Media Center

Press Release


  September 28, 2006

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterated today, at the Organization of American States (OAS), its commitment to the most vulnerable groups in society, as it ratified the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities.

Venezuela’s Acting Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Nelson Pineda, deposited the instruments of ratification at OAS headquarters, underscoring his government’s decision to strengthen its efforts to bring about a more balanced and fair society. “It’s about fighting for those people who for very different reasons suffer from disabilities, and who in the past have been segregated from society,” explained Pineda.

The Venezuelan diplomat said the inter-American treaty, which the OAS General Assembly adopted in Guatemala City in 1999, is one of the most important mechanisms available to the OAS to combat such problems. “Fortunately, we are moving ahead in the hemisphere towards recognizing the rights that these citizens, these compatriots, have, thus confirming that physical impediments do not constitute a reason for a citizen to be segregated,” added Pineda.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza noted that this treaty “is part of a broad effort we are undertaking as an Organization to make all discrimination issues a priority on our agenda.” In this regard, Insulza recalled that the member states are working tirelessly to conclude the negotiation of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and also to substantially strengthen the legal instruments related to gender-based discrimination.

Referring to today’s ratification, Insulza said that “one of this treaty’s virtues is that it has had the capacity to mobilize members of civil society in different countries, and they have organized themselves with enthusiasm and dedication so that, first, this Convention could become a reality and subsequently, that it could be ratified by the greatest possible number of countries.” He also recalled that last June, the OAS General Assembly designated the next ten years as the Decade of the Americas for Persons with Disabilities.
The Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities entered into force in September 2001 and to date it has been ratified, in addition to Venezuela, by the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Besides seeking to prevent and eliminate discrimination, the treaty is also intended to facilitate the full incorporation of disabled persons into society through legislative, social, educational and labor-related measures.

Reference: E-204/06