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Mr Special Rapporteur,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
Reflecting on your report, the European Union reiterates its support for the Right to Development, as based on the indivisibility and interdependence as well as the universality of all human rights, the multidimensional nature of development strategies and the individuals as the central subjects of the development process. This right requires the realisation of Civil and Political Rights together with Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and we would like to emphasise that, while national development efforts should be supported, States, acting individually and collectively, owe the primary responsibility for ensuring that their citizens benefit from development.
We appreciate the attention you pay in your report A/HRC/39/51 to the various forms of inequality, in income as well as based on gender, disabilities, or on belonging to a minority group. The fact that you refer at length to the European Union and several of its member States bears witness to that we in the EU value the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, work on attaining them and monitor our progress using a set of indicators aligned as far as appropriate with the UN list of global indicators. While we fully agree on the danger of growing inequality in the world and the need to fight and close the gap, I would like to point out that the EU is the place where this gap is globally the lowest as demonstrated by the lowest Gini coefficients, and that we made progress towards all SDG goals in the five years covered by the 2017 Eurostat report you are referring to.
We remain strongly committed to achieving sustainable development and eradicating poverty; promoting respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms at the international, regional and national levels; working towards ensuring security, conflict prevention and resolution; and encouraging good governance, gender equality, human development, accountability and equitable globalisation.
We must recognize that divergent views in the understanding of the Right to Development remain, with fundamental differences on issues such as the role of indicators, the content of the Right to Development, its implications as well as appropriate instruments to realize this right, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We would like to re-state our position that we are not in favour of the elaboration of an international legal standard of a binding nature as we do not believe that this is the appropriate mechanism to realise the Right to Development.
We continue to be ready to engage constructively on the Right to Development, and to pursue a consensual approach to the coming discussions and negotiations, in order to achieve a positive, consensual outcome for all concerned.