The Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office has warned an EU Conference in Brussels today on association negotiations with the Mercosur countries and Chile, that human rights are still being left off the agenda.
Speaking in response to a speech by External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten, Dick Oosting of Amnesty International’s EU office said despite Amnesty’s recommendations 16 months ago on how to positively address the human rights dimension in these negotiations, little or nothing has been done.
“Despite 16 months and four more rounds of talks, human rights do not appear to have been the subject of active consideration in the EU-Mercosur/Chile discussions,” he told the conference organised by the EU with representatives from European civil society, business and academia.
“There is no doubting Commissioner Patten’s intention or commitment to human rights. However, he will probably be the first to agree that the EU has yet to come to grips with the implications of having a human rights clause as an essential element of its agreements with third countries and has yet to develop meaningful, effective implementation as distinct from rhetoric,” said Dick Oosting.
Amnesty International recognizes that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay have gone through a traumatic human rights experience during the past decades. However, in most of these countries, there is still much to be done, not only to settle the legacy of the past but also to remedy continuing serious human rights problems.
(To view AI’s statement click on the link below)