Legacies of Colonialism, Patriarchy, Neoliberalism Impede Access to Food, Water, Health Care for World’s Poor, Third Committee Hears as COVID 19 Exposes Gaps
‘There Is Still Time to Correct Mistakes,’ Says Special Rapporteur on Right to Safe Drinking Water
The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) continued its debate on human rights today, holding a series of dialogues with United Nations experts who called for a definitive break with exploitative systems that have left the world’s poorest without safe drinking water and healthy food, and struggling to avoid hazardous waste discharged by companies unconcerned by the planetary impact of their operations.
Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, explained that inequality is defined by less social mobility, a pattern economists call the "Great Gatsby" curve, as it discourages households from investing in education, creating an "aspirations gap". The more inequalities are left unchallenged, the less children born in low‑income households dare to imagine a different future for themselves. In the United States, for example, children who experienced poverty during childhood were more than three times as likely to be poor at age 30 than those who were never poor. In Brazil, Colombia or South Africa, this would take up to nine or even more generations.
He rejected the false belief that children raised in low‑income families face a disadvantage that cannot be overcome. Programmes supporting parental engagement can buffer the chronic stress of deprivation, he said, calling for addressing "povertyism" with the same energy used to combat racism or sexism.
In the ensuing dialogue, Cameroon’s representative ‑ stressing that extreme poverty means “fighting for life every day” ‑ warned the gap between rich and poor is widening within and between countries. Emphasizing that extreme poverty hinders access to health care, housing and education, the representative of Côte d'Ivoire pointed to his country’s investments in health care and social housing, and a decision to make education mandatory and free for children aged 6 to 16. Meanwhile, China’s representative expressed concern that 40 million people in the United States and 14 million in the United Kingdom struggle in worrying conditions.
Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, drew attention to the neoliberal vision, under which water is managed as a commodity, promoting privatization, commodification and even financialization strategies that have turned the 2.2 billion people who lack guaranteed access into “impoverished clients”. Water is being traded on Wall Street futures markets, under the rule of speculative strategies. “There is still time to correct mistakes and avoid reckless strategies,” he said.
Later in the day, David R. Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, warned that today’s food systems are major drivers of the global environmental crisis, contributing to biodiversity loss, soil degradation, water depletion and the risk that zoonotic diseases spill from wildlife and livestock into humans. “Today’s food systems exploit millions of workers, undermine the health of billions of people and inflict trillions of dollars in environmental damages”, he emphasized, adding that the right to a healthy environment and the right to food can serve as catalysts for systemic change.
“Patriarchal oppression is universal, permeates all societies and is at the very origin of the erosion of autonomy,” including over sexual and reproductive health rights, said Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Discrimination persists through laws and practices that represent a direct legacy from colonial regimes, she said, pointing to the criminalization of identity and consensual adult same‑sex acts.
Rounding out the day, Marcos A. Orellana, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, put the Committee on guard that “plastics represent a global threat to human rights”. Noting that large‑scale manufacturing of plastics started in the 1950s at a rate of 2 million tons per year, he said production today has reached 415 million tons - a figure projected to quadruple by 2050.
He urged Governments to negotiate an international legally binding instrument that addresses the entire plastics cycle from a human rights perspective, pressing businesses to clean up existing plastic pollution, pay reparations and ensure their products no longer damage the planet.
The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 21 October, to continue its consideration of human rights.
Interactive Dialogues – Extreme Poverty
OLIVIER DE SCHUTTER, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, underlined that children born in disadvantaged families are most likely to live in poverty as adults. In the United States, children who experienced poverty at any point during childhood were more than three times as likely to be poor at age 30 than those who were never poor. In Nordic countries, it would take at least four generations for those born in low‑income households to reach the mean income in their society. In Brazil, Colombia or South Africa, this would take up to nine or even more generations. Noting that the mechanisms through which poverty is perpetuated are now well understood, he said children born in poor families have less access to health care, decent housing and quality education, with limited access to social networks and extracurricular activities. As a result, their life chances are significantly lessened: as adults, they will have fewer employment opportunities, he explained.
