The Global Partnership for Development and Relevant Legal Principles for a Human Rights Analysis
The MDG project started with a set of western donor agencies wishing to reignite interest in international development cooperation at a time when the end of the Cold War had led to a waning perception about the “strategic advantage” of such aid (Barnes and Brown 2011, 167-169). The focus of the OECD document that served as ﬁrst precedent to the MDGs was precisely to make the case for increased foreign aid, demonstrating that it would be used effectively (Hulme 2009, 21). The content of MDG 8, however, was ﬁrst mentioned in “We the Peoples” (UN Secretary General
2000), a document released with the intention that it serve as basis for the Millennium Declaration (MD). As the MDG construction had been an idea of the donors, the adoption of a goal on international cooperation was seen as a necessary move to allay the suspicion with which developing countries viewed the project (Fukuda-Parr and Hulme 2011, 26). The language from “We the Peoples” was captured as part of the MD, but it was not until Koﬁ Annan received authorization to set a “Roadmap” for achieving the MDGs that MDG 8 was included and approved by the General Assembly (Sharma 2004). After the Road Map, MDG 8 came to have, like other MDGs, not only the targets (mostly present in the Roadmap) but also indicators that were developed by UN ofﬁcials in the years that followed. In light of this history, although the MD includes reference to the “collective responsibility [of all
States] to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level,” it is not likely that the drafters of MDG 8 targets and indicators had in mind the implementation of collective or extraterritorial obligations of States on human rights. Nonetheless, an analysis of MDG 8 from the standpoint of international human rights law would have
to involve the legal obligations on international cooperation for human rights. The responsibility of States to cooperate internationally for the achievement of human rights can be found in the body of international human rights law, going as far back as the UN Charter (1945) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 28 and 22). Similarly, Article 2(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights pro-
Each State… undertakes to take steps,… through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant. (Emphasis added)
The Declaration on the Right to Development (1986) also contains obligations for states acting externally and collectively (Articles 3, 4 and 5). Nonetheless, what these responsibilities concretely entail remains vague. Conventions and instru-
ments subsequent to the Universal Declaration have done little to further elaborate them. On the other hand, efforts by academics (Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 2011) are, arguably, more advanced. Fukuda-Parr (2006) argues that, at their core, international obligations concern state policies addressing obstacles own.