3 Vienna + 20: the Way Forward

3 Vienna + 20: the Way Forward

Rolf Künnemann:

Recommendations resulting from the Civil Society Conference: Human Rights in Times of Crises, Strengthening the global human rights movement.

Thank you for this opportunity to draw your attention to the Vienna+20 CSO Conference here in Vienna on June 25 and 26 with 140 participants from around the world. The Conference adopted the Vienna+20 CSO Declaration. You can find it on Hard copies of the Declaration will be available at the end of this session.

The Vienna+20 CSO Declaration is significant both in terms of its results and in terms of the process how these results were attained via months of extensive prior consultations and negotiations in 10 preparatory groups involving people from more than 40 CSOs and social movements.

The Vienna+20 CSO Declaration contains 150 demands from 23 different areas of human rights. So it is very rich in content.Please have a careful look at the Declaration in the days and weeks to come.

The Declaration has amain message: CSOs reclaimthe primacy of human rights.The Declaration recalls that human rights are not granted by States. The purpose of States is to uphold and ensure human rights. For this matter States must not allow the participation of the corporate sector in policy making.

The Declaration provides some stocktaking on most of the areas covered by the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,appreciatingthe progress made in some areas, but also pointing out implementation gaps. Moreover the Declaration includes some new areasconcerning human rights violations in the context of the multiple global crises – finance, climate, eco-destruction, food, corporate rule.

The Declaration notes that without the acceptance and implementation of extraterritorial obligations, human rights cannot be universally realized, nor can they play a substantial role in regulating globalization. States have to meet these obligations acting unilaterally and multilaterally, including when acting through intergovernmental organizations.

The global crises are addressed directly in some chapters of the Declaration such as the chapter challenging austerity policies in the context of the financial crises, the chapterson binding obligations and regulation of TNCsand on the rights of workers, the chapters on food and nutrition, on displacement. The global context also throws a pervasive light on most of the other chapters in the Declarationsuch as thoseon the human rights of indigenous peoples, peasants, fishers, of migrants and refugees etc.. (In relation to refugees I ask the Austrian government to properly address the situatión of the group of asylum seekers just a few hundred meters from here in the Servitenkloster.)

Three chapters in the Declaration are also dealt with as topics of the Working Groups to this Conference: Chapter II on the women’s human rights, Chapter X on human rights in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, and Chapter XII on the right to an effective remedy for human rights violations.On each of these working groups there will be a rapporteur from the CSO conference relating the recommendations and requests made in the respective chapters of the CSO Declaration.

The First World Conference on Human Rights took place in Tehran 1968. The Second World Conference was held in Vienna 1993, 25 years later. After another 25 years in 2018 the time will have come for a Third World Conferenceaddressing issues of worldwide concern, including those raised in the CSO Declaration. It is important to establish conferences with a rhythm of 25 years – a quarter of a century – for the human family to get together and move human rights ahead.

The CSO Declaration is not satisfied with just any World Conference. The Vienna+20 CSO Conference calls for a Third World Conference on Human Rights in 2018 that will

-build on the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 (We will not accept any step back.)

-respond to the concerns raised in the current Declaration, including the need for a World Court on Human Rights;

-put in place an effective system for holding third parties, such as the corporate sector, to account for human rights violations;

-operationalize the primacy of human rights and guarantee the full realization of human rights for all.

Thank you.