Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Highlighting Human Security

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Highlighting Human Security

Article excerpt

WHEN THE HEMISPHERE'S foreign ministers gather in Canada for the OAS General Assembly in June, one issue they will consider is how to make "human security" a more central part of the hemispheric agenda.

"We have to put people first," Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, said during a visit to the OAS earlier this year. He outlined a range of concerns that touch citizens' lives directly, such as the scourge of illegal drugs. Drugs, he said, exact a heavy toll on societies and on individuals--particularly on the most defenseless, such as street children.

The OAS is "on the right track," proving increasingly responsive and flexible to human security challenges, Axworthy said. Member countries are cooperating closely in anti-drug efforts through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, and have undertaken other security-related initiatives, such as removing land mines and combating illegal arms trafficking.

Axworthy stressed the need to ensure that all sectors of society are included in discussions and decision-making about the important issues that affect their lives. …

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