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AG/RES. 1890 (XXXII-O/02)

EVALUATION OF THE WORKINGS OF THE INTER-AMERICAN SYSTEM FOR THE PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS WITH A VIEW TO ITS IMPROVEMENT AND STRENGTHENING

(Adopted at the fourth plenary session held on June 4, 2002) 

            THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 

HAVING SEEN: 

            The report of the Permanent Council as relates to the evaluation and strengthening of the inter-American system for the protection and promotion of human rights, presented in keeping with resolution AG/RES. 1828 (XXXI-O/01) (CP/doc.    /02); and 

            The proposals and comments of the governments; the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CP/doc.3555/02) (CP/CAJP-1932/02); the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CP/doc.3579/02) (CP/CAJP-1948/02); and representatives of nongovernmental human rights organizations (CP/CAJP-1890/02); 

BEARING IN MIND: 

            That the member states of the Organization of American States have proclaimed, in Article 3 of the OAS Charter, the principle of respect for the fundamental rights of the individual, without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or sex; and 

            That the member states of the Organization of American States, in Article 8 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, reaffirmed their intention to strengthen the inter-American system for the protection of human rights in order to consolidate democracy in the Hemisphere; 

            TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that progress has been made in the implementation of the norms reflected in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and the implementation of the American Convention on Human Rights and other inter-American instruments, which has strengthened the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Hemisphere;

CONSIDERING: 

            That the member states, in addition to guaranteeing respect for the human rights of persons under their jurisdiction, should ensure the defense of the inter-American human rights system as a whole and promote its strengthening; 

            That the Heads of State and Government, meeting at the Third Summit of the Americas, stated in the Declaration of Quebec City that their commitment to full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms was based on shared principles and convictions and that they supported strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of the inter American human rights system, which includes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and mandated the General Assembly of the OAS to consider an adequate increase in resources for the activities of the Commission and the Court, in order to improve human rights mechanisms and promote observance of the recommendations of the Commission and compliance with the judgments of the Court;

            That the Heads of State and Government, in the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas, decided to continue promoting concrete measures to strengthen and improve the inter-American human rights system, in particular the functioning of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, focusing on:  the universalization of the inter-American system, increasing adherence to its founding instruments, complying with the decisions of the Inter-American Court, and following up on the recommendations of the Commission, facilitating the access of persons to this protection mechanism and substantially increasing resources to maintain ongoing operations, including the encouragement of voluntary contributions, and examining the possibility that the Court and the IACHR might function on an ongoing basis; 

            That the Heads of State and Government instructed the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, at its thirty-first regular session, to initiate action to meet the objectives mentioned above; 

            That, in order for those commitments and objectives established by the heads of state and government to be fulfilled, the General Assembly must consider these questions on an ongoing basis; 

            That the Permanent Council has continued its consideration of in-depth studies and measures to strengthen the human rights system and enable it to meet future challenges and, to that end, has sought to enhance dialogue among the member states, the bodies of the inter-American system, and other parties involved, with a view to building consensus on the present status of the system and on the obstacles and deficiencies that need to be overcome, so as to guarantee the exercise and protection of human rights in the Hemisphere; 

            That, to that end, it is essential that all member states consider signing, ratifying, or acceding to, as appropriate, the American Convention on Human Rights; the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; the Additional Protocol to the American Convention to Abolish the Death Penalty; the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture; the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons; the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women; and the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities; 

            That the denunciation of inter-American legal instruments on human rights may affect the regional system as a whole; and 

            That, in order to strengthen the exercise and protection of human rights in the Hemisphere, it is also essential that the member state governments focus their efforts on appropriate implementation, at the national level, of the obligations under those instruments and under other inter-American and international instruments; 

NOTING: 

            In that area, the Report of the Meeting of Experts on Support for Inter-American Human Rights Instruments (REIIDH/doc.18/02 rev. 1), held at OAS headquarters on March 7 and 8, 2002, pursuant to the mandate issued in resolution AG/RES. 1829 (XXXI-O/01), to study possibilities and actions to be taken to achieve universalization of the inter-American human rights system and its implementation; and 

            That some member states made a valuable contribution to universalization of the inter-American instruments by ratifying various inter-American human rights treaties, thus strengthening the inter-American system; 

            NOTING ALSO the document Joint Appeal by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to the Representatives of the States at the Organization of American States (CP/CAJP-1930/02); and 

            RECOGNIZING the participation and contributions of nongovernmental organizations in the dialogue on strengthening the inter-American system, with special attention to the meeting of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs on March 5, 2002, at which representatives of those organizations presented their positions on six aspects they considered crucial to strengthening the system, in particular, the protection of human rights in the region in general (CP/CAJP-1890/02), 

RESOLVES: 

            1.         To reaffirm the intent of the Organization of American States to continue taking concrete measures aimed at implementing the mandates of the heads of state and government on the strengthening and improvement of the inter-American human rights system, as set forth in the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas: 

a.         Universalization of the inter-American human rights system; 

b.         Compliance with judgments of the Court and follow-up of the recommendations of the Commission; 

c.         Facilitation of access for individuals to the inter-American human rights system; 

d.         A substantial increase in the budget of the Court and of the Commission so that, within a reasonable time, the organs of the system may address their growing activities and responsibilities; and

e.         Examination of the possibility that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights may come to operate on a permanent basis, taking into account, among other things, the views of those organs. 

            2.         To instruct the Permanent Council to continue taking concrete measures that will make it possible to fulfill the mandates of the Heads of State and Government, namely: 

a.         To continue its exchange of experiences and views so as to move ahead with consideration of the topic of universalization and implementation of the inter-American human rights system; 

b.         To continue to consider the participation of victims in proceedings before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; 

c.         To study, with the support of the General Secretariat, and taking into account the views of both the Court and the Commission, the relationship between the rules of procedure of those organs and the provisions of their statutes and of the American Convention on Human Rights; 

d.         To continue promoting the exchange of experiences and best practices in adjusting domestic law to the provisions of international human rights law; and facilitate the exchange of information on institutional experiences and the development of national mechanisms for the protection of human rights, so as to obtain an overview, in the framework of the Organization, of the link that should exist between national systems for the protection of human rights and the inter-American system; 

e.         To continue to develop close collaboration, coordination, and dialogue with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and Inter-American Juridical Committee with a view to coordinated progress on measures to strengthen and improve the inter-American human rights system; and 

f.          To continue close cooperation with nongovernmental organizations so as to move forward with strengthening and improving the inter-American human rights system. 

            3.         To urge the OAS member states, in accordance with the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas, to: 

a.         Focus their efforts on the universalization of the inter-American human rights system, by increasing the number of countries that have acceded to its basic instruments and, to that end, consider signing, ratifying, or acceding to, as soon as possible and as appropriate, the American Convention on Human Rights and other instruments of the system; 

b.         To adopt such legislative or other measures as are necessary to ensure the application of inter-American human rights provisions within the states; 

c.         Take the necessary steps to comply with the decisions or judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and make its best efforts to follow up on the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; 

d.         Continue to take appropriate action in connection with the annual reports of the Court and the Commission, in the framework of the Permanent Council and the General Assembly of the Organization, and to study possible means to address the state of compliance with the judgments of the Court and the observance of the recommendations of the Commission  by the member states of the Organization; and 

e.         Contribute to the Specific Fund for Strengthening the Inter-American System for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, intended to encourage voluntary contributions to the organs of the system. 

            4.         To transmit this resolution to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 

            5.         To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-third regular session on the implementation of this resolution.
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