IACHR

Process for Selecting an IACHR Executive Secretary

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announces the opening of the call for competition to select the person who will occupy the position of head of its Executive Secretariat, according to what was announced on September 17, 2020. The person who holds the Executive Secretary is an official of the General Secretariat of the OAS (GS / OAS) selected by the Commission and appointed by the Secretary General of the Organization. As such, it is subject to the rules and regulations of the GS / OAS, and also to the Statute and Regulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. This position reports and works in coordination with the IACHR and is located at OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In an internal session held on February 2, the Inter-American Commission selected the five people to go to the interview phase. They were selected from the list of the 10 finalists announced on December 15, 2020.

The 5 finalists cited in alphabetical order of last name:

The IACHR, in compliance with the norms and regulations of the OAS General Secretariat, promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and is committed to provide equal employment opportunities, achieving a diverse staff with a broad geographical representation, as well as gender equality in the selection of candidates is taken into account.

The process by which the Executive Secretary is selected will follow the procedures in accordance with Article 11 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure. With the publication of the finalists’ names, a public consultation process is opened. In accordance with Article 11.3 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR will receive observations from OAS Member States and civil society on these finalists. The period for submitting observations through this system is from December 15 to January 22, 2020 until 23:59 (Washington, DC time). The IACHR Executive Secretariat will contact the finalists to produce 2 videos with a maximum duration of 2 minutes each, which will be published on the IACHR website and its social media accounts within the next two weeks, explaining in the first , their experience for the position and in the second, their proposals in the event of being elected for the position of Executive Secretary.

Due to the sanitary conditions that prevail in the continent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission decided to postpone the holding of the interviews, for the only occasion, for the month of May 2021 so that they can be carried out in a in person. The place, the date and the modalities of holding the interviews will be communicated with opportunity. Due to this modification of the calendar, the start of work of the person selected as head of the Executive Secretariat will be on June 1, 2021.

On July 27, 2016, the IACHR made its choice of Paulo Abrão for the post of Executive Secretary. In the terms of Article 11 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR sent his name to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, who confirmed the selection and appointed him for a four-year period.

The selection of Paulo Abrão was the result of a comprehensive, open, transparent and participatory process. On July 26, 2016, the IACHR plenary interviewed the five finalists in the headquarters. The selected finalists for the post can be found below, in alphabetical order:

Background

On January 15, 2016, the current Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria, made public an open letter announcing his decision not to run for reelection. His mandate ends on August 15, 2016. In accordance to the procedure established in Article 11 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, on February 9, 2016, the announcement of a competition was published, in order to select a new Executive Secretary for the term from August 2016 to August 2020, term that can be renewed once for another four years.

More than 90 applications were received, from which five finalists were selected applying the criteria established in said Article of the Rules of Procedure. This article establishes that the Executive Secretary shall be a person of independence and high moral standing, with experience and recognized expertise in the field of human rights. On April 22, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced its selection of five finalists and on April 27, it published the résumés and cover letters of the finalists on its Webpage. The IACHR received observations until May 30, 2016. The IACHR thanks those who participated in this process through the submission of 163 observations on the candidacies.

On July 26, 2016, the IACHR plenary interviewed the five finalists in the headquarters. After considering the resumés, the cover letters, the observations received and the interviews, the IACHR decided to select Paulo Abrão for the post. The IACHR thanks all the finalists for their participation in this process and recognizes their high professional level, their high moral standing and their recognized and important experience in the field of human rights.

In exercise of its autonomy and independence, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) made its choice on July 19, 2012, of Emilio Álvarez Icaza for the post of Executive Secretary, and, in the terms of Article 11 of its Rules of Procedure, sent the name of the selected person to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), with a proposal that the person be appointed for a four-year period.

The selection of Emilio Álvarez Icaza was the result of a comprehensive, open, transparent and participatory process. On July 19, 2012, the plenary of the Commission interviewed the five finalists in the headquarters. The selected finalists for the post can be found below, in alphabetical order:

With the publication of the names of the finalists on June 1, 2012, a one-month period began for receiving comments. The IACHR received 116 observations on the candidacies, which were considered by the Commissioners.

Background

On March 31, 2011, the Inter-American Commission adopted Resolution 1/2011, which put forth a draft reform of Article 11 of its Rules of Procedure, with the aim of defining the process for selecting the Executive Secretary. The initiative sought to strengthen the transparency and regularity of the process. Toward that end, the IACHR published the text of the draft reform, and opened up a period until June 1, 2011, to receive comments and observations from the OAS Member States and from civil society.

Resolution 1/2011 mentions the announced resignation of Santiago A. Canton, the IACHR Executive Secretary, and includes special recognition of his dedication and contributions. His resignation will take effect on July 1, 2012.

During its 143rd session, which took place in October 2011, the Inter-American Commission analyzed the comments it had received and, following an internal debate, approved the text of Article 11 now in effect. Based on that provision and on the OAS Staff Rules, on November 16, 2011, the IACHR published the corresponding vacancy announcement that opened up the period for receiving applications for the post of IACHR Executive Secretary until May 1, 2012.

The IACHR received 111 candidacies. The names of the finalists were published on the Website of the IACHR on June 1, 2012, which marks the beginning of a one-month period for receiving comments.