 21 Oct. 1986), reprinted in 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982). In articles 20–24 of the Charter, the right to existence, the right to economic, social, and cultural development and the right to national and international peace and security have been formulated. See generally Philip Alston, Making Space for New Human Rights: The Case of the Right to Development, 1 HARV. HUM. RTS. Y.B. 3 (1988). There is a large body of literature on human rights and development. This literature spans discussions of the concept of the right to development, strategies for local empowerment, dependency theory and the relationship between human rights and global economic processes. There is also an extensive development literature which

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dominant group of developing countries. This itself was a result of the wave of decolonization that peaked in the late 1960s. This development led to the elevation of economic development goals to the top of the international agenda.59 There was feverish resentment over the negative consequences of colonialism, although the former colonial powers were reticent in recognizing continuing obligations towards the people concerned. Third World countries were, however, undaunted; they called for reparations. In terms of the UN human rights debate, there were demands that greater attention be paid to economic and social rights and that colonialism—and neocolonialism—were gross violations of international law.60 Third World countries argued that some form of development cooperation should be put in place. They insisted that the imperialist world had a legally binding obligation to do so. They demanded some form of specific transfers of capital, technology, or other goods and services. These, they contended, should be seen as entitlements, not acts of welfare or charity.61 Another factor leading to the emergence of development rights was the 1973 Arab oil embargo. The embargo itself was because of the Yom Kippur war—or “War of Ramadan,” as some prefer to call it.62 Further, the intensity of the North-South divide heightened. All gave rise to the search for a “New International Economic Order.”63 In regards to the UN activities in this area, 26 November 1957 was a historical epoch. On that date, the General Assembly expressed the view that a balanced and integrated economic and social development would contribute towards the promotion and maintenance of peace and security, social progress and better standards of living, and the observance of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.64
may not use the language of rights. Sources of information on development and human rights include newspapers, the publications and documents of international organizations, books and articles. A few of these will be referred to in the course of the discussion. But see generally, Bibliography. Symposium: Development as an Emerging Human Rights, 15 CAL. WESTERN INT’L L.J. 639–46 (1985). Philip Alston, Revitalising United Nations Work on Human Rights and Development, 18 MELB. U.L. REV. 216, 218 (1992). See id. See id. at 219. See BEDJAOUI, supra note 3, at 21. See, e.g., Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO), UN G.A. Res. 3201 (S-VI) of May 1,1974. The NIEO comprises three ingredients. The first is the elimination of the economic dependence of developing countries on developed country enterprise. The second is to promote the accelerated development of the economies of the developing countries on the principle of selfreliance. The third is the introduction of appropriate institutional changes for the global management of world resources in the interests of mankind as a whole. See Hope, Basic Needs and Technology Transfer Issues in the New International Economic Order, 42 AM. J. ECON. & SOC. 394 (1983). See G.A. Res. 1161 (XII) (1957), 1957 U.N.Y.B. 1161, Sales No. 58.I.1.

59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

64.

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In 1961, the General Assembly designated the 1960s as the United Nations Development Decade.65 The resolution of the Assembly did not, though, mention human rights. However, four years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing the need to devote special attention to the promotion of respect for human rights.66 This attention, the resolution stated, should be devoted to both the national and international level, within the context of the Development Decade.67 In 1960, a UN report on development activities68 clearly identified the link between human rights and development in the following words:
One of the greatest dangers in development policy lies in the tendency to give to the more material aspects of growth an overriding and disproportionate emphasis. The end may be forgotten in preoccupation of the means. Human rights may be submerged, and human beings seen only as instruments of production rather than as free entities for whose welfare and cultural advance the increased production is intended. The recognition of this issue has a profound bearing upon the formulation of the objectives of economic development and the methods employed in obtaining them . . . the growth and wellbeing of the individual and larger freedom, methods of development may be used which are a denial of basic human rights.69

The first United Nations World Conference on Human Rights was held in Teheran from 22 April to 13 May 1968, following a UN resolution to that effect.70 The Teheran Proclamation elaborated on the theme of the 1957 resolution of the General Assembly.71 It acknowledged that:
The widening gap between the economically developed and developing countries impedes the realization of human rights in the international community. The failure of the Development Decade to reach its modest objectives makes it all the more imperative for every nation, according to its capacities, to make the maximum possible efforts to close this gap.72

Subsequently, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on Social Progress and Development on 11 December 1969.73 The Declaration states

65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73.

See G.A. Res. 1710 (XVI) (1961), 1961 U.N.Y.B. 1710, Sales No. 62.I.1. See Measures to Accelerate the Promotion of Respect for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, G.A. Res. 2027 (XX) (1965), U.N. GAOR, 1381st plen. mtg. See id. U.N. Doc. E/3347/Rev. 1 (1960). Id. at ¶ 90. First UN World Conference on Human Rights, 22 April–13 May 1968. See G.A. Res. 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965. See G.A. Res. 1161 (XII) (1957). Proclamation of Teheran, Final Act of the International Conference on Human Rights, 22 April–13 May 1968, ¶ 12. For the text of the Proclamation, see THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, 1945–95, at 247 (1995). See Declaration on Social Progress and Development G.A. Res. 2542 (XXIV) (1969), 1969 U.N.Y.B. 2542, Sales No. E.71.I.1.

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that social progress and development shall aim at the continuous raising of the material and spiritual standards of living of all members of society.74 Such shall be done with respect for and in compliance with human rights and fundamental freedoms. Since then, the relationship between human rights and development has occupied a prominent place in the international discourse of rights. The political economy of human rights thereafter found increased resonance in the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States.75 The purpose of the Charter was to give a formal legal basis to earlier demands and principles concerning the establishment of a new international economic order.76 In the preamble to the Charter, the General Assembly stressed that “the Charter shall constitute an effective instrument towards the establishment of a new system of international economic relations based on equity, sovereign equality, and interdependence of the interests of the developed and developing countries.”77 In 1977, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution stating that “Human rights questions should be examined globally, taking into account both the overall context of the various societies in which they represent themselves as well as the need for the promotion of the full dignity of the human person and the development and well-being of the society.”78 In the same year, the Commission on Human Rights decided to pay special attention to consideration of the obstacles hindering the full realization of economic, social, and cultural rights, particularly in the developing countries.79 It also decided to pay attention to the actions taken at the national and international levels to secure the enjoyment of those rights. It recognized the right to development as a human right. It recommended to the Economic and Social Council that it should invite the UN Secretary-General to study “[t]he international dimensions of the right to development as a human right” in relation to other human rights based on international cooperation, including the right to peace, taking into account the requirements of the New International Economic Order and the fundamental human needs.80

74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79.

80.

