Press Release

IACHR Recognizes the Work Carried Out by Elizabeth Abi-Mershed for 26 Years

May 5, 2018

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Santo Domingo – Gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for its 168th Special Period of Sessions, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) informs of the resignation of Ms. Elizabeth Abi-Mershed from the Executive Secretariat of the IACHR and the Organization of American States (OAS), the post of Assistant Executive Secretary, effective as of May 27.

The commissioners, the Executive Secretary and the staff of the Executive Secretariat jointly express their deepest recognition of the work that Elizabeth Abi-Mershed  performed for 26 years in a professional, dedicated manner, with a high sense of commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights in the hemisphere. The IACHR respects and accepts her decision to close a professional cycle. Her legacy will continue to strengthen the work and the priority assigned to the system of cases and petitions in the Commission through a team that has worked under her guidance for many years.

Elizabeth Abi-Mershed joined the IACHR in 1992 and has occupied various positions in the Secretariat. She has worked prominently since 2007 as the Legal Director of the Commission, in charge of coordinating and supervising the preparation of all the case, thematic and country reports. She has also been in charge of coordinating the work of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women and the group specialized in litigating cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She is currently Assistant Executive Secretary.

"We recognize the full dedication to the cause and the care that she put into the professionalization of the work of the system of cases and petitions", said the President of the IACHR, Margaret May Macaulay on behalf of all when saying their farewell. The IACHR wishes Elizabeth Abi-Mershed the best in her personal and professional life and every success in the projects she undertakes.

The Commission fully supports the decision of the Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão to call a public and open competition for the post in which all interested candidates may participate, in accordance with the OAS rules, to select a candidate with the best profile to perform the work of cases, petitions and precautionary measures with effectiveness, as well as expeditiously and effectively. It is the institutional responsibility of the Executive Secretary to carry out the direct supervision of the area and direct the transition process.

The Commission also gave instructions to the Executive Secretary to continue the work of reorganizing the Executive Secretariat and implementation of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, looking to further advance with the priority of procedural delay and the strengthening of the Petitions and Cases System, as well as in the other mandates of the IACHR.

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 and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 096/18