He rejected the false belief that children raised in low‑income families face a disadvantage that cannot be overcome, due to a lifelong impact ‑ including on the brain development of the child ‑ that results from being born poor. In fact, this impact is not inevitable and can be reversed: paediatricians have shown that programmes supporting parental engagement and relational health can buffer the chronic stress of poverty. He also opposed the belief that inequality should be tolerated ‑ at least to a certain degree - because it is an incentive that encourages people to work harder. Inequality means less social mobility, not more, a pattern that economists refer to as the "Great Gatsby" curve, which correlates inequality with low social mobility. Explaining that inequality discourages households from investing in education and creates an "aspirations gap", he said the more inequalities are unchallenged, the less children born in low‑income households will even dare to imagine a different future for themselves. Turning to the belief that there is not enough money to combat child poverty, he stressed that “remaining passive is not only morally unconscionable; it also imposes huge costs on society”. In the United States, child poverty costs over $1 trillion annually, or 5.4 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), but for each $1 invested on reducing child poverty, $7 would be spared.
He drew attention to economist James J. Heckman, who argues that “the highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families". Stressing the need to address "povertyism" with the same energy deployed to combat racism or sexism, he emphasized that employers should not be allowed to reject job applicants based on where they live or on the reputation of the schools the candidate attended. Schools should not be allowed to penalize students who cannot buy teaching materials or lack access to Internet. “By investing in early childhood education and care, by ensuring schools are truly inclusive, and by supporting young adults through a basic income guarantee, the cycles perpetuating poverty can be broken”, he asserted. When the floor opened for questions and comments, the representative of Luxembourg welcomed the report’s focus on the specific needs of children, noting that his country aims to compensate for inequality and contribute to social cohesion. Drawing attention to corruption in the field of health care, he asked for recommendations on addressing practices that obstruct socioeconomic mobility, and about whether the economic interests of private investors represent a risk to human rights.
Extreme poverty means “fighting for life every day,” stressed the representative of Cameroon, who said the gap between rich and poor is widening within and between countries. Noting that the number of Cameroonian households with access to drinking water has risen by 15 per cent, she clarified that poverty is not the result of laziness or a lack of self‑control. She asked about measures for addressing the needs of the poorest in rich countries, especially migrants and people of African descent. On a related point, the representative of the Russian Federation said universal respect for the right to development is essential for resolving the problem of poverty. He called for international cooperation based on respect for sovereignty and non‑interference in States’ internal affairs. To end extreme poverty, the Russian Federation has launched several projects, notably to support families with children.
There were several calls to end the cycle of extreme poverty, with the representative of Côte d'Ivoire emphasizing that it hinders access to health care, housing and education, and reduces human dignity. He drew attention to his country’s investments in health care and social housing, and decision to make education mandatory and free for children aged 6 to 16, adding that the school rate now stands at 91 per cent (2020). Meanwhile, the representative of China expressed concern that 40 million people in the United States live in poverty and that 14 million in the United Kingdom struggle in worrying conditions. He asked about how to resolve the problem of injustice in these countries.
Also speaking were representatives of France, Algeria, Morocco as well as an observer for the European Union.
Mr. DE SCHUTTER, responding, highlighted his priority to cover poverty in every world region. “Poverty is not the same in Brussels as it is in Kampala”, he said. Yet, the experience of social exclusion and discrimination resonates in the same way. Turning to the pandemic’s impact on inequality, he said short‑term measures were not always “brilliantly planned” and did not protect people from poverty. For example, people in poverty do not have Internet access and cannot complete or submit the online forms needed to obtain social payments or social protections that would prevent them from falling into poverty. They also experienced institutional violence and discrimination from the social services themselves, when children were removed from their families. He proposed the establishment of a global social protection fund, which would support State efforts to expand social protection systems. This idea ‑ which is outlined in the Secretary General’s report and is now being approved at the International Labour Organization (ILO) International Labour Conference ‑ aims to support countries that commit to developing social protection systems, rather than be financed by tax payers and wealthy countries.
