The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today continued the debate on strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights (ISHR) at a meeting at which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) submitted its draft reform proposals.
The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, expressed his optimism that the debate on strengthening the ISHR would be successfully completed late next month. "I am convinced that we can move forward on resolutions in order to successfully reach the Extraordinary General Assembly on March 22," he said about the meeting in which the Foreign Ministers of the region will conclude the process of strengthening the ISHR. The OAS leader expressly thanked the Chair of the Commission, José de Jesús Orozco, and the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Emilio Álvarez Icaza, for their contributions to the dialogue.
The Secretary General noted positively the proposal from the Commission, which will now be considered by the Member States, stating that it "applies to 80 percent of the resolutions" of the Working Group of the Permanent Council which were adopted by the OAS General Assembly in Cochabamba, in June 2012.
At the special meeting of the Council, Orozco presented the proposals for reform to the regulation, the Strategic Plan and the practices of the Commission, to be submitted for public consultation during the next two weeks. The Mexican commissioner explained that the Commission relied on three principles in writing the document: integrity, relevance, and transparency, i.e., that the proposals take account of the 53 recommendations made by Member States to the Commission; that they benefit the protection and promotion of human rights; and that their contents have been sent to all interested parties with sufficient time to enable them to express their opinion.
The event on March 22 will conclude a process that 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 in 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."
During the meeting, statements were made by the representatives of Grenada, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Dominica, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Venezuela, Peru, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, El Salvador and Haiti.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
The video of the event will be available here.
The B-roll of the event is available here.
The audio of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.