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Home > Press releases
07-09-04 // 21:11h

HÉCTOR GROS (URUGUAY): UNIVERSALITY DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MONOLITHIC NOR IMPERIALISTIC


The former Uruguayan Foreign Affairs Minister focused on the fact that it is not possible to speak about Human Rights when there is no food, nor health, nor education


Héctor Gros Espiell, former Uruguayan Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out today in the Dialogue "New Ignorances, New Literacies. Learning to live Together in a Globalizing World", that "universality does not have to be monolithic nor imperialistic, because without diversity there is no true universality."

Taking part this afternoon on the panel "Appearance or reappearance of discriminations. Towards education on Human Rights in the 21st century", the Emeritus Professor from the Universidad de la República, in Uruguay, posed a question asking if it is possible to speak of human rights in the absence of food, labor conditions and mechanisms to safeguard health. In his speech he pointed out that "cultural discrimination forces a policy from all states to avoid discrimination from being an element of negative distinction between people".

He also went on to say that we should not reduce the fight against discrimination to a national or international level because "these have a reciprocal action, and an exclusive approach from one of the perspectives, international or national, is a mistake."

Vivit Muntarbhorn, United Nations special rapporteur for Human Rights in the Democratic Popular Republic of Korea, talked about the changing form of discriminations and mentioned various examples of discrimination through genetic identity, sexual inclination and access to technologies. In his intervention he indicated that "on the one hand, globalization is positive thanks to the liberalization of trade and communications, but simultaneously negative through the extension of poverty."

Fatoumata Dembele, International Penal Court Judge focused her speech on the sample of images showing African people excluded from public life and access to healthcare and education, as a result of belonging to marginalized communities. "These images are more eloquent than all the speeches", she said. She went on to add, "women are those who pay more as a result of poverty.”



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