See id. Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, G.A. Res. 3281 (XXIX) of 12 Dec. 1974. Cf. Res. 3202 (S-VI), (1974). See id. G.A. Res., GAOR 32nd Sess., U.N. Doc. A/Res/32 (1977). CHR/Res/4 (XXIII), U.N. ESCOR, 62d sess., Supp. No. 6, ¶ 4, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1257 (1977). This resolution was the first recognition of the right to development as a human right and the starting signal for a series of UN activities. See Karl de Vey Mestdagh, The Right to Development, 28 N.I.L.R. 31, 34 (1982). See id.

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All of these instruments were elaborated upon pursuant to the creation of a more just and equitable world.81 Since 1977, the debate has been pursued with increasing vigor—under the rubric of the “right to development.” The debate brings together several important themes, including
the legal foundations of the classical human rights and the basis for recognition of new rights, the priority to be accorded to the different sets of rights, the links between human rights and democratic governance, the extent to which the international community bears some responsibility for assisting states whose resources are inadequate to ensure the human rights of their own citizens, and the relationship between individual and collective rights (including ‘peoples’ rights).82

The links between human rights and democratic governance are also included.

B. The Declaration on the Right to Development The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development (“DRD”) in 1986.83 Some objections and misgivings were expressed at the time of the adoption of the DRD.84 The objections notwithstanding, the document was adopted.85 This was in recognition of the fact that “Development is a comprehensive economic, social, cultural, and political process, which aims at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of the individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom.”86 The DRD declares that the right to development is an inalienable
81. 82. 83. 84.

85. 86.

See Akin Oyebode, UN and the Protection of Human Rights in Africa, in AFRICA AND THE UN SYSTEM: THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS 90, 92 (G.A. Obiozor & A. Ajala eds., 1998). See STEINER & ALSTON, supra note 53, at 1110. Declaration on the Right to Development, G.A. Res. 41/128, annex, 41 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 53) at 186, U.N. Doc. A/41/153 (1986) [hereinafter DRD]. The Federal Republic of Germany maintained that the DRD would lead to the erosion of individual rights. Japan maintained that the right to development might be invoked to legitimize violations of the rights of citizens. Australia maintained that the DRD failed to draw a distinction between people’s rights and individual rights. The United States maintained that the DRD tended to dilute and confuse the human rights agenda. The United Kingdom maintained that the Declaration provided an over-simplified view of the complex relationship between disarmament, security and development. It further maintained that the Declaration provided a mistaken link between the promotion of human right and the establishment of a new international economic order. The United States was the sole country to vote against it. This “signals the continued need for rich capitalist nations to recognise the legitimate rights claims of poor nation.” Howard, supra note 54, at 215. See DRD, supra note 83, pmbl. ¶ 2.

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human right by virtue of every human person and all peoples entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, socio-cultural, and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.87 It further declares that the right to development implies the full realization of the right of peoples to self-determination. This includes the exercise of the inalienable right of peoples to full sovereignty over the entire natural wealth and resources.88 Human beings have a responsibility for development, both individually and collectively. They should take into account the need for full respect of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They should take into account their duties to the community. They should promote and protect an appropriate political, social, and economic order for development. This alone can ensure the free and complete fulfillment of the human being.89 According to Article 2(3), states also have the right and the duty90 to formulate appropriate national development policies. Such policies should be aimed at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population. The basis is their active, free, and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of the resulting benefits. States, the DRD continues, also have the “duty to formulate international development policies that aim at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals . . .”91 States are to undertake, at the national level, all necessary measures for the realization of the right to development.92 They are to ensure, inter alia, equality of opportunity for all in their access to basic resources. These include education, health services, food, housing, employment, and the fair distribution of income. Recognizing that women often suffer substantial and disproportionate difficulties in securing human rights, the DRD provides that effective measures are to be taken to ensure that women have an active role in the development process. Appropriate economic and social reforms are to be carried out with a view to eradicating all social injustices.93 Article 3(3) of the DRD provides that states have the duty to cooperate

87. 88.

89. 90. 91. 92. 93.

Id. art. 1(1). See id. art. 1(2). Cf. the General Assembly Resolution on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, UN Res. 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962. As Mohammed Bedjaoui points out, there is a necessary relationship between authentic sovereignty and the right to development, between true sovereignty over the wealth of a country and that country’s right to development. See BEDJAOUI, supra note 53. See DRD, supra note 83, art. 2(2). This is a linguistic and juristic confusion. Right and duty are jural correlatives. Every right, or claim, implies the existence of a correlative duty. Right has no content apart from the duty. See R.W.M. DIAS, JURISPRUDENCE 25–26 (1985). See DRD, supra note 83, art. 2(3). See id. art. 8(1). See id.

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with each other in ensuring development and eliminating obstacles to development. They should realize their rights and fulfill their duties in such a manner as to promote a new international economic order based on sovereign equality, interdependence, mutual interest, and cooperation among all states. C. Arising Matters Some pertinent questions may be asked at this stage. To whose benefit does the right to development inure? Is it to the state or to the individual? Is the state the bearer or beneficiary of development rights? Put in another way, is the individual the subject of development rights? Some believe that the right to development was conceived long before being addressed in the context of the emerging “International Law of Development,” and as one of its constituent elements. Thus, originally, it was conceived of as one of the human rights of the individual.94 In fact, the concept of an “International Development Right” was first implied by the resolution of the International Labor Organization (ILO) conference in Philadelphia to the effect that “[A]ll human beings, irrespective of race, creed or sex, have the right to pursue both their material well being and their spiritual freedom and dignity, in conditions of economic security and equal opportunity.”95 That resolution was passed in May 1944. Sometime after this, the right to development continued to be conceived of as a “human right.” It was, therefore, contemplated by, or implied in, some of those rights enumerated in the post World War II universal and regional instruments.96 The United Nations Study on the International Dimension on the Right to Development97 also attests to this. It makes the individual the sole beneficiary of this right. The study identified the following elements as forming part of the concept of development:
(i) The realization of the potentialities of the human person in harmony with the community should be seen as the central purpose of development; (ii) The human person should be regarded as the subject and the object of the development process;
94. 95. 96.

97.

See F.V. GARCIA AMADOR,THE EMERGING INTERNATIONAL LAW OF DEVELOPMENT 49 (1990). See General Conference of the International Labour Organization (26th Sess.), adopted 12 May 1944, available on International Labour Organization <http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/ public/english/docs/convdisp.htm>. See e.g., Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 10 Dec. 1948, G.A. Res. 217 A(III), U.N. GAOR, 3d Sess., (Resolutions, pt. 1), at 71, arts. 22–27, U.N. Doc A/810 (1948), reprinted in 43 AM. J. INT’L L. SUPP. 127 (1949); arts. XI–XIV of the American Declaration of Rights and Duties of States (1948). See U.N. ESCOR, 35th sess., Agenda Item 8, ¶ 27, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1334 (1979).

