Human Rights

One can say that Human Rights are the ultimate goal of Good Governance. They are the fundamental legal basis that actions in favour of Good Governance aim to make possible to durably implement
“The Declaration on the Right to Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986, states that “The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.”
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Amartya Sen has said that, ultimately, development should be a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy, in other words giving them the opportunities and choices that will enable them to take control of their own lives. So it is not a case of talking about people or on their behalf; rather, the role of development policy is to help them articulate and assert their own interests and rights.
Human rights are therefore not only a source of moral legitimation but are the legal basis on which people and their families, their communities, their towns, their countries and the world can find a voice and make it heard.
If human rights are to be realized in full, they must be respected, protected and fulfilled. Responsibility for realizing human rights lies first and foremost with the state. Yet the international community must play its part as well. Civil society and the private sector must also live up to their responsibility for the implementation of these rights.
How to achieve Human Rights?
One key principle is empowerment: people’s ability to organize themselves and thus influence the political environment and institutions in a way that will improve their own lives.
Focusing our development policy more systematically on people’s rights, thus contributing to greater participation and greater equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination
Strengthening transparency and accountability by identifying what concrete duties exist in the development process and who is responsible for them.” (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development)

Fight against corruption

Anti Corruption is probably the principal fight in favour of Good Governance
“Corruption is an ill that afflicts all societies. For a long time it was analysed in terms of the theory of economic rent and its appropriation by public decision makers and agents. Action taken against corruption therefore consisted of lifting all measures that are conducive to the capture of economic rent - trade restrictions, subsidies, price controls, multiple exchange rates, excessively low salaries in the public sector, permits to exploit natural resources, etc. In the light of democratic transition in the countries of Eastern Europe, a conception arose that puts more emphasis on transparency, institutions, budgetary procedures, legal and accounting frameworks. Transparency and anti-corruption action are now targeted under cooperation programmes focusing on support for bodies that exercise democratic oversight (public finance accounting offices, revenue courts, for instance) and for independent publications.
But beyond oversight bodies, rolling back corruption requires active intervention - monitoring the chain of budgetary expenditure, effective collection of revenue, action against money laundering and trafficking in human beings, strict registration and record-keeping regarding births, deaths, marital and family status. This policy must come with means to investigate, accuse and prosecute violators, and with human capacity in accounting procedures. Two complementary approaches must be pursued:
- International convergence, an approach supported by the United Nations Convention against Corruption. This agreement, under discussion in Vienna, will seek to set forth the main criminal charges that come under the heading of corruption. (…)
- National systems to foster integrity that vary according to ethnological and sociological customs and values.
Hasty and indiscriminate transposition of western models incurs the risk of amplifying corruption. Small-scale corruption is often a defence against poverty and faulty governance. For this reason the cause of corruption must be given the utmost attention. In this way certain factors can be identified and exposed: proliferation of political parties and ethnic favouritism; massive privatisation, freezing civil service remuneration that encourages creeping privatisation of public services.
Poor governance is abetted by the following factors : refusal to consider requests to recuperate monies embezzled by leaders, authorisation of fiscal paradises and anonymous bank accounts, allowing debt to be serviced now and again from off-budget resources” (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
“The cost of corruption is four-fold: political, economic, social, and environmental. On the political front, corruption constitutes a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, offices and institutions lose their legitimacy when they are misused for private advantage. Though this is harmful in the established democracies, it is even more so in newly emerging ones. Accountable political leadership can not develop in a corrupt climate. Economically, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth. It is often responsible for the funnelling of scarce public resources to uneconomic high-profile projects, such as dams, power plants, pipelines and refineries, at the expense of less spectacular but more necessary infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of power and water to rural areas. Furthermore, it hinders the development of fair market structures and distorts competition, thereby deterring investment. The effect of corruption on the social fabric of society is the most damaging of all. It undermines people's trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. Frustration and general apathy among a disillusioned public result in a weak civil society. That in turn clears the way for despots as well as democratically elected yet unscrupulous leaders to turn national assets into personal wealth. Demanding and paying bribes become the norm. Those unwilling to comply often emigrate, leaving the country drained of its most able and most honest citizens. Environmental degradation is yet another consequence of corrupt systems. The lack of, or non-enforcement of, environmental regulations and legislation has historically allowed the North to export its polluting industry to the South. At the same time, careless exploitation of natural resources, from timber and minerals to elephants, by both domestic and international agents has led to ravaged natural environments. Environmentally devastating projects are given preference in funding, because they are easy targets for siphoning off public money into private pockets” (Transparency International).

Conflict prevention

Conflict and post-conflict situation are the times where Good Governance is the most vulnerable, assisting countries in such situations is therefore essential to the promotion of sustainable Good Governance
“The phenomena of collapse of government are growing in number, and have repercussions for neighbouring countries, notably due to inflows of refugees and negative impacts on national public politics. The economies, infrastructures and financial resources of these neighbouring countries are strained. Entire regions are affected just as much as are national and local entities.
When a state collapses, armed fighting between factions becomes the main mechanism for dividing up resources, and violence is the only source of power. The enormous ransom to be paid following the collapse of a state, in terms of rebuilding an economy and a society, makes it necessary to devise ways to prevent these tragic regressions.
A preventive approach consists in reinforcing the role of actors in civil society, to augment the durability of social institutions. A broad range of community groups and activities enables communities to establish peace and security, and to resist abuse of power. Another approach focuses on the need to institute administrative structures that are shielded from political interference, and to incorporate suitable control mechanisms into decision-making processes. Impartiality and transparency in the institutions in charge of managing public resources and social services boost state credibility and discourage recourse to violence. Lastly, decentralisation is intended to enable populations to participate directly in decision making, by increasing the number of centres of authority and by helping reduce sources of conflict.
As for reconstruction projects, they must focus on re-establishing a legitimate political authority and on creating a post-conflict administrative structure. The reconstruction process cannot occur without acknowledging the national dynamics of social forces as they realign themselves, and the relationship between the state and the global assistance system that can provide financial resources and technical assistance. The return to peace and establishment of democratic control will be aided by creation of professional military and police forces, proper handling of demobilisation, reinsertion of former combatants into civilian life and creation of a political sphere that is conducive to national reconciliation.
Building peace requires both long-term measures for conflict prevention, and appropriate responses in post-conflict situations. Institution of democracy, respect for human rights, security, reduction of inequality are the pillars of the edifice of peace. By placing great importance on the proper functioning of institutions, and by strengthening cohesion and consensus within society, democratic governance can help avoid or reduce the risk of catastrophe and the worsening of conflict.” (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs)