Media Center

Press Release


  November 30, 2005

QUITO, Ecuador – The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, participated as a special guest of President Alfredo Palacio in this morning’s ceremony to install Ecuador’s new Supreme Court of Justice.

In his speech, Insulza called the installation of the country’s highest court a decisive step in the process of democratic normalization, but cautioned that the task would not be fully complete without the support of all sectors of Ecuadorian society and the resolve to respect the court’s rulings. These two factors are essential for the normalization of the country’s institutions, stressed Insulza, who expressed his respect for Ecuador’s sovereignty. Insulza said the path to democratic stabilization requires the generosity of all sectors and called on the new Supreme Court to respond to the trust that Ecuadorians had placed in the institution.

The Secretary General recognized the work of the Qualification Committee that was involved in the process of nominating the new judges and paid tribute to the support of international observers who helped restore institutional normalcy. “The overwhelming winners in this process are the Ecuadorian people, in whom I place my confidence with the certainty that they will respect the stability, sustainability, and the impartial and independent functioning of the judiciary,” he said. “May we never again in the Americas have one branch of government overthrown or dissolved by the other branches,” he added.

Insulza underscored the critical role of the OAS, the United Nations and the Andean Community of Nations in helping to restore order to Ecuador’s institutions. “This joint initiative is a clear example of the importance of unifying the efforts of the international community to support common causes for democratic development,” he said. Insulza noted in particular the work of OAS special representatives José Antonio Viera Gallo and Sonia Picado, and said the Organization will remain firmly committed to efforts that “strengthen the proper functioning of democratic institutions in our hemisphere.”

Referring to the challenges faced by the region, the Secretary General said that “this notable occasion establishes a precedent for the hemisphere and for the world” and told the new members of the Supreme Court that they had “the responsibility to administer justice in an impartial and independent manner, re-establish the rule of law, give legitimacy to the new court through the exercise of your duties and restore Ecuadorians’ trust in the judiciary.” He reiterated the commitment of the OAS to continue accompanying the state and Supreme Court of Ecuador “in all initiatives that help strengthen the judicial system and democracy.”

In his speech, President Palacio expressed his appreciation for the support that international organizations had provided in the process of state restructuring and noted especially the work of the new OAS administration. Following the ceremony, the Ecuadorian leader invited Insulza to the presidential palace, where along with Foreign Minister Francisco Carrión they continued to discuss the situation in Ecuador.

Reference: E-275/05