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(iii) Development requires the satisfaction of both material and non-material basic needs; (iv) Respect for human rights is fundamental to the development process; (v) The human person must be able to participate fully in shaping his own reality; (vi) Respect for the principles of equality and non-discrimination is essential; and (vii) The achievement of a degree of individual and collective self-reliance must be an integral part of the process.98

However, in January 1979, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) adopted a resolution stating that equality of opportunity for development was as much a prerogative of nations as of individuals within nations.99 The same year, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution reflecting the view of the Commission, that the right to development is a human right and that states and individuals should enjoy development.100 In 1980, the HRC again adopted a resolution repeating its earlier view.101 It is, however, possible, on several different bases, to think of the right to development as a collective right. The first possibility is to consider the right to development as the aggregate of the social, economic, and cultural rights of all the individuals constituting a collectivity. In other words, it is the sum total of a multiple aggregation of the rights of the individuals.102 Another way is to approach the right to development directly from a collective perspective. It could be considered as the economic dimension of the right to self-determination. It could, alternatively, be considered a parallel to the right of self-determination, partaking of the same nature and belonging to the same category of collective rights.103 The “right to development” flows from the right to self-determination and has the same nature.104 There is little sense in recognizing selfdetermination as a superior and inviolable principle if one does not

98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104.

Id. See CHR/Res./5 (XXXV). See G.A. Res./34/46 (1979). See CHR/Res./6 (XXXVI) (1980). See GEORGES ABI-SAAB, The Legal Formulation of a Right to Development in Academy of International Law, in THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL 164 (René Jean ed., 1980). Id. The right to self-determination is a cornerstone of the international legal system, and has been a premier concern of the international community since the creation of the Untied Nations in 1945. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted 16 Dec. 1966, G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), U.N. GAOR, 21st Sess., Supp. No. 16, art. 1, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 999 U.N.T.s. 171 (entered into force 23 Mar. 1976) provides, for example, in article 1 that “[a]ll people have the right to self-determination. By virtue of

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recognize at the same time a “right to development” for the peoples that have achieved self-determination. This right to development must be an “inherent” and “built-in” right forming an inseparable part of the right to self-determination.105 This makes the right to development much more a right of the state or of the people, than a right of the individual.106 According to this view, therefore, the primary responsibility for development and human rights rests with nations themselves. This is a matter of selfdetermination. There is no doubt, from all of the above, that the right to development is a core right. All other rights stem from, or point to, this right. It is “[t]he precondition of liberty, progress, justice and creativity. It is the alpha and omega of human rights, the first and last human right, the beginning and the end, the means and the goal of human rights.”107 The DRD itself attests to this. It enjoins states to take steps to eliminate obstacles to development resulting from failure to observe civil and political rights, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights.108 It is submitted that the DRD is a document oriented to human rights. It places due emphasis on the central position of the human person in the development process. It is an important contribution to the debate on human rights and development. Besides, it is an important contribution to national and international policies in this area. Its adoption marked a turning point, expressing a new way of regarding the very concept of “development” following the failures of national and international development policies. This failure had been attested to by the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few. With the adoption of the DRD, the international community questioned for the first time the idea that the primary objective of economic activity was to improve economic and financial indicators.109 Instead, it placed human beings, individually and collectively, at the center of all economic activity110

105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110.

that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.” See also The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted 16 Dec. 1966, G.A. Res. 2200 (XXI), U.N. GAOR, 21st Sess., Supp. No. 16, art. 1(1), U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 993 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force 3 Jan. 1976). The self-determination provisions are important because the realization of this right is a fundamental prerequisite for the effective guarantee and observance of individual human rights. It is also pivotal in securing and strengthening human rights protection measures. See CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, FACT SHEET NO. 16 (Rev. 1), at 7. See BEDJAOUI, supra note 1. See id.; Jack Donnely, In Search of the Unicorn: The Jurisprudence and Politics of the Right to Development, 15 CAL. W. INT’L L.J. 473, 482 (1985). BEDJAOUI, supra note 53; see also Weeramantry, The Right to Development, 25 IND. J. INT’L. L. 482 (1985). See DRD, supra note 83, art. 6(3). See THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 75. See DRD, supra note 83, pmbl. ¶ 13.

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as active participants and beneficiaries of the right to development.111 If taken seriously, the DRD would:
Strengthen the relevance of human rights in the development process, serve the recognition of the human person and the human factor as central in development efforts, provide a sound political, legal, social and moral basis for development cooperation, and lend itself to effective use. In this way, it will be a suitable yardstick in the development of human rights dialogue between developed and developing nations.112

In addition to the DRD, there are several normative texts and documents that purport to integrate human rights into the development process. In addition, some policy statements by intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations also contribute to this effort. One example is the Global Consultation on the Right to Development as a Human Right.113 The Consultation reaffirmed the right of individuals, groups, and peoples to make decisions collectively, to choose their own representative organizations, and to have freedom of democratic action, free from interference.114 Another example is the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.115 The Declaration reaffirmed the right to development as a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of fundamental rights. It stated, however, that while development facilitates the enjoyment of all human rights, the lack of development may not be invoked to justify the abridgement of internationally recognized human rights.116 In adopting the Vienna Declaration, the Conference proclaimed that democracy, development, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. There have also been regional attempts in this regard. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Banjul Charter)117 is one example. It
111. 112. 113. 114.

115. 116. 117.

See id. art. 2(1). See Theo van Boven, Human Rights and Development: The UN Experience in FORSYTHE 124. The Consultation took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 8 to 12 January 1990. See also the Declaration on the Progressive Development of Principles of Public International Law relating to New International Economic Order. The Declaration was adopted at the 62nd Conference of the International Law Association held in Seoul, Korea in August 1986. The Declaration deals, inter alia, with issues, such as: the principles of equity and solidarity and the entitlement to development, the right to development, the principle of common heritage of mankind, and the participatory equality of developing countries in international economic relations. See Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, U.N. GAOR, World Conf. On Hum. Rts., 48th Sess., 22d plen. mtg., part I, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.157/24 (1993), reprinted in 32 I.L.M. 1661 (1993). See id. at art. 31. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted 26 June 1981, O.A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 Rev. 5 (entered into force 21 Oct. 1986), reprinted in 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982). For its official Web site, see <http://wwwl.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/ z1afchar.htm>.

