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At the OAS, Panama Signs Conventions against Racism and Discrimination

  June 5, 2014

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Francisco Álvarez De Soto, today signed the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance, in the presence of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza.

After signing the document in the context of the forty-fourth regular session of the OAS General Assembly in Asunción, Paraguay, Minister Álvarez De Soto said his Government believes that both conventions “represent the present and future of our Americas, a more tolerant, most embracing region.” On behalf of President Ricardo Martinelli, he said “we are proud and gratified to join the countries that have decided to accede to these two conventions.”

For his part, Secretary General Insulza recalled that “these are conventions on tolerance. No one is asked to subscribe to a particular lifestyle; they ask us only to understand that we are all equal.” “Tolerance is a virtue,” added the Secretary General, “precisely in societies that contain differences. They have different races, different ethnic groups, different genders, different options, different lifestyles, and that is why we want to ensure we can live in peace with all members of our societies.”

On June 5, 2013, the General Assembly, in Antigua, Guatemala, adopted the two binding instruments.
The adoption of the two conventions was the culmination of a task undertaken in 2000 by the OAS member states when the General Assembly instructed the Permanent Council to study the need to prepare a draft inter-American convention to prevent, punish, and eradicate racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-Roll of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-238/14