Issue of Human Rights

Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Economic Development, has called on the member states of the Organisation of American States, OAS, to take a broader view of the issue of Human Rights.

Minister Gonsalves made the call as he addressed the plenary of the 47th General Assembly of the OAS, held last week in CancĂșn, Mexico.

He said St. Vincent and the Grenadines notes with concern a concerted attempt to use the pursuit of human rights within the hemisphere in a manner that seems destined to produce nakedly political outcomes, whether by design or as the unintended consequence of well-meaning activism.

Minister Gonsalves also noted that the more prosperous the advocate, the more narrowly it defines human rights and the sub-groups that merit its attention.

But he stressed that the definition of Human Rights is necessarily broader for peoples for whom the right to education, the right to housing, the right to decent work, the right to health, the right to safety, and the right not be rendered stateless are still urgent and immediate issues.

He express the hope that the OAS would that the OAS would confront human rights: not as a box to check, or a matter to be confronted in isolated and selective silos, but as a crosscutting and multifaceted ideal, rooted in development.