Press Release


Extraordinary General Assembly of the OAS to Meet on March 22 to Discuss Strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights

  January 30, 2013

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today agreed to convene an Extraordinary General Assembly on Friday, March 22, with the aim of completing the process of reflection on the Functioning of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to strengthen the Inter-American System of Human Rights (ISHR).

The Assembly will consider proposals submitted by the Council, which will emanate from the meetings that have been held and will continue to be held by the permanent body with the Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH) and civil society organizations, as well their own internal debates.

The event on March 22 will conclude a process which began at the General Assembly of El Salvador, in June 2011, with the creation of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Council which presented its report of recommendations January 2012. Subsequently, the General Assembly held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in June 2012, instructed the Permanent Council to complete its work in this area before the end of the first trimester of 2013. To meet the objective, the Council adopted a Work Plan in September 2012, which is currently in its third phase, entitled "Preparation of a report for the consideration of the General Assembly."

In today's session, the Permanent Council began to discuss the concrete timetable of meetings leading up to the Extraordinary General Assembly on March 22, based on a working paper presented by the Chair of the body. The discussion will continue at future meetings of the Council.

During the meeting, the delegations of Bolivia, the United States, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Argentina, Haiti, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay all spoke; as well as the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin; and the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza.

Permanent Council members expressed sympathy and solidarity with Brazil over the tragedy in a nightclub in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which left more than two hundred young people dead. The Permanent Representative of Guyana, Ambassador Bayney R. Karran, who led the Council in the absence of the Chair (Nicaragua) and Vice Chair (Barbados), spoke on behalf of the institution to “express our deepest sympathies to the people and the government of Brazil for the loss of over 230 lives, most of whom were young students. Our hearts and our prayers go to their families.”

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event is available here.

The B-roll of the event will be available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Reference: E-023/13