Press Release

IACHR Concludes Commemorative Visit to Chile

September 13, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - At the invitation of the Office of the President of the Republic of Chile, the IACHR attended an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of its creation in the city of Santiago on September 4, 2019, in the company of senior officials, representatives from civil society, and Chilean academics. The IACHR wishes to thank the Chilean state for its invitation to commemorate this a significant event.

The Board of Officers and Executive Secretary of the IACHR met with the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, in the Blue Room at La Moneda Palace. At the meeting, Chile expressed its commitment to protecting and promoting human rights, while the IACHR expressed its to supporting the efforts of OAS member states in this regard.

A commemorative ceremony took place the same day in the O’Higgins Room at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was where the Santiago Declaration—through which the IACHR was established—was signed on August 18, 1959. The ceremony was presided over by the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Carolina Valdivia Torres, in her capacity as acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Justice, Hernán Larrain.

“The IACHR was born as a noble aspiration but is now a truly institutional legal system operating on a regional scale. Through a host of mechanisms and instruments, this system protects the human rights of the individuals, communities, and peoples of the Americas,” said IACHR president Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño during the event.

In the conversation that followed the ceremony, state authorities exchanged ideas with the members of the IACHR who attended the event and the Executive Secretary on the challenges facing the organization in coming years. Those present agreed on the importance of strengthening the work that the IACHR has been doing on behalf victims over the last 60 years and to increase its impact and efficiency. “The IACHR has been and continues to be a space where people who want to be heard are listened to. This undoubtedly one of the IACHR’s most significant contributions,” said Commissioner Antonia Urrejola.

The IACHR also took part in an academic event at the University of Chile entitled “The Historical Impact of the IACHR’s Work and the New Challenges of Today,” in which it was able to exchange ideas with representatives from civil society organizations and scholars.
“The IACHR will continue to work with all stakeholders and will always seek to develop new initiatives to take on current and future challenges. For this reason, we deeply value this space for dialogue with civil society and we hope to continue working together with the shared goal of increasing respect for the human rights of all those who live in the Americas and the protection of these,” said Commissioner Joel Hernández.

These commemorative activities are a testimony to how committed the state of Chile, civil society organizations, and the world of academia are to promoting and protecting human rights and strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights (IASHR). “The IACHR once again expresses its deep gratitude to the state and civil society for their support and hard work in organizing these significant events to commemorate our 60th anniversary,” said Executive Secretary Paulo Abrão.

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. 225/19