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Permanent Council to Meet with Civil Society to Discuss Strengthening of Inter-American Human Rights System

  March 1, 2013

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today convened a special meeting for Wednesday, March 6, with 38 civil society organizations to discuss the process of the strengthening of the Inter-American System of Human Rights (ISHR), which will conclude on March 22 with the meeting of an Extraordinary General Assembly.

At the special meeting today, the Council began to discuss the criteria or parameters of the Commission to grant precautionary measures, and continued the discussion on the search for universal acceptance of the American Convention on Human Rights as well as all other Inter-American human rights instruments; the preparation of guides to facilitate the exchange of good practices on the issue of collaboration with and implementation of decisions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; and the promotion of cooperation among states to support one other and to advance toward common goals on the issue.

During the meeting, the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, expressed his "deep gratitude to Argentina by the voluntary contribution of 400,000 dollars to the IACHR," and conveyed special thanks from the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Emilio Álvarez Icaza.

At the same time and within the process of strengthening the ISHR, the IACHR published on February 15 a proposal to reform its rules, policies and practices. The Commission stated that it took into consideration the recommendations of the Working Group of the Permanent Council, as well as the inputs of civil society, victims and other actors in the Inter-American System of Human Rights. The period of consultation that the IACHR opened for all stakeholders to comment on the proposed reform closes at midnight on March 1, and the replies will be posted on the website of the Commission. The Commission has announced that it will consider the comments received and publish the final version of its reform proposal in mid-March.

The Extraordinary General Assembly on March 22, to be held in Washington DC, will conclude a process that began at the General Assembly of El Salvador, in June 2011, with the creation of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Council which presented its report of recommendations in January 2012. Subsequently, in June 2012, the General Assembly held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, instructed the Permanent Council to complete its work in this area before the end of the first trimester of 2013. To meet the objective, the Council adopted a Work Plan in September 2012, which is currently in its third phase, entitled "Preparation of a report for the consideration of the General Assembly."

During the session the representatives of the Panama, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, the United States, Argentina, Canada, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Uruguay y Paraguay all took the floor.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event is available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-072/13