Press Release

Mexico City Forum on Strengthening of the Inter-American Human Rights System Began

September 13, 2012

Washington, D.C. - In the context of the process to reflect on the strengthening of the inter-American human rights system, the Inter-American Commission (IACHR) held today a conference to exchange views with representatives of 17 Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS), at the Secretariat for Foreign Relations of Mexico. The event was opened by the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico, Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo.

The second day of the events in Mexico City will take place this Friday, starting with a conference of reflection and exchange between representatives of the OAS Member States, civil society organizations of several countries in the region, and the IACHR. Subsequently, a Public Forum will be held with civil society organizations of Mexic, with free access to the public. These events have been organized by the IACHR, with the auspices of the Secretariat for Foreign Relations of Mexico.

The Public Forum will be inaugurated by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico, Patricia Espinoza Cantellano. Participating in the meeting are the IACHR Chair, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez; the First Vicepresident, Tracy Robinson; the Second Vicepresident, Felipe González; Commissioners Rodrigo Escobar Gil, Rosa María Ortiz and Rose Marie Antoine; and the Executive Secretary, Emilio Álvarez-Icaza. The IACHR Chair will make a presentation entitled “The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights: Common Heritage of the Peoples of the Americas.” Following that, presentations and dialogues with the participants wil take place, organized in five panels around the following topics: individual petition system; precautionary measures; monitoring of countries; promotion, universalization and transparency; and other aspects related to the strengthening.

The Public Forum will take place from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm (Mexico time) in the Morelos Room of the Secretariat for Foreign Relations of Mexico, Avenida Juárez No. 20, Colonia Centro, CP 06010, Cuauhtémoc. Attendance is free and the public will be admitted on a first come first served basis. The Public Forum will be Webcast on the IACHR Website.

The Mexico City Forum takes place in the context of a series of subregional events on the strengthening of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which are scheduled to take place between August and September of this year. These events are part of a profound study that the IACHR diligently conducts with the purpose of reviewing and improving its norms, policies and practices for a better protection of human rights of all persons in the region.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 118/12