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provides, inter alia, that “[a]ll peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development, with due regard to their freedom and identity and in equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind. States shall have the duty, individually and collectively, to ensure the exercise of the right to development.”118 We are, thus, not short of rhetoric. The blueprints for a more just international and social order, oriented toward human rights, are available. They are, in fact, well-conceived. The problem, however, is with the implementation of these lofty proclamations. In other words, realities are in very short supply. The gap between standards—of justice, achievement, and performance—and aspiration is evident everywhere.

IV. AGENDA FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM From what has been said so far, the evolution of conceptions about development has led to the following efforts: to reflect about the ultimate objective of development; to move away from considering development just as an economic process or a set of economic measures; to include the satisfaction of material and non-material needs as objectives of the development process; to emphasize the role of the individual as beneficiary and as actor while also stressing the rights of nations; and to look into more contextual factors, such as the international order and the environment.119 What, then, must be done? How do countries of the Third World prepare for the next millennium? Two approaches will be adopted by this article in positing an answer. One approach looks to domestic remedies and the other to international cooperation.

A. Domestic Remedies The Working Group on the Right to Development stressed that “[s]tates have the primary responsibility to ensure the conditions necessary for the enjoyment of the right to development, as both an individual and a collective right. Development cannot be seen as an imported phenomenon or one that is based on the charity of developed countries.”120 Implementation of the right to development could only be the result of national policy

118. 119. 120.

Id. at art. 22. See Jose Zalaquette, The Relationship Between Development and Human Rights, in FOOD AS A HUMAN RIGHT 146 (Asbjorn Eide et al. eds., 1984). Report of the Working Group on the Right to Development, 3d Sess., U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/ 1995/27.

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and strategy, taking due account of the specific situation of each country. It must, of course, not ignore economic realities.121 This is where the right to development becomes relevant. There must be a Third World redefinition of development, one that is suitable to Third World needs. Too often, Third World countries tend to overlook this in their search for development. The Third World perception of development is, and must be, different from those of foreign interests.122 As Frantz Fanon reminds us, “Let us not pay tribute to Europe by creating states, and societies which drew their inspiration from her. . . . If we wish to live up to our people’s expectations, we must seek the response elsewhere than in Europe.”123 Every society must work in a deliberate and carefully structured way to ensure the enjoyment by all its members of their economic, social, and cultural rights. For Third World countries, it is essential that specific policies and programs be devised and implemented by their governments that are aimed at ensuring respect for the economic, social, and cultural rights of their citizens.124 Countries of the Third World should turn inwards because charity begins at home. They must devise internal strategies for economic growth. They must develop their own resources and technology. Their future will remain bleak as long as they continue to copy foreign patterns of development.125 They should search for means of development within their own resources. They must change their attitude of depending on the goodwill of others. The child must now become the “father of the man.”126 They must, consequently, begin to pay more attention to the traditional values and attitudes of their societies. The aim of development is not only economic and financial efficiency and improvement of the principal macroeconomic indicators, such as gross national product and the balance of trade and payments. The aim of this complex process is, in substance, to increase the active participation of the population as a whole. An individual’s, or a people’s, right to development places a concomitant duty on the state to ensure for each individual the full and free right of participation and benefit from the development process of society as a whole.127 Development should promote social change centered on people. It

121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127.

See THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 75. See Weeramantry, supra note 107. FANON, supra note 34, at 315. See, e.g., Statement to the World Conference on Human Rights on behalf of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, U.N. Doc. E/1993/22, Annex III. See Augustin Oyowe, The Way ahead for Africa, 156 THE ACP-EU COURIER 1996, at 72. THE POEMS OF WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 115 (NOWELL CHARLES SMITH ed., 1908). See Ved Nanda, Development and Human Rights: The Role of International Law and Organizations, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THIRD WORLD DEVELOPMENT 301(G.W. Shepherd, Jr. & Y.P. Nanda eds., 1985).

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should lead to a democratically controlled system of production. It must be designed to satisfy human and social needs. The desired progress must be measured in terms of social justice, equality, well-being, and respect for the fundamental dignity of all individuals, groups, and peoples.128 On a fundamental level, basic needs will, of course, continue to be the basic demand on the Third World. Citizens will increasingly call on their governments to serve their happiness129 and harmony. This, after all, is the purpose of the state:
The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden—that is what the state is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.130

Similarly, one of the central concerns of international economic planning should be the satisfaction of basic needs.131 Democracy, stability, and peace cannot long survive in conditions of chronic poverty, dispossession, and neglect.132 Third World governments must provide or promise a sure relief from hunger and deprivation. Without such a promise disorder would be inevitable. This promise of relief from the “problem of terrible vulnerability”133 requires that available or usable resources exist. These are the challenges facing the Third World as it approaches the next millennium. And they are urgent! Of course, a higher task exists for countries of the Third World. They, as any other society, must ensure their survival.134 The satisfaction of basic needs is only part of the pattern, for man shall not live by bread alone.
128. 129.

130. 131.

132. 133. 134.

See THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 76. The notion of happiness lacks philosophical exactitude. There is no agreement on its substance or source. We, however, know that it is “a profound instinctive union with the stream of life.” BERTRAND RUSSELL, THE CONQUEST OF HAPPINESS 249 (1930). Cf. BILLY GRAHAM, THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS Preface (1956). There happiness is associated with “serenity, confidence, contentment, peace, joy and soul satisfaction.” C.S. LEWIS, MERE CHRISTIANITY 167 (1944). The basic needs approach goes back to the World Employment Conference of 1976. During the Conference, the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation suggested that a basic needs strategy should constitute a central theme or basis for the work of the whole UN system. Such a strategy should concentrate on those most in need and on essential human needs. For a history of the emergence of the basic needs strategy, see UNESCO Doc. 105 EX17 ¶¶ 16–54 (22 Sept. 1978). See N.J. Udombana, Socio-Economic Rights and the Nigerian Worker, 3 MOD. PRACTICE J. FIN. & INVEST. L. 397, 411 (1999). JEAN DRÈZE & AMARTYA SEN, HUNGER AND PUBLIC ACTION 20 (1989). See GALBRAITH, supra note 27, at 274.

