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OAS Permanent Council Holds Dialogue with IACHR in the Process of Strengthening the Inter-American Human Rights System

  March 8, 2013

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today held a special meeting with members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), in the context of the process of strengthening the Inter-American System of Human Rights (ISHR), which will conclude on March 22 with the holding of an Extraordinary General Assembly at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.

The Chair of the Commission, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, began by offering condolences on behalf of the Commission to Venezuela upon the death of late President Hugo Chávez Frías. Subsequently, Commissioner Orozco summarized the stages of strengthening of the ISHR noting that, "since the beginning of this process, the Commission has seen the work of the Permanent Council, the inputs produced either in a coordinated or individual way by Inter-American civil society and the considerations of the Commission itself as elements in a process that could be described as symbiotic."

Orozco Henríquez said that next week the Commission will provide Member States with the Reform to the Rules on Policies and Practices of the Commission, and expressed his hope that the Extraordinary General Assembly of March 22 "will crown this process in a way that considers and facilitates the achievement of our mandate: to promote the observance and defense of human rights and to serve as a consultative organ of the organization in these matters."

On behalf of the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, who was in Caracas today at the funeral of President Hugo Chavez, his Chief of Staff, Ambassador Hugo de Zela spoke, reiterating "the personal and functional commitment of the Secretary General to the development of this process." He recalled that the General Assembly of Cochabamba delivered recommendations for strengthening the ISHR to three different recipients: the Commission, the Member States and the Secretary General. De Zela said that, following the responses of the Commission, that body's recommendations have been met, and that "the recommendation that was made to the General Secretariat, we estimate that it has been addressed with the proposal submitted by the Secretary General for consideration by member countries, and it is therefore now in the hands of the member countries to decide as they see fit on that proposal."

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 meeting, the representatives of Canada, the United States, Honduras, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Dominica, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay, and Bolivia 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-083/13