Media Center

Press Release


  June 18, 2008

The Organization of American States’ (OAS) Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, yesterday called for additional measures to be put in place to improve the status of women around the hemisphere.

Insulza’s appeal came as he signed an agreement to formalize arrangements for the Second Conference of States Party to the Follow-up Mechanism to Follow up on Implementation of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women (MESECVI) .

Insulza signed the agreement at OAS headquarters in Washington, along with Ambassador Nelson Pineda, Alternate Representative of Venezuela, which will host the Conference next July 9 and 10. The meeting will be held in Caracas and is being organized by the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), a specialized agency of the OAS.

The Secretary General said the OAS views the upcoming conference as very important as it will be the first time that representatives of the countries will be meeting with the Committee of Experts that will report on the current status of women around the hemisphere. “Unfortunately, not all is well,” Insulza remarked, insisting that while the Follow-up Mechanism itself is good and has been working well, not much progress has been made in tackling violence against women.

“The status of women has not improved in our hemisphere,” he stressed. To the contrary, evidence from several countries suggests an alarming situation, the Secretary General added, expressing the hope that beyond receiving the report, the upcoming Caracas conference would propose additional measures for countries to adopt in order to improve the status of women in general and in particular to tackle violence against women in many countries of the Americas.

For his part, Venezuela’s Ambassador Pineda noted how “extremely honored” his country is to be hosting this very important meeting of the Inter-American Commission of Women. He also stressed the importance of the hemispheric treaty to outlaw violence against women—also known as the Belém do Pará Convention, for the Brazilian city where it was adopted in 1994—which seeks to protect women and all of their rights.

Thanking the OAS for the opportunity, Pineda stated that the meeting in Caracas will demonstrate OAS best practices from its efforts in recent years for the broadest protection of the rights of all citizens of the Americas and, in particular, the rights of women.

The OAS Permanent Council’s Chairman, Ambassador Michael King of Barbados, and CIM representatives, were among those on hand to witness the signing of the agreement for the conference of states party.

Reference: E-242/08