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In accordance with its commitment as a responsible member of the European Union and the international community, the coalition agreement of the Luxembourgish government (2018-2023) reiterates the importance it places in its external action on protecting the values of freedom, peace and security, democracy, respect for human rights and dignity, solidarity, tolerance, pluralism and equality. These principles and commitments are reflected in Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation general strategy, the main aim of which is to contribute to the reduction and, in the long term, eradication of extreme poverty by supporting sustainable development in the economic, social and environmental spheres.

In support of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in association with the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’, the strategy establishes the promotion of and respect for human rights as a cross-cutting priority of Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation. Alongside gender equality and environmental sustainability, these three cross-cutting priorities are systematically incorporated into Luxembourg’s development cooperation and humanitarian action interventions.

Luxembourg’s humanitarian action is guided by the principles and good practice of humanitarian action (good humanitarian donorship) in accordance with the international principles for predictable and flexible aid and the promotion of respect for international humanitarian law.

The action of Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation in favour of the promotion of and respect for human rights is structured using a multi-level rationale and instruments, both multilateral and international forums and through support for projects and programmes in its partner countries. In 2020, initiatives were carried out there as part of its bilateral and multilateral action and also in support of non-governmental organisations and civil society in the broad sense. This latter aspect included initiatives in Luxembourg through awareness-raising and development education. Nationally, and with regard to the private sector, it should also be noted that Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation fully subscribes to the implementation of the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights. In this context, Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation now makes its support for private actors expressly conditional on their formal commitment to respect human rights.

In its partner countries and in line with its aim to contribute to the strengthening of access to and the supply of high-quality basic social services, particularly to the most vulnerable and marginalised groups, in 2020 Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation continued its bilateral and multilateral support to projects and programmes that prioritise, first and foremost, the defence of and respect for children’s rights and the rights of women and girls, including through support for health and sexual and reproductive rights.

The promotion of inclusive governance at all levels is one of the four thematic priorities of Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation. In view of the deterioration observed in expression and participation in civil society, particularly in the Sahel, Central America and South-East Asia, Luxembourg’s development cooperation action has strengthened support, in its programmes and projects, for respect for the rule of law and access to justice as well as support for the emergence of more efficient and more accountable public institutions. Alongside these actions Luxembourg is continuing its support to Luxembourgish and international NGOs to promote civil society participation in decision-making processes with a view to facilitating, in the long term, the establishment of a truly inclusive and rights-based environment.