A group of distinguished experts in international law, convened by the International Commission of Jurists, the Faculty of Law of the University of Limburg (Maastricht, the Netherlands) and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights (University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA), met in Maastricht from 2 to 6 June 1986 to consider the nature and scope of the obligations of States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the considered of States parties' reports by the newly constituted Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international cooperation under Part IV of the Covenant.

The participants unanimously agreed on what have become known as the Limburg Principles, which they believe reflect the present state of international law. At a meeting on the tenth anniversary of the Limburg Principles, a similar group of experts agreed on the Maastricht Guidelines on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.