A/HRC/RES/14/4

Emphasizing that the World Conference on Human Rights agreed to call upon the
international community to make all efforts to help to alleviate the external debt burden of
developing countries in order to supplement the efforts of the Governments of such
countries to attain the full realization of the economic, social and cultural rights of their
people,
Stressing the determination expressed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration
to deal comprehensively and effectively with the debt problems of low- and middle-income
developing countries through various national and international measures designed to make
their debt sustainable in the long term,
Noting with concern that the total external debt of low- and middle-income countries
had risen to 2,983 billion United States dollars by 2006, from 1,951 billion dollars in 1995,
and that, by 2007, the total debt service payments of developing countries had risen to
523 billion dollars, from 220 billion dollars in 1995,
Acknowledging that there is greater acceptance that the increasing debt burden faced
by the most indebted developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, is
unsustainable and constitutes one of the principal obstacles to achieving progress in peoplecentred sustainable development and poverty eradication and that, for many developing
countries and countries with economies in transition, excessive debt servicing has severely
constrained their capacity to promote social development and to provide basic services to
realize economic, social and cultural rights,
Expressing its concern that, despite repeated rescheduling of debt, developing
countries continue to pay out more each year than the actual amount they receive in official
development assistance,
Affirming that debt burden further complicates the numerous problems facing
developing countries, contributes to extreme poverty and is an obstacle to sustainable
human development, and is thus a serious impediment to the realization of all human rights,
1.
Welcomes the report of the independent expert on the effects of foreign debt
and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all
human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights (A/HRC/14/21 and Add.1);
2.
Recalls the proposed elements for a conceptual framework for understanding
the relationship between foreign debt and human rights, and encourages the independent
expert to continue to develop them with a view to addressing the debt crisis in a just,
equitable and sustainable manner;
3.
Welcomes the areas of focus identified by the independent expert for the
period 2009–2010, in particular the development of the draft general guidelines on foreign
debt and human rights and the issue of illegitimate debt, and in that regard requests the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to assist
the independent expert in the organization and holding of regional consultations on these
issues, including through the allocation of sufficient budgetary resources;
4.
Also welcomes the convening of regional consultations on the draft general
guidelines on foreign debt and human rights, in June 2010 and March 2011, to obtain views
on the form and content of the guidelines with a view to improving them, and encourages
the widest possible participation of States and stakeholders from the public sector, the
private sector, civil society and academia;
5.
Recalls that every State has the primary responsibility to promote the
economic, social and cultural development of its people and, to that end, has the right and
responsibility to choose its means and goals of development and should not be subject to
external specific prescriptions for economic policy;

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