Press release

8 Nov 2022

OHCHR and ESCWA hold a regional seminar on “The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of all Human Rights”

Beirut, 8 November 2022 – The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) today kicked off a two-day seminar on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights in Arabic-speaking countries.

The seminar, held at the UN House in Beirut, is part of a series of regional seminars - one for each of the five world regions - conducted before the fifty-third session of the Human Rights Council.

In his speech, Mr. Saadeh Al Shami, Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon, highlighted the dire socioeconomic crisis in the country and its ramifications. “The more we delay reforms, the higher the cost will be, and the more intractable our problems will become,” he warned, adding that “when political and sectarian immunity prohibits accountability, human rights are severely impaired”.

Representatives from UN agencies, regional and international organizations, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations discussed the challenges and gaps that impede the contribution of development to the enjoyment of human rights, and shared best practice and experiences to tackle impediments.

In a recorded message, Mr. Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, said that the international community had adopted a social contract affirming that human rights, peace and security, and development were interrelated and interdependent.

For her part, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif stressed that collective commitment, political will and concerted action were required to face global challenges such as the climate emergency, the fuel and food crises and armed conflicts.

Participants also highlighted the importance of international cooperation for sustainable development as it promotes and protects human rights, contributes to ending poverty and creates opportunities for youth.

Mr. Tarik Alami, Lead of the Governance and Conflict Prevention Cluster at ESCWA, affirmed that the right to development was an inalienable right of every human being that increased the capabilities of individuals through freedom of opinion and expression, and expanded their choices. “We need to integrate the right to development with other rights, such as the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, to food, and to water and sanitation, especially in our region, which is increasingly struggling to achieve water and food security with the increasing effects of climate change,” he added.

A report of the five regional seminars will be presented at the fifty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council.



One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.


For more information:

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email:

- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email:

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