Lofty thoughts dominate development rights meet

Kathmandu, October 16:

The sustainability of democracy depends on socio-economic justice and the economic and social rights were the instruments of socio-economic justice, said Kedar Nath Upadhyay, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.

Inaugurating the fifth winter residential school on economic, social and development rights and good governance organised by Kathmandu School of Law in collaboration with South Asian Law Schools’ Forum for Human Rights, Upadhyay said those rights were, however, not easily achievable. “Securing cultural, social and economic rights also helps to improve the quality of human life but it is difficult to achieve,” he said, adding that socio-economic rights could be secured only by securing basic civic rights like right to health and free education.

Prof Zakir Hossain, Dean of Chittagong University, Bangla-desh, said there was a great economic disparity between the developed countries and developing countries. He said, “UN University reported that the economic gap between developed and developing countries was 170th times in 2005 and the rich-poor gap is even higher at the national levels in developing countries.”

He said South Asian countries were rich in traditions but very poor in overnance. “Therefore, we have invited people to suggest ways for good governance during this three-week long programme,” he said. Bishwo Kant Mainali, president of Nepal Bar Association, said economic,

social and development rights and good governance were the demands of time. He said,

“These rights are indivisible rights in both capitalist and socialist countries.” Expecting concrete output from the workshop, he said, “Nepal is in the process of making a new constitution and the workshop will provide some valuable inputs for it.”

Fifty people including university professors, legal experts, human right activists, teachers and students from South Asia, the Asia Pacific and Europe are participating in the workshop.