Washington, DC, December 16, 1998

Mexico today joined efforts to promote and bolster human rights in the hemisphere, by recognizing the binding jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

During a ceremony at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Rosario Green, deposited her government’s instruments accepting the Court’s competence. She said the move represented "a further step towards strengthening the rule of law in Mexico."

Accepting the Inter-American Court’s jurisdiction was, Ambassador Green stated, "a milestone on my country’s journey towards an increasingly democratic and open society that respects the inalienable rights of all its citizens." Recalling that Mexico was party to 42 instruments under the United Nations and Inter-American systems, Foreign Secretary Green reiterated her government’s willingness to move forward in joint efforts to promote and defend the rights of all human beings.

OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria remarked that the important step taken by Mexico today was part of that country’s enormous effort to transform its political institutions under the leadership of President [Ernesto] Zedillo. "We have every confidence this will be a decisive contribution towards helping us consolidate what is vital to us in the Americas—ensuring that a new inter-American order is founded upon the basis of respect for international law and for inter-American law."

The chairman of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, Carlos Ayala Corao, also hailed the Mexican decision as a most significant contribution to the inter-American human rights system, precisely as the fiftieth anniversary of the American Convention [on Human Rights] was being observed. "Such steps help to strengthen the process of entrenching democracy in the Americas, as only by taking human rights seriously can our democracies and the rule of law fully prevail," Dr. Ayala stressed.