June 4, 2000
BARBADOS RECOGNIZES BINDING
JURISDICTION OF HEMISPHERIC COURT
Barbados today presented the Organization of American States (OAS) with documents formally accepting the binding jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to do so.
The Barbadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Billie Miller, delivered the documents to OAS Secretary General César Gaviria hours prior to the inauguration of the OAS 30th General Assembly session in Windsor, Canada, declaring the move was merely a formalization of what Barbados had implicitly accepted and practiced since adhering to the American Convention on Human Rights in 1978.
"Barbados’ well established system of democracy is founded upon the same norms and values that gave rise to the creation of the OAS’ instruments for safeguarding human rights in the hemisphere," the Foreign Minister explained after signing and presenting the documents.
Welcoming the Barbados decision, the OAS Secretary General explained that the hemispheric human rights protection system "is working harder than ever before, safeguarding a range of rights and liberties…what some have called the new generations of rights." Among these he listed freedom of expression, women’s and children’s rights and the rights of indigenous, ethnic and minority populations.
OAS Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Christopher R. Thomas, Permanent Council Chairman Ambassador Marcelo Ostria Trigo of Bolivia, Ambassador Sir Courtney Blackman of Barbados and Inter-American Court of Human Rights President Antônio Cançado Trindade were among those who participated in the ceremony.