To some extent, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was a politically motivated response to the realities of the Cold War. Many countries in the world were caught up between the confrontations that raged between America and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. The two powerful nations sought to influence the type of governments and administrative policies that would take root in the different countries caught up in the conflict.
The two countries funded armed conflict in different countries in trying to position their favorites to control the different governments. The ICESCR came into effect to ensure that all nations recognized the rights of other nations, especially those previously under colonial rule, to pursue self-determination. Thus, events of the Cold War were directly interfering with the different nations’ ability to organize their governments, forcing political intervention in the ensuing confrontation.
The push for self-determination was political; however, ICESCR also came into effect to address other social issues that continued to be a challenge on the global scene. The covenant recognized the right of people to work under safe and fair conditions, the right to universal social security, and the rights to education, food, shelter, and health care, among other rights. Thus, social, economic, and cultural motives were also reflected in the agreement and communicated to the signing countries.