Press Release


OAS Permanent Council Creates Working Group to Draft Proposal for the General Assembly on the Strengthening of the IASHR

  March 13, 2013

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) created, in a special meeting today, a Working Group to draw up a draft resolution to be presented to the Extraordinary General Meeting of March 22, which will conclude the process of Reflection on the Strengthening of the Inter-American system of Human Rights (IASHR)

The Council decided by consensus that the Working Group is to be coordinated by Mexico and made up of the representative from Peru and the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General, Ambassador Hugo de Zela and will be open to all States interested in participating.

The Council also discussed the recent Guayaquil Declaration on the process of strengthening the IASHR, adopted by nineteen Member Countries of the OAS - signatories to the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights - in a meeting in Ecuador on Monday, March 11. The document was presented to the Permanent Council by the delegation of Ecuador, which highlighted among its proposals: that the States Parties to the Inter-American Convention strive to incorporate those who have not yet ratified the document; that the IACHR increase its efforts in promoting human rights; that all OAS Member States fully assume the financing of the system; that the Rapporteurs have "special" status; and that the Secretary General make an analysis of the operating costs of the IASHR.

During the meeting, the representatives of Canada, the United States, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, Bolivia, Guatemala, Colombia, Haiti, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados, and Peru all took the floor.

The Extraordinary General Assembly on March 22, to be held in Washington DC, 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, in June 2012, the General Assembly held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 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 the same special meeting today, the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, and many representatives of Member States, offered their congratulations to Argentina on "the election of Pope Francis I." "He is the first American and Latin American Pope, and that makes us all very happy," said the leader of the hemispheric organization. During the meeting, the Chair of the Council greeted Grenada on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the revolution in the country, and offered condolences from the Council to Honduras on the death of Ambassador Emeritus Policarpo Callejas Bonilla, who worked for 58 years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of his country.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event is 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.

Reference: E-092/13