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Bread, of course, is very important; in fact, man cannot live without it! However, the tapestry is much larger. Other values need to be considered, too. The basic-needs strategy, unfortunately, has been used as a convenient excuse by countries of the Third World. It is as if the only problem of developing countries is to provide the maximum requirements necessary for subsistence. What is wrong with “basic needs”? It is a diversion and a cold-blooded strategem. It carves people into layers of poverty—relative and absolute— and sets up arbitrary statistical criteria of judging levels of growth. In the end, a focus on basic needs aims at ameliorating rather than eradicating poverty.135 A strategy that aims only to satisfy basic needs would, if followed, reduce the stature of the human race.136 Third World development must, therefore, be geared towards a larger end. The promise of a better life in the next millennium must, consequently, be matched with concrete development plans. The hope for survival, security, and contentment requires that our governments direct their resources to the most urgent needs. They must get their acts together; these efforts must go beyond bogus and fraudulent contrivances. They must, for example, go beyond Vision 2010137 that the Abacha misrule put in place for Nigeria. Countries of the Third World must get matters into better perspective. Their priorities must be right. They must be more consistent with life itself. The Third World has the human and material resources necessary to eliminate poverty and other incidents of underdevelopment. To achieve this, however, their governments must accept certain standards of good governance, which should be based on legitimacy, accountability, competence, and respect for human rights. Countries of the Third World are presently undergoing momentous political transformations. Their citizens are yearning and clamouring for democracy. Military rule and dictatorship are increasingly becoming an aberration. The burden of proof is now on military regimes to show reasons why they must not democratize. In most cases, they have failed to discharge this burden. And, as contemporary experiences show, the international community is beginning to isolate dictators. Hopefully, the tempo of democratization will increase in the new millennium.
135. 136. 137.

See Altaf Gauhar, What is Wrong with Basic Needs?, 4 THIRD WORLD Q. xxi (July 1982). See U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/A/SR 1489. The “Vision 2010” Committee was empanelled to draw up, inter alia, an economic blueprint for Nigeria for the next millenium. The Committee, headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan, was obviously a talk shop. It provided relief for the dictator who was being pressurized to convene a Sovereign National Conference to address fundamental national issues. See Report of the Vision 2010 Committee, available on <http:// www.nigeriangalleria.com/business/2010.html>.

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Those who prefer authoritarianism think otherwise. They insist that developing countries must temporarily sacrifice freedom to achieve the rapid economic development that their exploding populations and rising expectations demand. In short, they believe that government must be authoritarian to promote development. This is a lie. “Authoritarianism is not needed for development; what it is needed for is to maintain the status quo.”138 The UN Secretary General, in a report on the regional and national dimensions of the right to development as a human right, stressed that “[a]ny development strategy which directly involves the denial of fundamental human rights, in whatever name or cause it may be undertaken, must be deemed to be a systematic violation of the right to development.”139 Countries of the Third World must also face the problem of corruption;140 theft of public funds by government functionaries has become the rule in most Third World countries. It is reported, for example, that Mobutu Sese Seko, former President of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), looted over $10 billion (US) from his country’s treasury.141 In Nigeria, current President Olusegun Obasanjo puts former dictator General Sani Abacha’s loot at $4.3 billion (US).142 There is no longer any doubt that corruption has contributed to the underdevelopment of the Third World, since such stolen monies are usually siphoned into foreign banks where they are subsequently redirected to Third World countries as loans. The securities for such loans are, of course, the unborn children of the Third World. Their greedy leaders have mortgaged their future! The Third World cannot focus on development in an environment of unbridled corruption by government functionaries. The rest of the world will not take them seriously. Third World countries must, therefore, first set their houses in order. There also has to be a massive shift in resources. Countries of the Third World must deliberately shift their resources. They must not devote, if their

138. 139. 140.

141. 142.

Jose Diokno, Text of the Amnesty International 1978 Sean MacBride Human Rights Lecture, AI Index: ICM01/11/78. U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1488, 31 Dec. 1981, cited in THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 76. According to the 1996 ANNUAL CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX, published by Transparency International, an NGO, the most corrupt country was judged to be Nigeria, followed by Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh, and China, quoted in UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT REPORT of 1998 for Nigeria, at 31. See THE GUARDIAN (Nigeria), 9 Mar. 2000, at 8. See THE GUARDIAN (Nigeria), 8 Feb. 2000, at 1. In 1992, it was reported in The Financial Times that 300 Nigerians own over U.S. $30 billion in European and North American banks. Similar cases of mind-boggling foreign accounts belonging to other African citizens abound. See Afe Babalola, Legal and Judicial Systems and Corruption, in CORRUPTION, DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN WEST AFRICA, 93, 94 (A. Aderinwale ed., 1994).

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countries are to survive, so many resources to debt servicing and defense procurement. They must begin to invest in such sectors as education, food security, and health. As General Eisenhower reminded the world, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in a final sense, a shift from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed.”143 The Limburg Principles144 provide that “In the use of the available resources due priority shall be given to the realisation of rights recognised in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, mindful of the need to assure to everyone the satisfaction of subsistence requirements as well as the provision of essential services.”145 The new international economic order appears to be working against Third World countries. The Cold War has ended. However, it has also reduced most of the realpolitik constraints on placing human rights at the top of the world agenda. The former Soviet bloc countries are currently fighting a war of economic survival; they hardly find time these days to fight for Third World interests. This is reminiscent of Western liberalism and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.146 Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” is the motto of this new order and Machiavelli’s “the end justifies the means”147 is its ally. Some have indeed prophesied that the new international economic order will be “based on capitalism and divided into three spheres of economic and political domination (Latin America by the United States, Africa by the European Community, and Asia by Japan).”148 This frightening prophecy sounds like another Berlin!149

143. 144.

145. 146. 147. 148. 149.

General Eisenhower, quoted in Weeramantry, supra note 107, at 482. See The Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted 8 Jan. 1987, U.N. ESCOR, Comm’n on Hum. Rts., 43rd Sess., Agenda Item 8, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1987/17/Annex(1987), reprinted in The Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 9 HUM. RTS. Q. 122 (1987). The Limburg Principles are statements on the current state of international law on economic, social, and cultural rights by 29 international law experts who met to consider the implementaion of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Maastricht, the Netherlands, 2–6 June 1986). Id. at 126, art. 28. ADAM SMITH, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS (R.H. Campbell & A.S. Skinner eds., 1976). NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, THE PRINCE, 94 (trans. Luigi Ricci 1952). Manfred Nowak, Future Strategies for the International Protection and Realization of Human Rights, in THE FUTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION IN A CHANGING WORLD 60 (1991). The Berlin Conference of 1884–85 saw the partition of Africa into various spheres of influence by the European powers. The event “had a profound impact on the continents of Africa and Europe and their peoples, and, indeed, the global system at large,” AFRICA AND EUROPE: FROM PARTITION TO INDEPENDENCE OR DEPENDENCE? Preface (Amadu Sesay ed., 1986). See generally RODNEY, supra note 8; BASIL DAVIDSON, THE BLACK MAN’S BURDEN: AFRICA AND THE CURSE OF THE NATION STATE (1992).

