IACHR Appoints New Commissioners

January 1, 2023

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Washington, D.C.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) appointed new commissioners and launched a new institutional cycle. From January 1, 2024, Gloria Monique de Mees (Suriname), Andrea Pochak (Argentina), and Arif Bulkan (Guyana) are set to join the IACHR as Commissioners, while Commissioner Stuardo Ralón will remain on the job. All four of them were elected during the 53th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) with mandates lasting from January 2024 until December 2027.

Commissioners Roberta Clarke, Carlos Bernal, and José Luis Caballero are set to pursue their terms further. Commissioners’ full professional background details are available on the IACHR website

On December 31, 2023, Commissioners Margarette May Macaulay, Esmeralda Arosemena, and Julissa Mantilla completed their terms. The three of them did exceptional work over various periods as presidents and members of the Board of Directors of the IACHR, as well as in the Commission’s different thematic and country rapporteurships.

The IACHR and the staff at its Executive Secretariat thank Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay—who served two terms as President of the IACHR—for her dedication and leadership, particularly in defense of the rights of Afro-descendant persons and older persons in the Americas and to promote the Inter-American Human Rights System in Caribbean countries.

We would also like to express our gratitude to Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, whose commitment and personal and institutional conviction were crucial to promote the defense of the rights of children and adolescents. Commissioner Arosemena de Troitiño supported families in the landmark Ayotzinapa case and highlighted pending challenges concerning shutdowns of civic platforms and other blows on democracy in several countries in the Americas.

We also acknowledge and thank the Commissioner Julissa Mantilla Falcón, for her efforts and determination to promote memory, truth, and justice to ensure the non-recurrence of serious human rights violations in the Americas, as well as to defend and promote women’s rights and eradicate gender-based violence everywhere in the region.

According to Articles 3 and 9 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, a new Board of Directors is set to be appointed in the first session of the IACHR’s next period of sessions, scheduled for February 26, 2024. Until then, the Board will be made up of Commissioner Roberta Clarke as Acting President—after serving as Second Vice President until December 31—and Commissioners Stuardo Ralón and Carlos Bernal—set to serve respectively as First and Second Vice President based on their seniority. Thematic and country rapporteurships will be led by the Board until January 12, when new rapporteurs are to be appointed.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 001/24

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