Policy & Practice - A Development Education Review



Development Education and Human Rights
Autumn 2017

Guest Editorial: Development Education and Human Rights: Informing Research, Policy and Practice

Brian Ruane

In his 2017 address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States (US) President Donald Trump asserted the dominance of national sovereignty over international collaboration, national self-interest over global solidarity and threats of aggression over diplomacy.  While international institutions such as the United Nations (UN) are undoubtedly flawed, they are also underpinned by core values of solidarity, justice and hope for a shared future.  The irony of an American president undermining global institutions in the country in which they were first conceptualised and nurtured, therefore, is matched by dismay at the betrayal of values.  Deeply symptomatic of the extent to which we are currently witnessing a worldwide retreat into nationalism, a resurgence of racist discourses and the enactment of policies rooted in xenophobia, the address serves as a reminder that the limited progress in terms of global accountability and solidarity achieved since the foundation of the United Nations and the values of respect for human dignity and universal rights that found expression in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) cannot be taken for granted.  That this is occurring at a time when we are facing the existential threat of climate change, with associated conflict, forced migration and exacerbated global poverty and inequality, gives critical urgency to the ideas and actions addressed in this issue of Policy & Practice.

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