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These developments will, in the long run, hardly contribute to prosperity and social welfare in the South. It will contribute instead to mass poverty, social unrest, and gross violations of human rights. Third World countries must, therefore, not be aloof to these developments; they must discover new strategies. They must explore new ways of survival and the means of achieving the kind of development associated with the human right to development. Several events in the past few years have shaped the economic and other programs of Third World countries. The debt crisis, perhaps, has been the most significant. Its most pervasive consequence was that developing countries ceased to receive positive resource transfers. Instead, they moved to negative positions.150 How did a majority of these economies respond to the debt burden and the virtual drying up of foreign capital and reserves? They adopted varying versions of International Monetary Fund (IMF)-dictated Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs).151 These involved the liberalization of economic controls, privatization/commercialization, de-indigenization, introduction of market-driven economic policies, and promotion of exports. The irony is that most of these countries do not even believe in SAPs. However, they are compelled to participate in them in order to have access to funds. What has been the result? Their economic status quo ante has not changed for the better. SAPs have, instead, worsened the economic circumstances of developing countries.152 It is submitted that the structural adjustment policies of the IMF and World Bank, whatever their contribution to debt relief, have placed an intolerable burden on the poorest populations of the developing world.153 SAPs are the “creditor’s device to secure repayment for ill-considered loans.”154 Countries of the Third World, therefore, should be wary of adopting policies that are not consistent with their own agendas. Countries should carry out reforms because “they are the right thing to do, not because they are what the World Bank and the IMF want,”155 as the operations of these

150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155.

See J.J. Olloqui, The International Debt Crisis in INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND EXTERNAL DEBT MANAGEMENT 5 (Lagos: UNCTC/UNDP/FMJ, 1991); Yemi Osinbajo & Olukonyinsola Ajayi, External Debt Management: Case Study of Nigeria INTERNATIONAL FINANCE 69. See generally M.A. Ajomo et al., REGULATION OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN AN ERA OF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT; THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE (1995). See Osinbajo & Ajayi, supra note 6, at 731. See World Debt and the Human Condition: Structural Adjustment and the Right to Development (Ved P. Nanda et al. eds., 1993). L. Michael Hager, 89 AM. J. INT’L L. 464 (1995). Oyowo, supra note 125. See generally Tsui Selatile, African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programme for Socio-Economic Recovery and Transformation, in REGULATION OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN AN ERA OF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT: THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE 1 (1995).

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two institutions has worked to undermine the right to self-determination of most Third World countries.156 A clear distinction should be drawn between conditionality and development assistance. Economic development requires the organized application of resources, manpower, and leadership in the country concerned. It must be a sustained activity and it must not be subject to interruptions. It calls for an appropriate legal and political environment. In such an environment, the various essential factors can unite in a major effort. Such an environment is essential to obtaining the benefits of international cooperation—governed by international law.157 The question is, how can such an environment be created? The answer is simple. There must be arrangements that will create those conditions essential to appropriate domestic investments and manpower policies. Such arrangements could either be domestic or international. Countries must create the enabling environment that will attract foreign investment and the private flows that will foster development. B. International Cooperation Traditional international law lays down rules for coexistence—a modus vivandi. The aim is to interfere with one another as little as possible. It provides a framework that is too narrow for the establishment of standards for the conduct of international affairs. The emphasis is on the obligation to abstain, based on an abstract and formal equality of states. This gives rise to such concepts as non-intervention, diplomatic immunity, and the like. The traditional rules of international law, described above, are changing, and they must continue to change. The law, like a traveler, must prepare itself for tomorrow. International law is no exception. International law must keep pace with developments in the world, otherwise it will suffer atrophy. The world is also changing and will continue to change. Interdependence among states is growing. Interstate relations are becoming more and more a matter of active cooperation. It is no longer a matter of passive coexistence. The “international law of cooperation” has come to stay. Emphasis is now on the general interest of the whole international community. Of course, the individual interests of the states are not left out.158
156. Their policies have become so deeply insinuated in national policies without the concomitant accountability that usually accompanies political power. See J. OlokaOnyango, Beyond the Rhetoric: Reinvigorating the Struggle for Economic and Social Rights in Africa, 26 CAL. WEST. INT’L L.J. 1, 10 (1995). See CHARLES C. OKOLIE, INTERNATIONAL LAW PERSPECTIVES OF THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 4 (1978). See WOLFGANG FRIEDMANN, THE CHANGING STRUCTURE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 60 (1964).

157. 158.

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The relationship between the rich North and the poor South has become central in international affairs. Growing disparities between the developed and the developing countries and between population categories are reflected in rising unemployment, deterioration in living standards, acceleration in migratory movements, growing marginalization, and an upsurge in poverty everywhere. These developments, and the burden of debt servicing, has provoked a rise in social and political tensions and conflicts and increased inequalities in the access to the right to development.159 This imbalance between the industrialized countries and the developing world appears to be complete; the asymmetry is abnormal and the discrepancies frightening. These scales of imbalance make one’s head swim. The inequalities are so fantastic! They allow some to have a surplus and prevent others from obtaining the bare necessities. All this is bound to lead to a major conflict situation if nothing is done to address it. A situation where some people are the Wretched of the Earth is inexorably endangering world peace.160 The resources of the earth belong to the international community. They are “the common heritage of mankind” to borrow the expression of the Law of the Sea Convention.161 These resources should be shared among all states in accordance with the maxim, “to each according to his needs.” Many different organizations spend a great deal of effort trying to find ways to bridge this gap. They include the United Nations and its related agencies such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Others organizations are the Commonwealth, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the Non-Aligned Movement. Their efforts, notwithstanding the disparities, are constantly growing due in part to obstacles and incorrectly placed emphasis. The obstacles to Third World development are many. The first major constraint relates to insufficient transfers from multinational, bilateral, and private sources, as compared to the growing needs.162 Then there is the problem of unequal distribution of resources within international agencies. The result is that social goals are at a disadvantage in comparison with economic goals. There is also the generalization of a sectoral approach favoring economic growth. There is the tendency to separate macroeconomic

159. 160. 161. 162.

Report of the Working Group on the Right to Development on its Second Session, 5 Sept. 1994, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1995/11, excerpted in THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 481. See FANON, supra note 34. See Convention on the Law of the Sea, adopted 10 Dec. 1982 at art. 136, U.N. A/ CONF. 62/122, reprinted in 21 I.L.M. 1261 (1982). See supra note 159.

