May 26, 1999
DECLARATION ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION WITHDRAWN
A draft Inter-American Declaration on Freedom of Expression will be sent back to a working group for further revisions instead of being presented to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), the OAS Permanent Council decided today.
U.S. Ambassador Victor Marrero, who had first proposed the idea for a declaration affirming the right to free speech and a free press, requested that the draft be withdrawn from consideration in its present form. Citing concerns expressed by members of the press, he said the draft may contain some ambiguities which should be clarified.
The General Assembly, which brings together the hemispheres foreign ministers, is the highest decision-making body of the OAS. It was to have considered the draft Inter-American Declaration at its meeting June 6-8 in Guatemala. At the request of Ambassador Marrero, a revised draft will be taken under consideration no later than the next regular session of the General Assembly, which will be held in Canada in the year 2000.
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