Common Article 1 of the two 1966 international covenants on human rights, 「International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights」(hereinafter referred to as “Social Rights Covenant”) and 「International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights」(hereinafter referred to as “Civil Rights Covenant”), in which all paragraphs of both articles are exactly same, provides protection of the so-called right of self-determination. Traditionally, the right of self-determination under international law has been discussed and understood to mean peoples’ rights of political independence closely linked with the idea of decolonization. Article 1 of the 「Civil Rights Covenant」 has generally been recognized as providing the right of self-determination in this political aspect.
Unliked the above mentioned classical right of self-determination under the 「Civil Rights Covenant」, the right of self-determination in the Article 1 of the 「Social Rights Covenant」 has recently been interpreted to mean economic, social and cultural aspects. Accordingly, the precise meanings and details of the rights of self-determination in the common Article 1, I think, should be differently understood and interpreted. However, the right of self-determination in the Article 1 of the 「Social Rights Covenant」, namely economic, social and cultural right of self-determination, has not been sufficiently and systematically analyzed. Consequently, the legal meaning, status and details of the right of self-determination in the Article 1 of the 「Social Rights Covenant」 still remain ambiguous and vague.
This paper, based on this recognition, discussed what the meaning and details of the right of self-determination in economic, social and cultural aspects are as well as what its legal status is, with special reference to the right to development which has recently been discussed as the core of the economic, social and cultural right of self-determination in the Article 1 of the 「Social Rights Covenant」. To conclude, the author suggests the party states of the covenant including Korea, as the substantial responsible bodies, take appropriate and effective national measures to protect the right to development which is allegedly the core of the right self-determination in the Article 1 of the 「Social Rights Covenant」.