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policies from social objectives. There is, finally, the problem of inadequate coordination within the UN system.163 In regards to the United Nations, it must be stated here clearly that the UN system has a responsibility to promote the right of development in the Third World. This demands greater coordination of strategies and programs and requires more effective cooperation in the field. It demands ongoing consultation between specialized agencies and improved circulation of information between them. Further, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR)164 should play a more important role in the realization of the right to development. This role is envisaged in the resolution that created the post.165 Her key responsibilities include “the promotion and protection of the realisation of the right to development and enhancing support from relevant bodies of the United Nations system for that purpose.”166 Economic development and respect for human rights are the twin foundations of peaceful and friendly relations among nations. Human rights and economic development are interlinked and interdependent. One of the linkages is through the firm association of each concept with the notion of peace. Another is through the clear acceptance of economic and social rights as well-established human rights. The two concepts are complementary to each other. They ought not to be treated as belonging to different categories of study or enquiry.167 The legal obligation undertaken by states to promote and protect human rights under the UN Charter,168 must extend to economic development as well.169 This responsibility is not of a subsidiary or last-resort nature. It reflects, as a universal principle, the unity of mankind. It reflects the dignity and worth of all human beings. Recognition of this principle creates new relationships between and within peoples and nations.170 The DRD stresses that states have the duty to cooperate in order to

163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170.

See THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 77–78. For its official Web site, see The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, <http://www.unhchr.ch>. See General Assembly Resolution creating the post of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. GAOR, G.A. Res. 48/141 of 20 Dec. 1993, cited in THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 471. Id. art. 4. See M.G. Kaladharan Nayar, Human Rights and Economic Development: The Legal Foundation, 2 UNIVERSAL HUM. RTS. 55 (1980). See e.g., U.N. CHARTER arts. 55, 56, signed 26 Jun. 1945, 59 Stat. 1031, T.S. No. 993, 3 Bevans 1153 (entered into force 24 Oct. 1945). This was the consensus of international experts expressed in Montreal Statement of the Assembly for Human Rights, March 22–27, 1968 at VII. See van Boven, supra note 112, at 133.

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ensure development and to eliminate obstacles to its realization.171 They must promote a new international economic order based on sovereign equality, interdependence, mutual interest, and cooperation.172 The principle of self-determination requires democratization. It requires the establishment of equitable and appropriate international structures. Such structures must be open to effective and significant participation by all peoples and all states. This is particularly important in the case of decision-making structures dealing with economic, financial, and monetary matters.173 Translating the implementation of the right to development to the domestic level is one of the most pressing issues. It demands international cooperation. Article 2(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) preaches “international cooperation.”174 The Copenhagen Declaration175 corroborates this. It also maintains that countries with economies in transition, which are also undergoing fundamental political, economic, and social transformation, require the support of the international community as well. All of these impose obligations on developed states to assist developing states in realizing their economic, social, and cultural rights. Effective and sustained international cooperation is needed to provide countries of the Third World with the appropriate means and facilities to foster their comprehensive development. This will, no doubt, complement the efforts of the Third World countries themselves. The developed world must, for example, continue to pursue the very important issue of disarmament, as there is a close relationship between disarmament and development.176 Progress in the field of disarmament would considerably promote progress in the field of development measures. Resources released through disarmament measures should be devoted to the economic and social development and well-being of all peoples and, in particular, those of developing countries. When global development is spoken of, much emphasis is put on aid to the less developed countries. This is fine—except that it has been overemphasized. Development is much more than foreign aid. Aid by its very

171. 172. 173. 174. 175.

176.

See DRD, supra note 83, art.3(3). See THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 72, at 78. See id. See International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, supra note 105, art. 2(1). Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, adopted 12 Mar. 1995, at Annex I, ¶ 23, U.N. Doc. A/CONF. 166/9 (1995), available on <gopher://gopher.undp.org:70/00/unconfs/ wssd/summit/off/a—9.en>. See DRD, supra note 83, pmbl. ¶ 12.

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nature is highly political. Some people mistake it for charity; it is not. It is part of a bargain between the donor and recipient. The donor nations, the rich countries of the North, have a surplus of capital and know-how. They are willing to make these available to the South or the Third World—at a price. The price varies. It may be a question of influence. It may be a question of military base facilities. It may result in the protection of trading, investment, or other interests. In international politics, there is no such thing as a free lunch; everything has to be paid for. Governments are, first and foremost, concerned about safeguarding the interests of the people they represent.177 Real development, however, involves trade. It involves human and political relations. It is, in fact, the whole broad meaning of the term “international cooperation.”178 Trade barriers, to start with, must be removed. These place countries of the Third World in a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis the developed and industrialized countries. Of what use is it to encourage free market economies in an interdependent world if trade barriers block developing-country exports? Opening up the markets of wealthy nations to exports from the poorest countries is a crucial pillar of free trade. At the moment, the exports from the forty-eight of the least developed countries (LDCs) amount to less than half a percent of world trade.179 This is certainly unacceptable; the rich should allow quota-free and tariff-free access to goods from the LDCs. As the UN Secretary-general, Kofi Annan, noted, “If the industrialized countries did more to open their markets, Africa [and other Third World countries] could increase their exports by many billions of dollars per year, far more than they receive in aid. For millions of poor people this could make the difference between their present misery and a decent life.”180 There is also the need to stabilize world commodity prices at an equitable level. There is also the question of changing the international division of labor. The latter will give a greater opportunity for industrialization to the less developed countries and a greater share in international trade to their industrial or manufactured products. Technology transfers should be considered. The assumption of almost all of the proponents for the transfer of technology is that such a transfer is

177. 178. 179. 180.

See Arnold, supra note 12, at x. See Okolie, supra note 157, at 3. See THE GUARDIAN (Nigeria), 16 March 2000, at 40. Kofi Annan, Africa: Maintaining the Momentum, Address at the 2000 Commonwealth Lecture, in THE GUARDIAN (Nigeria), 17 March 2000, at 21.

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a prerequisite for desirable economic and social development.181 Robert Solow, for example, attributed 87.5% of the growth of per capita income in the United States in the first half of this century to technological progress and the remainder to the use of capital.182 The deprivation and poverty suffered by developing countries have, on the other hand, been attributed almost entirely to their technological dependence.183 As part of international cooperation, there should be a concerted effort by the international community to fight corruption.184 In this regard, the Western countries should co-operate with Third World developing countries in their efforts to recover stolen monies by past avaricious leaders. Indeed, corruption should be seen as a crime against humanity, for that is exactly what it is. Corruption robs others of the basic necessities that make existence possible; indeed, it is akin to genocide. A man who empties and loots a nation’s treasury is wishing his fellow citizens nothing but death. He should be seen and treated as having committed a crime against humanity. At the bilateral level, in international aid practices, treaties and agreements must contain human rights conditionality.185 This should go beyond a simplistic pro-forma consideration of a country’s human rights record. The developed world should terminate bilateral agreements to Third

181. 182. 183. 184.

