Organization of American States



March 8, 2002



              The governments of Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Suriname today reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the inter-American system by ratifying, and in some cases signing, various hemispheric treaties. 

            During a brief ceremony, Suriname's Ambassador, Henry Illes, deposited with Secretary General César Gaviria the documents by which his government ratified the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against women, which was adopted in Belém do Pará, Brazil, in June 1994.   

Illes noted how significant it was for his government to ratify this important instrument on  International Women's Day.    He said ratifying means "Suriname will therefore expose its policies regarding women's rights to the judgment and scrutiny of the international community." 

            Through Ambassador Hernán R. Castro, Costa Rica signed the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. Ambassador Castro quoted Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodríguez, describing the treaty as "a major tool in the concerted war on terrorism and transnational crime."  He added that cooperation in investigations and information-sharing with other states party to this treaty helps guarantee security, respect for human rights and development in the Hemisphere. 

            Ambassador Castro said that by ratifying the treaty—signed in The Bahamas in May 1992—"we are reaffirming our commitment to justice and the common well-being and to fighting impunity."   

            Meanwhile, Ecuador's Ambassador to the OAS, Blasco Peñaherrera, deposited ratification documents relating to three OAS instruments: the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters; the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention, adopted in Nicaragua in June 1993; and the Inter-American Convention on International Return of Minors, adopted in Uruguay, in July 1989.   

The Ecuadorian diplomat explained that his country was taking yet another step in confirming its international commitment to human rights.   He said the convention relating to minors is designed to establish mechanisms to reconcile different national laws to facilitate such issues as protection of children and the exercise of parents' rights, among other elements. 

            Ambassador Margarita Escobar of El Salvador deposited ratification instruments for the Inter-American Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disability; the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Arms Acquisitions; and the Inter-American Convention on an International Amateur Radio Operator Permit.   This latter treaty was signed in Montrouis, Haiti, in June 1995. 

By ratifying the convention to outlaw discrimination against the disabled, El Salvador was taking one more step forward in its commitment to the universal application and implementation of the inter-American human rights system, the Salvadorian Ambassador said.