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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T



January 12, 2000

To:               Executive and Assistant Secretaries, Chiefs of Staff, Directors, and Executive Coordinators 


Subject:        Administration of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission 

The Inter-American Human Rights Commission ("the Commission") has requested the adoption of measures that would allow for greater participation by the Commission in the selection of its staff and in the budgetary process.  In consideration of that request and in accordance with this Administration's commitment to provide the Commission with greater technical and administrative autonomy for carrying out its functions and activities within the parameters of the OAS Charter, the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, the General Standards, and the Commission's Statute, the following procedures and provisions shall henceforth apply: 


The Commission shall prepare and present its draft program-budget each year for review by the Secretary General and incorporation into the Program-Budget presented by the Secretary General to the Preparatory Committee pursuant to Article 112(c) of the OAS Charter.  In accordance with his authority and responsibility under that Article and Articles 109 and 113 of the Charter, the Secretary General may adjust the Commission's draft program-budget to conform to the requirements of the General Standards and other guidelines and requirements set out in the pertinent General Assembly Resolutions.  In the event such adjustments are made, the Secretary General shall include in the text of his proposed Program-Budget a brief explanation disclosing the total amount initially requested by the Commission.  


1.       As required under Article 113 of the Charter, Article 40 of the Inter-´┐ŻAmerican Convention on Human Rights, and Article 21 of the Commission's Statute, the Secretary General shall appoint the staff of the Commission's Secretariat. 

2.       The Secretary General shall, through a competitive process and in consultation with the members of the Commission, appoint the Executive Secretary of the Commission in accordance with Sections 2 and 3 of Article 21 of the Commission's Statute. 

3.       In selecting, promoting, and appointing the other staff members of the Commission's Secretariat, the following provisions shall apply: 

a.          A special subcommittee ("the Subcommittee") within the Special Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion is hereby established to consider all selections and promotions for which the advice of the Special Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion is required under the General Standards. 

b.          The Subcommittee shall consist of four principal members ("principals"): (I) a Member of the Commission duly appointed to serve by the Commission, (ii) the Executive Secretary of the Commission, the (iii) Assistant Secretary for Management, and (iv) the President of the Staff Association.  Each principal shall appoint an alternate to serve in the principal's place when the principal is unable to attend, subject to the following conditions.  The alternate appointed by the Member of the Commission must be another Member of the Commission; the alternate of the Executive Secretary of the Commission must be one of the two Deputy Executive Secretaries of the Commission; the Alternate of the Secretary of Administration must be either the Director of Human Resources or the Director of the Department of Legal Services; and the alternate of the President of the Staff Association must be a member of the Staff Committee. The Executive Secretary of the Commission shall serve as the Subcommittee Chairman. 

c.          The Subcommittee shall review the candidates for each post, taking into account the requirements under Article 120 of the Charter, Article 37 of the General Standards, the pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly, and the specifications set out in the vacancy announcement.  Based on that review, it shall make the corresponding recommendation to the Secretary General through the office of the Assistant Secretary General, who serves as the President of the full Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion.  The Assistant Secretary General shall submit the Subcommittee's recommendation to the Secretary General within five working days of receipt, together with any observations on the recommendation which the Assistant Secretary General deems pertinent. 

d.          The Department of Human Resources shall remain responsible for reviewing vacancy announcements and job descriptions to assure that they comply with the applicable classification standards and staff rules.  Staff Rules 104.5(e) and (f) specifying the role of the Department of Human Resources in the initial screening of applicants and in convoking the Special Advisory Committee on Selection and Promotion shall not apply to the selection and promotion of the Staff of the Commission's Secretariat.  All applications, for positions, once received by the Department of Human Resources, shall be sent directly to the Executive Secretary for that initial Screening, and the meetings of the Subcommittee shall be convoked by the Executive Secretary of the Commission.  The Commission's Secretariat shall serve as the Subcommittee's Secretariat.  The Department of Human Resources shall provide additional secretariat services to the Subcommittee as requested. 

e.          Three members of the Subcommittee shall constitute a quorum for meeting and taking decisions on recommendations to the Secretary General.  The Subcommittee may take such decisions by correspondence, but all such recommendations made by correspondence shall require the unanimous endorsement and signature of all the principals.  No meeting shall take place unless the principals have received at least ten days' advanced written notice of the date, time, place, and agenda, with the relevant background information and evaluations of the candidates annexed. 


1.       This Directive may be amended or repealed by another Directive, an Executive Order, or any normative instrument of a higher legal order. 

2.       This Directive shall take precedence over any prior inconsistent norms issued by the General Secretariat. 

3.       This Directive enters into force on the date it is signed.  JANUARY 12, 2000. 

cc      The Assistant Secretary General