185.

See MICHAEL BLAKENEY, LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 57 (1989). See Solow, Technological Change and the Aggregate Production, 39 REV. ECON. & STATISTICS (1957), quoted in Ewing, UNCTAD and the Transfer of Technology, 10 JWTL 197 (1976). See generally Surendra J. Patel, The Technological Dependence of Developing Countries, in 12 J. MOD. AFR. STUD. 9–13 (1974). Previous attempts to put this in the agenda of the International Law Commission for deliberation did not receive the approval of the Commission. One hopes that in the immediate future, the Commission will revisit this crucial issue and place it in its agenda for development and possible codification. See, e.g., Lome IV Convention of November 4, 1885, art. 5, in ACP-EU COURIER NO. 155, Jan.–Feb. 1996, at 11. “Cooperation shall be directed towards development centred on man, the main protagonist and beneficiary of development, which thus entails respect for and promotion of all human rights.” Id. The Resolution of the Council of European Communities and of the Member States on Human Rights, Democracy and Development, 28 Nov. 1991, is also worthy of note: “The Community and its Member states will explicitly introduce the consideration of relations with developing countries: human rights clauses will be inserted in future cooperation agreements. Regular discussions on human rights and democracy will be held, within the framework of development cooperation, with the aim of seeking improvement.” In 1992, the Council of Europe issued statements on Zaire, Togo, Burundi, Kenya, Algeria, and Equatorial Guinea on human rights situations with a view “to heighten public awareness issues and bring pressure to bear on the governments I question to change their attitudes.” See Report on the Implementation of the Resolution of the Council and of the Member States Meeting in the Council on Human Rights, Democracy and Development, adopted on 28 Nov. 1991, Comm’n of the Eur. Communities, SEC (92) 1915, final communique, Brussels (1992).

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World countries whose governments violate the human rights of its citizens in a gross, continuous, and systematic fashion. They should re-direct such aid to the same population through local non-governmental organizations.186 The Western world must redirect the monetary and financial flows in a manner more compatible with the imperatives of development.187 It should also take the issue of debt relief very seriously.188 It must realize that the monies it gave to the Third World by way of loans were monies stashed away in foreign banks by greedy Third World leaders. The monies belong to the Third World! International cooperation must bring to bear a concerted effort to tackle the obstacles to democracy. The West must recognize that underdeveloped societies are not likely to become democratic. Democracy will not thrive in instability. The West cannot simultaneously demand democracy and deny development. It cannot expect people to cherish the ballots when their stomachs are empty. Of what use is the right to vote to a hungry and angry man? “The right to peaceful assembly, free speech and thought, fair trial, etc. . . . appeal to people with a full stomach.”189 Therefore, the World Bank, the IMF, the World Trade Organization, and other bilateral aid programs of the West should do more in the area of development. Indeed, concepts contained in the DRD should form, within their areas of competence, an integral part of the policies and programs of these institutions. Action that advances development is far more valuable in promoting democracy and human rights than the admonition of the West. The Third World is asking for action, not preaching, for action speaks louder than words. Again, practice is better than precepts. What are the tools for this development? They are the same as the tools for democracy. They include education, the advancement of women, rule of law, an independent press and judiciary, as well as freedom of expression and assembly. These are the fundamental concepts underlying development. If the developed world is serious about rendering assistance to the Third World, it should place emphasis on these and related areas. It must

186. 187. 188.

IN THE

189.

See Edward Broadbent, Human Rights and Democratic Development, in HUMAN RIGHTS TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A GLOBAL CHALLENGE 717 (K.E. Mahoney & Paul Mahoney eds., 1993). See Georges Abi-Saab, supra note 102, at 171. It is gratifying to note that the Nigerian government of Olusegun Obasanjo is seriously discussing with Western nations on the possibility of debt relief for the country. There appears to be positive signs. It is reported that Canada has cancelled Nigeria’s debts to her. See THE GUARDIAN (Nigeria), 21 Aug. 1999, at 3. Other Third World leaders should follow suit. Claude Ake, The African Context of Human Rights, AFRICA TODAY 5 (1987). Cf. Rhoda Howard, The “Full-Belly” Thesis: Should Economic Rights Take Priority over Civil and Political Rights? Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, 15 HUM. RTS. Q. 467 (1983).

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recognize that it has a duty to assist the less prosperous societies. And it should do it in the spirit of partnership, practicality, and friendship, not in condescension or with impatience.190

V. CONCLUSION This article has attempted to show, in the last section, that developing Third World countries have primary responsibility for their own economic and social development in accordance with their priorities and plans, as well as their political and cultural diversities. The article has also shown that developed countries have a special responsibility, in the context of growing interdependence, to create a global economic environment favorable to accelerated and sustainable development. As we begin the new millennium, it must be quickly pointed out that the problems of the world will not all be solved. We do not even quite know the shape of the problems. We do not, therefore, know the requirements for solution. However, one thing is certain: the basic problems of mankind— food, clothing, and shelter—will remain. These needs, however, vary in degrees from country to country. In a study dating from 1981, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to self-determination stressed that development must be defined in each specific context and must be based on popular participation. Thus,
development can be neither exported nor imported. It presupposes taking into consideration numerous economic, technical and social parameters and establishing priorities and setting growth rates on the basis of knowledge of needs, conditions and external possibilities. It presupposes the participation of the entire people inspired by a common ideal, and individual and collective creativity in devising the most adequate solutions to problems arising from local conditions, needs and aspirations.191

Countries of the Third World must, in the words of the Copenhagen Declaration,192 “respond more effectively to the material and spiritual needs of individuals, their families and the communities in which they live throughout our diverse countries and regions.” They must do so as a matter of urgency and with sustained and unshakeable commitment through the years ahead.

190. 191. 192.

See Petronella Maramba, Development and Human Rights: Introduction, in HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: A GLOBAL CHALLENGE 679 (K.E. Mahoney & Paul Mahoney eds.,1993). See U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/404/Rev.1). See Copenhagen Declaration, supra note 21, at 3.

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The implementation of the DRD requires perseverance and concrete efforts. This dynamic process should be pursued at all appropriate levels. It should include the elaboration of international and national strategies. It requires the effective contribution of states, international organs, and organizations active in the field. Countries of the Third World must go back to the drawing board. They must begin to retrace their steps. And the sooner the better for time is running out. There is little time left before their economies become permanently distorted. Now is the time to begin to put in place sound and effective national and international policies of economic and social development. The achievement of lasting progress in the implementation of human rights is dependent on these.193 The Third World must be ready to pay for development. The price may be high, but so too are the stakes are getting higher.

193.

See e.g., G.A. Res. 32/130 Dec. 1977.

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