World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Experts call on world to be guided by Maastricht Principles

For the Second Anniversary of the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States, 28 September 2013

Human rights beyond borders: UN experts call on world governments to be guided by the Maastricht Principles

GENEVA (26 September 2013) – A group of United Nations human rights experts today urged governments worldwide to take into account a set of guidelines on extraterritorial obligations adopted by leading specialists in international law and human rights on 28 September 2011 in Maastricht, the Netherlands: the Maastricht Principles*.  

“By nature, some of the world’s most pressing issues spill over national boundaries,” the UN experts said, while highlighting the importance of the Maastricht Principles as a key tool in addressing complex contemporary cross-border human rights challenges, including global poverty, hunger and food security, and access to water.

“The Maastricht Principles clarify the human rights obligations of States beyond their own borders, especially their obligation to avoid causing harm and to protect human rights extraterritorially,” the UN experts on extreme poverty, food, water and sanitation, and international solidarity explained.

When making policy and deciding on new laws, they said, States must consider their impact on the enjoyment of human rights of people outside their own country. “The protection and promotion of human rights beyond borders must be elevated to the heart of States’ national and international decision-making,” the experts stressed.

“28 September 2011 was a significant moment in the development of international human rights law,” they noted. “The Maastricht Principles filled a critical gap in the international legal framework, allowing human rights to effectively respond to the negative impacts of globalisation that cannot be regulated by one State alone.”

Extreme poverty

“Holding States to account for their extraterritorial obligations is fundamental to our ability to fight extreme poverty globally,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda. “These obligations were also recognised in the UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, in acknowledgement of the specific obstacles people in poverty face.”

“In particular,” she noted, “the extraterritorial obligations framework offers an important basis for States to work collectively to tackle the structural and systemic dimensions that underlie and perpetuate extreme poverty and global inequality.”

Right to food

“The full realization of the right to food depends on national efforts, but also on an international environment that supports such efforts by enabling countries to put in place and implement effective national food security strategies,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, said. “The Maastricht Principles make it clear that shaping such an international environment is not a matter of goodwill: it is a legal obligation grounded in international law.”

“Moving towards the right to food depends on the promise of Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights being fully implemented,” he said. “This provision guarantees to each individual an international social order in which human rights can be fully realized. It calls for trade, investment and development cooperation policies to be aligned with the requirements of human rights.”

Water and sanitation

“Sixty percent of global freshwater flow is transboundary. More than 80 percent of all wastewater generated worldwide is not treated,” noted the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque. “This means we must address extraterritorial issues to ensure the human rights to water and sanitation.”

“The Maastricht Principles underscore the States’ obligation to avoid causing harm extraterritorially and to protect human rights extraterritorially,” she said. “This translates into an obligation to avoid contamination of watercourses in other jurisdictions and to regulate non-State actors accordingly.”

International solidarity

“International solidarity requires that States —as a minimum— should respect the exercise and enjoyment of human rights in other countries, and refrain from actions with adverse extraterritorial consequences,” the UN Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, Virginia Dandan, stressed.

“In particular, Principles 26 to 35 of the Maastricht Principles clearly spell out the conduct of States in their relations with each other taking into account their shared human rights obligations,” she said.

(*) Check the Maastricht Principles: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/Institutes/MaastrichtCentreForHumanRights/MaastrichtETOPrinciples.htm  

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news