Friday, December 19, 2014


“Moving Together as One: Solidarity as the Foundation of the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015”
18 December 2014
GENEVA (18 December 2014) – Following is a message by the United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, Virginia Dandan, to mark the International Human Solidarity Day, which will be commemorated on  20 December 2014.

“International Human Solidarity Day, launched in 2006, celebrates humankind, its courage and its enduring capacity to prevail despite all odds. The United Nations Development framework, as articulated in the UN world conferences and summits since the 1990s, is itself rooted in principles of international solidarity. 

UN member States are once again negotiating a new sustainable development agenda which will likely include the creation of measureable Sustainable Development Goals. World leaders have one year to seize that unique opportunity to re-imagine and create a global dynamic where people are at the centre of development in order to end poverty in all its forms. ‘We, the peoples of the United Nations,’ must unite as a global community, calling on our governments to ensure that the processes and outcomes of the new agenda, are consistent with international human rights standards and norms, to be enjoyed by all, and leave no one behind*. 

On this day, I call on Governments, civil society and all crucial stakeholders to actively participate in creating this transformative shift in development. Solidarity, should, and must be a positive force in the lives of people and of nations, but we must be vigilant and protect the bonds that link us together. To build a better future requires everyone to work, together and as one. Sustainable development requires international solidarity not only among the Governments of the world, but also among the peoples of the world, to actively participate in this project of building a better world.  All of us have a stake in the future.

Let us build and create the better world we want for this generation and for future generations. Let us embrace our shared responsibility to act now for our common future, and let each of us begin with ourselves. Let us move together as one because we are one.” 

(*) Read the Independent Expert’s report to the UN General Assembly on the future sustainable development goals (A/69/366):

Virginia Dandan (Philippines) was appointed Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is currently an independent specialist on human rights in development, focusing on the application of the normative content of economic, social and cultural rights. Ms. Dandan was a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for twenty years (1990-2010) and served as its Chairperson for eight years (1998-2006). She continues her practise as a professional artist after retiring from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts where she was Dean of the faculty from 2000 to 2006. Ms. Dandan is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Learn more, visit:

Read the Independent Expert’s proposed draft declaration on the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity:

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