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January 8, 2001

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Speech of the OAS Secretary General (Only in Spanish)



Ambassador Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros presented credentials today as the new Permanent Representative of Peru to the Organization of American States, and moved immediately to sign the Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons

OAS Secretary General César Gaviria hailed the decision to sign the treaty, noting that it demonstrated "Peru's commitment to consolidating its democracy, a cornerstone of which is the guarantee and defense of the rights of individuals." The signing coincided with Peru's return to the binding jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The Secretary General reiterated his statement about the internal process the government of Peru was undergoing to revitalize democratic institutions and the exercise of democracy, with the support of the political parties, the main economic sectors, and civil society. "In this fundamental endeavor, Peruvians have received--and can continue to depend on--the unconditional support of the inter-American community of nations and the OAS Secretary General," declared Gaviria.

For his part, Ambassador Rodríguez described the signing of the OAS treaty by the government and people of Peru as an expression of the firm commitment to "restore normality to democratic life, strengthen the rule of law, open the door to dialogue and national understanding between the state and civil society and, in particular, to reaffirm the relentless pursuit of democratic diplomacy underlying the common cause of hemispheric solidarity in and based on the common will to practice human rights."

Before this new assignment, Rodríguez served as Alternate Representative to the World Trade Organization and to the United Nations and other Geneva-based international organizations, prior to that. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1974, he has represented Peru at numerous international conferences and in a number of negotiations.

Adopted in Belém do Pará, Brazil, in 1994, the Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons entered into force on March 28, 1996. To date, 15 member states have signed, with eight ratifying: Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.