TLALENG MOFOKENG, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, introducing her report (document A/76/172), said it focuses on sexual and reproductive health rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Describing herself as “a person who embodies many characteristics that lead to prejudice and discrimination, a Black woman from South Africa who has herself experienced apartheid,” she said she prepared the report using an anti‑racism and non‑discrimination approach to the right to health. As a practicing medical doctor, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health, she views her work as a way to defend the human rights of those affected by structural inequalities and intersectional forms of discrimination.
Many obstacles stand between individuals and their enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health rights globally, she said. Some have their roots in patriarchy and colonialism, and others relate to structural and systemic inequalities, resulting in different access to the social determinants of health between and within countries, she said, noting that “patriarchal oppression is universal, permeates all societies and is at the very origin of the erosion of autonomy”. It seeks to control girls’ and women’s bodies and sexuality to the detriment of their enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights. “Colonialism enables the patriarchal control of sexuality and expression of gender‑diverse people”, she continued. Discrimination persists through laws, policies and practices that represent a direct legacy from former colonial regimes ‑ such as the criminalization of identity and consensual adult same‑sex acts.
There is no doubt that the COVID‑19 pandemic has further thwarted the realization of sexual and reproductive health rights, she said, as pandemic‑related measures have seriously impacted the availability and quality of sexual and reproductive health services. “The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that 12 million women have lost access to contraception, leading to 1.4 million unintended pregnancies”, she observed. As for safe abortion and emergency contraception, some States have created more legal and service‑related barriers and have sought to thwart this aspect of the right to health. Stressing that many national responses to COVID‑19 demanded policy changes, she said that in some regions, this has resulted in the delivery of health care while upholding human rights. As policy changes during emergencies often become incorporated in long‑standing, non‑emergency law, it is critical that these changes be examined during this pandemic for their impact on equality and the equitable access to sexual and reproductive health rights in the future.
When the floor opened for comments and questions, delegates took to the floor to highlight national initiatives in the field of women’s health care, with the representative of Egypt noting several laws to provide legal protection for women against violence, including harassment and female genital mutilation. Access to abortion may be granted in certain cases to save the life of the pregnant woman, he added. The representative of Qatar said his country’s rapid response to the pandemic included a flexible approach to address all health care needs for women, especially those who were pregnant, who had medicine delivered to their homes during the lockdown. The representative of China said his country provided more than 200 countries and territories with COVID‑19 response supplies, while the representative of Algeria drew attention to a national programme to reduce maternal death.
An observer for the European Union meanwhile asked how digital health opportunities can be used in the context of the right to health. The representative of Brazil asked the Special Rapporteur for her views on how to improve COVID‑19 vaccination distribution. The representative of the Russian Federation, noting that the report focuses on the consequences of colonialism on sexual and reproductive health, said it is unclear what the consequences on health care are and asked the Special Rapporteur to clarify.
The representatives of Cuba, Austria, Morocco, Ukraine and Luxembourg also spoke.
Ms. MOFOKENG, responding, said sexual and reproductive health is a human right grounded in internationally legally binding instruments. Everyone is entitled to a range of quality sexual and reproductive health care. “The right to health cannot be operationalized if we exclude certain groups of society just because we do not like who they are”, she said. To the question on colonialism, she said colonialism creates racial hierarchies. For example, racism was legalized in her country, and its impact can be seen in the public health system. She pointed out that COVID-19 severely impacts individuals with comorbidities ‑ in particular, indigenous peoples, people of African descent and minorities ‑ who live in areas with lead pollution, making them more susceptible to health challenges and even death from COVID-19. The causes must be examined, she said, stressing that the disproportionate impact on health outcomes has been compounded by systems of oppression.
