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OAS Secretary General underscores the successes of the General Assembly in Cochabamba

  June 5, 2012

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said today that the forty-second regular session of the General Assembly, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, “was a great General Assembly session, which successfully addressed matters as important as food security, the strengthening of the human rights system, and a rapprochement between two countries – Argentina and the United Kingdom – who are seeking peace and, we trust, will sit down and talk with a view to reaching an understanding.” “I believe that this Assembly sessions what I have often reiterated, namely, that the OAS, even with the shortcomings it indeed has, is the leading political forum in the Hemisphere, it is the body that all come to in the search for a solution to the problems of the region,” Insulza said.

The forty-second regular session of the OAS General Assembly, which ended today in Cochabamba, had an intense last day. It included the adoption of the “Declaration on Food Security with Sovereignty in the Americas,” an initial rapprochement of historic importance between Argentina and the United Kingdom regarding their differendum concerning the Malvinas Islands, and a discussion on the inter-American human rights system. Participating in the Assembly were high-ranking figures, including the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and numerous Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Hemisphere.

The theme of the OAS Assembly in Cochabamba – Food Security with Sovereignty – was a point of convergence of the vision shared by all the countries in the region regarding the need to adopt measures to improve the food security situation in the Americas. There was general agreement among all the delegations of the OAS member states concerning the importance of making a healthy diet more accessible to the most vulnerable sectors of Latin American and Caribbean society.

The ratification of the Social Charter of the Americas, adopted on the first day of the Assembly session, was another historically important event at the Cochabamba assembly. This important document, which, along with the Inter-American Democratic Charter greatly supports the work of the OAS in advancing democracy, expressly recognizes “that social justice and equity are essential for democracy.” It also recognizes that “the contributions of indigenous peoples, afro-descendents, and migrant communities to the historical process of the Hemisphere" and notes the need for governments to adopt “policies to promote inclusion and to prevent, combat, and eliminate all forms of intolerance and discrimination, especially gender, ethnic, and race discrimination in order to safeguard equal rights and opportunities and strengthen democratic values.”

The forty-second regular session of the OAS General Assembly also provided an opportunity for a frank and open discussion on the inter-American human rights system. In that context, the foreign ministers received the reports of the presidents of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court, and adopted a resolution that welcomed the report of the Permanent Council Special Working Group to Reflect on the Workings of the IACHR with a View to Strengthening of the Inter-American Human Rights System . They also instructed the Permanent Council to draw up proposals for its application in dialogue with all the parties involved.

The fourth plenary session saw the election of officers of the organs, agencies and entities of the Organization. The candidates elected to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights were: Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot (Mexico), Humberto Sierra Porto (Colombia) y Roberto de Figueredo Caldas (Brazil). The following were elected to the Inter-American Juridical Committee: Fabián Novak Talavera (Peru), David Steward (United States), and Gélin Imanès Collot (Haiti). Manuel Arturo Montesino (El Salvador) and Douglass Cassel (United States) were elected for the Justice Studies Center of the Americas. Héctor Enrique Arce Zaconeta (Bolivia) filled the vacancy on the OAS Administrative Tribunal.

The election of one member of the Board of External Auditors to Examine the Accounts of the General Secretariat was left pending and will be held by the Permanent Council of the OAS on August 31, 2012.

The photos of the General Assembly are available here.

The videos of the General Assembly are available here and here

The audios of the General Assembly are available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-211/12