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UN expert on right to development visits Switzerland


GENEVA (19 September 2019) – UN Special Rapporteur Saad Alfarargi will visit Switzerland from 23 September to 2 October 2019 to assess the country’s efforts to integrate the right to development into its policies.

“I am looking forward to meeting Government representatives and others working towards implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and promoting the realisation of the right to development, and I will aim to identify remaining challenges with a view to making recommendations,” said Alfarargi.

This is the second country visit by the UN expert on the right to development since the mandate was established. Alfarargi will also examine how the Government promotes and guarantees effective popular participation and accountability during the development process.

“I look forward to learning more about Switzerland’s policies on development cooperation and how they affect the advancement of human rights in relation to the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development,” he said.

The UN expert said he aimed to help the Government strengthen its legislation, policies and practices to address inequalities, including those based on gender and social status.

Alfarargi will meet public officials, international development workers and representatives of civil society in Bern, Biel/Bienne, Lugano and Zug.

The Special Rapporteur will present his preliminary findings at a press conference on 2 October 2019 at 14:30 local time at Hotel Ador in Bern.

He will submit a report on his visit to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2020.


Mr. Saad Alfarargi (Egypt) was designated as the first Special Rapporteur on the right to development by the Human Rights Council in 2017. Mr. Alfarargi served as Ambassador and Permanent Observer of League of Arab States to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva (1998-2012), Regional Director for Arab States, Assistant Administrator, UNDP, New York(1995-1997), Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Chief of the President’s Office for Economic Affairs, Cairo(1992-1995), Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva. He holds BSc.and MSc. degrees in Political Science from Cairo University, and has conducted post graduate studies in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Proceduresof the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organisation. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, country page — Switzerland

For further information and media inquiries during the visit please contact: Antoanela Pavlova (+41 22 917 93 31 / apavlova@ohchr.org) or write to srdevelopment@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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