On digital health, she said that even in communities where the Internet is available, it is mostly the boy child who has access. Noting that gender‑based violence can replicate and find itself expressed online, she said Governments should make plans to upscale the use of digital health, while at the same time, offering protections of privacy and for the avoidance of violence. To questions about aid for the global South, she said “humanitarian and philanthropic aid is often riddled with an agenda to advance foreign policy”. It often comes with clauses that are in contradiction with sexual and reproductive rights, including access to abortion. Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation
PEDRO ARROJO‑AGUDO, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, presenting his report (document A/76/159), said water is one of the key elements of life, which is why it has traditionally been considered a common good. However, he cited the neoliberal vision, under which water must be managed as a commodity, promoting strategies of privatization, commodification and even financialization that transform people into mere clients, turning the 2.2 billion people without guaranteed access into “impoverished clients”, he said. The commodification of water leads to its valuation as a simple economic good, he explained, and though it remains a formally public good, water trading markets buy and sell concessions for use, favouring its private appropriation.
He expressed concern over news that water is now being traded on Wall Street futures markets, under the rule of speculative strategies. The arguments used at the beginning of the century to speculate on food are similar to those used today for water in the face of climate change. Yet when the housing bubble was about to burst in 2008, he noted the same banks responsible for the crisis that were rescued with taxpayers' money invested billions of dollars in food futures, doubling and tripling food commodity prices in a few months, pushing 150 million people into hunger and extreme poverty.
If those speculative dynamics of futures markets were to have an impact on the price of water in the ground ‑ as was the case with food - these costs would be passed on to water tariffs, he said, increasing the risk of non‑payment and water cuts for the most impoverished. He emphasized that speculative strategies working in opaque and poorly regulated spaces lead to commodity price hikes, volatility and speculative bubbles, violating the human rights of the poorest and disturbing productive development. Despite claims of a “financing gap” for water, sanitation and hygiene investments, he noted significant post-pandemic public funds are available for the so-called “Green New Deal”. The key is to decide whether a significant percentage is allocated to strengthen public health systems, including water and sanitation as the cornerstone of public health. “We face, first and foremost, a global democratic challenge,” he said. Noting his report recommendations include addressing the risks climate change imposes on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, and recognizing water as a public good, he stressed “there is still time to correct mistakes and avoid reckless strategies.”
When the floor opened for questions and comments, delegates noted the primacy of water security as a human right. The representative of Egypt shared the Special Rapporteur’s view that commodification prioritizes financial interests over the value of water as the support for life, livelihoods and food security. He asked for views on the follow‑up of Mr. Arrojo‑Agudo’s predecessor’s critical report. Syria’s delegate cited Turkey’s aggressions in cutting off water supplies 27 times and making facilities unusable, asking for information on countries experiencing water scarcities and increasingly considerable drought seasons.
An observer for the European Union, noting women and girls are particularly affected by scarcity, asked for clarity on which areas are suitable for public-private partnerships, and about the democratic process for dealing with water issues. Meanwhile, the Russian Federation’s delegate noted that this time, the report featured strong specific and implementable proposals for tariffication of water and sanitation provision. However, the report once again disregards the water blockade of Crimea, an egregious violation by Ukraine since 2014.
Ukraine’s delegate noted that under international humanitarian law, the occupying Power bears full responsibility for the water supply in a temporarily occupied territory and must provide its people with all necessary resources. The representative of Algeria asked if privatization shows its limitations, what are the other alternatives. Turkey’s delegate said the country approaches water solely from a humanitarian perspective.
Mr. ARROJO‑AGUDO, replying to the representatives of Egypt, Syria, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and others, said the problem of water in conflict situations is one of main issues he wants to address in his mandate. Water is used as an argument for peace, but also can be employed as an element in strategies of war. Countries in Africa and the Middle East are concerned over water scarcity, he noted, in arid or semi‑arid territories experiencing climate change. Climate change must be assumed by the international community as one that “we have provoked”. Recalling that 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, he said many are impoverished and living close to a polluted river or ecosystem. It is therefore crucial to recover the health of aquatic ecosystems, investing in recovery of the “natural engineering” in the water cycle ‑ the most cost‑effective investment.
Addressing representatives of the European Union, Slovenia, Germany and Spain, he said Europe has shown strong leadership on climate change, but new drinking water directives offer the opportunity to recognize the clear human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Not enough discussion on climate change includes its relationship to water issues, he emphasized, and after the richest countries adopted austerity strategies, they must now strengthen public health systems with water and sanitation as their cornerstone. Europe can take the lead in solving the “financial gap”, he added.
