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Project for the Incorporation of the Afro-descendent Theme in the Policies and Programs of the Organization of American States (OAS)


Among other functions, the Department of International Law (DIL) of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs promotes and disseminates international law; provides legal advisory services on international law to the different areas of the OAS and member states; serves as technical secretariat of the [Inter-American Juridical Committee] and other bodies; and acts as the depository of all inter-American conventions and bilateral cooperation agreements of the General Secretariat of the OAS.

In addition, the Department carries out a number of projects on specific themes. In that regard, at present the DIL is implementing the “Project for the Incorporation of the Afro-descendent Theme in the Policies and Programs of the OAS.” The lifetime initially set for this project is three years (2009-2011).

Context and objectives of the Project

Afrodescendants are among the most vulnerable social groups in the Hemisphere. Both the OAS and the [Summits] of the Americas Process have repeatedly expressed their concern with regard to inclusion, respect for human rights, and attention to the needs of these groups. This project is designed to raise awareness of the problems that assail Afro-descendants in the region; promote inclusion of this group as a cross-cutting element in the design of OAS policies and programs; and, finally, offer technical and policy recommendations to the main political organs of the inter-American system. The overarching objective of the Project is to increase democratic governance in the Hemisphere by including these vulnerable groups, with increased awareness for their rights and basic needs.

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