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OAS Participates in Third High Level Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy

  May 28, 2013

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, represented the organization in the Third High Level Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy, held in Brussels, Belgium under the theme “Upholding and Strengthening the Rule of Law in our Regions.”

The Meeting, organized by International IDEA, was attended by leaders from the world’s major regional organizations, namely the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the League of Arab States, the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the OAS and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), in addition to the European Commission which hosted the meeting.

“Today's Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy is an excellent example of political dialogue among regional and international organizations for democracy building processes,” said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in his welcoming remarks.

The heads and representatives of the regional organizations, the President of the European Commission, the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of International IDEA recognized that the rule of law implies that all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to just, fair and equitable laws and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

The Meeting further recognized how the Inter-American Democratic Charter identifies respect for human rights, the rule of law and the separation of powers among the essential elements of representative democracy, as well as efforts by the OAS to implement the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the continued advancement of the Inter-American Human Rights System, and the achievements of the OAS in the field of regional legal cooperation, especially the progress achieved in the implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the process of Meetings of Ministers of Justice or other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA).

For his part, Ambassador Ramdin took the floor to talk about some of the main challenges faced in implementing the rule of law in the Americas, such as poverty and inequality, corruption, access to justice and organized crime and highlighted some of the activities of the OAS in those areas.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General also called for regional organizations to work together and share experiences and best practices in order to support their Member States in their efforts to draft legislation that is responsive to the needs of today’s world, as well as to help them increase their capacity to provide innovative strategies for equitable access to justice.

The Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy is a platform for engagement among regional organizations on democracy and related issues based on the belief that that the individual and joint experiences of the regional organizations constitute a unique and valuable resource that needs to be further harnessed, taking into account the differences in mandates, context, character and capacity among the organizations. The Dialogue was officially launched at the headquarters of the OAS in Washington, DC on April 15, 2011.

Participants agreed to organize the Third Inter-Regional Workshop on Constitutional Governance and the Rule of Law. The workshop, aimed at senior officials and international and regional experts will take stock of the mandates and activities of regional organizations; facilitate the sharing of experiences and lesson learned in the field of judicial and quasi-judicial institutions for the protection of human rights; and explore and discuss the different mechanisms for regional legal cooperation, as well as national constitution building processes. International IDEA will host this workshop in The Hague, The Netherlands from October 15 to 17, 2013.

Find more information about the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy initiative at:

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-205/13