The representatives of Slovenia, Germany, China, Spain, Ethiopia, Morocco and Armenia and also spoke.
Human Rights and the Environment
DAVID R. BOYD, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said his report examines the human rights implications of the massive environmental degradation inflicted by today’s food systems, focusing on industrial food production, in particular. “Today’s food systems are major drivers of the global environmental crisis, contributing to the climate emergency, biodiversity loss, pervasive pollution, soil degradation, water depletion and the rising risk of zoonotic diseases that spill over from wildlife and livestock into humans”, he warned. Food systems are responsible for 70 per cent of freshwater use globally and produce one‑quarter to one‑third of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Court decisions from every region have determined that unsustainable food production practices violate the right to a healthy environment, he said. Examples of activities halted by courts include intensive livestock operations in Mexico, shrimp aquaculture in sensitive coastal ecosystems in India, bottom trawl fishing in Costa Rica and burning peatlands for palm oil plantations in Indonesia. In 2020, the Inter‑American Court ruled that indigenous peoples’ right to a healthy environment had been violated by unregulated cattle ranching.
He said the devastating environmental effects of industrial food systems on the enjoyment of a wide range of human rights means that States must apply a rights‑based approach to all food and environment‑related laws, policies and actions. “Today’s food systems exploit millions of workers, undermine the health of billions of people and inflict trillions of dollars in environmental damages”, he observed, adding that the right to a healthy environment and the right to food can serve as catalysts for systemic changes that are urgently needed.
When the floor opened for questions and comments, the representative of Luxembourg asked the Special Rapporteur about recommended measures to strengthen children’s participation in solutions that guarantee a safe and sustainable environment for every child. Drawing attention to reforestation projects, the representative of China said his country is ready to work with all parties towards an equitable global environmental governance structure and harmonious coexistence between man and nature. The representative of Eritrea said his country is among the most vulnerable to climate change, due to its geographic location. Echoing the Special Rapporteur’s assessment that industrial food systems require transformation, he asked how to achieve a sustainable balance between food production and consumption, while cautioning against shortage.
Meanwhile, the representative of Ukraine drew attention to environmental development in his country’s Donbas region, noting that as a result of the Russian occupation, radiation has contaminated ground waters and spread into neighbouring regions. He expressed deep concern over the Russian Federation’s failure to meet its international humanitarian law obligations to guarantee necessary resources, including water, to the population.
The representative of Brazil questioned the concept of “sustainable food”, noting that what is important is the sustainability of production, distribution and consumption systems, rather than the food product itself. The concept of “sustainable food” can lead to an assumption that some foods are unsustainable, she asserted.
Also speaking were representatives of the Russian Federation, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Maldives, United States, Slovenia, Algeria, France, Italy, and Cuba, as well as an observer for the European Union.
MR. BOYD, responding, highlighted the importance of incorporating the voices of young people into decision‑making. He raised the possibility of lowering the voting age to 16, establishing youth parliaments and engaging children and youth in finding solutions. Institutions also should open their door to young people, inviting them to sit on advisory panels and be present in courtrooms.
On pursuing rights‑based approaches, he said more countries should incorporate the rights to a healthy environment and to food into their constitutions. He also suggested increasing support for small holders and farmers, as 60 per cent of farmers in the United States receive no Government support. More generally, he stressed the importance of halting deforestation as forests help to address climate change, foster biodiversity and reduce the risk of zoonotic disease pandemics. He also called for the complete elimination of hazardous pesticides, as they are implicated in thousands of deaths every year. On the phrase “sustainable food”, he stressed it is not a new concept, citing its definition as food with low environmental impact and which protects biodiversity and ecosystems.
Hazardous Substances, Wastes
MARCOS A. ORELLANA, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, presenting his report (document A/76/207), said the planet is polluted by plastics containing chemicals that are seriously harmful to people and the environment. “We all eat, drink and breathe plastics every day,” he said. “The reality is that plastics remain in the environment for centuries.” Stressing that the hazardous chemicals added to plastics aggravate the toxification of the planet, he said the ability of present and future generations to enjoy a toxic‑free environment is now compromised. “Plastics represent a global threat to human rights,” he stressed.
