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Press Release


  March 20, 2006

Legal issues related to the link between democracy and economic and social development are among highlights of issues as the Inter-American Juridical Committee opened its 68th regular session at the Organization of American States today, with Secretary General José Miguel Insulza in attendance.

“Our objective is to have the Inter-American Juridical Committee reflect the changing international reality and reconcile it with legal developments, to be better able to address current challenges,” the Committee’s President, Nicaraguan Mauricio Herdocia Sacasa, declared in opening the session, which runs until March 31.

Herdocia Sacasa said the current Inter-American Juridical Committee meeting is expected to have a significant impact on legal work being undertaken, including efforts towards a hemispheric convention against racism and discrimination. Other substantive issues he cited include the International Criminal Court, which he described as “a most typical issue.”

OAS Secretary General Insulza, in welcoming the Juridical Committee members, noted the particular timeliness of the meeting’s discussion of the link between democracy and economic and social development, as the finishing touch is being put on an OAS social charter. “Certainly, we would welcome as very important your opinion on the legal implications of the various options,” the Secretary General said.

Insulza touched on the special importance of the CJI meeting being held at OAS headquarters this year, which marks the centenary of the institution’s establishment. He also praised the Committee’s role in such issues as private international law, the right to information and the fight against racism and discrimination, and in organizing the annual course on international law in conjunction with the OAS Department of International Legal Affairs.

The Rio de Janeiro-based Inter-American Juridical Committee is one of the organs through which the OAS accomplishes its purposes. The Committee serves the OAS as an advisory body on juridical matters of an international nature and promotes the progressive development and the codification of international law. It also studies juridical problems related to the integration of the developing countries of the Hemisphere and, insofar as may appear desirable, the possibility of attaining uniformity in their legislation. It evolved out of the International Commission of Jurists, created by the Third International Conference of American States in 1906, which held its first meeting in 1912.

Reference: E-065/06