The report demonstrates how plastics, microplastics and their toxic additives cause damage to human rights and the environment, he said. The large‑scale manufacturing of plastics started in the 1950s, at a rate of 2 million tons per year. Today, annual production has reached 415 million tons, a figure projected to quadruple by 2050. “By then, scientists estimate there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans”, he warned. When disposed of in landfills, plastics leach toxic chemicals into the soil and groundwater. When mismanaged, they pollute land, waterways and the oceans. This lamentable state of affairs is incompatible with the right of everyone to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment, he observed.
He went on to stress that extraction of the fossil fuels used in plastic production often leads to widespread land pollution, which especially affects indigenous peoples, while the manufacturing of plastics emits toxic pollutants that impair the health of workers. Meanwhile, the mismanagement of waste causes serious environmental injustices, particularly for coastal communities and people living in poverty “flooded by tides of waste plastic”. The only way to respond is to transition to a chemically safe, circular economy that addresses all stages of the plastics cycle and is guided by human rights principles. A human rights‑based approach calls for plastics policies that align with scientific evidence; centre on principles of non‑discrimination, accountability and informed participation; and pay special attention to the needs of people in vulnerable situations. He urged Governments to negotiate an international legally binding instrument that addresses the entire cycle of plastics from a human rights perspective, and called on businesses to clean up existing plastic pollution, pay reparations for harm, and ensure their products no longer damage the planet.
As the floor opened for questions and comments, the Russian Federation’s representative noted there has been much discussion of problems but little on human rights, the focus of the Third Committee. The representative of Portugal, asked MR. ORELLANA to elaborate on the ocean cycle and how a new international instrument could address the human rights element. The representative of the European Union, noting the bloc has adopted a plastics strategy to reduce waste, asked about best practices for a chemically safe circular economy.
Syria’s delegate cited militia groups stealing crude oil from the northeastern region of the country, smuggled to neighbouring countries and their primitive refineries. She asked about the current and future negative impacts of such devastating practices, and feasible steps to mitigate them.
The representative of China expressed concern over Japan’s release of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear contaminated water into the sea and its irresponsible decision to speed that process without consultation or transparency. She called on MR. ORELLANA to pay special attention to the issue. Japan’s delegate said the water released complies with regulatory standards, cannot be construed as contaminated or toxic waste, stressing that the country provided the international community with information in a transparent manner.
Responding, MR. ORELLANA said the comments by representatives of Syria, China and Japan do not directly concern the plastics issue and deferred.
Addressing the Russian Federation’s delegate on the human rights‑based approach addressed in the report, he said the international community does not have adequate information of the impacts of plastics on people. Pointing to the myriad toxic additives and the question of who produces polymers and what kinds, he emphasized the further need for that information to prevent contamination, and attribute responsibility in cases of harm. He noted that pollution on fence‑line communities ‑ to the benefit of corporations - is incompatible with a rights based approach. While 20 producers of polymers worldwide are behind 90 per cent of the global production, virtually every country is involved, and solutions can be tailored and targeted.
Responding to Portugal’s delegate, he noted the global plastics crisis is not just one of waste, as solving marine waste requires going upstream to sources, preventing waste and the impact of plastics in the entire cycle. He stressed that thousands of toxic chemical additives disrupt the endocrine system, especially in children but also adults ‑ male sperm counts have declined by 60 per cent since 1973 and will be close to zero by 2045. Product design must ensure toxins are not included from the start, he said. It is also crucial to assess false and misleading solutions in recycling, which address only 9 or 10 per cent of waste and which are used as a disinformation tactic deliberately spread by the plastics industry. Products need to actually be recyclable, he stressed, not just simply result in concentrated toxins through poor recycling or incineration. He noted there are microplastics on the peak of Mount Everest and at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. In the end, this is a problem of global justice, he said, requiring negotiation of a new international instrument on a human rights‑based approach.