Media Center

Press Release

OAS Foreign Ministers Confirm Validity of the Inviolability of Diplomatic Missions in the Context of the Situation between Ecuador and the United Kingdom

  August 24, 2012

Foreign Minister of Ecuador Highlights Role of OAS

The Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS) today approved by acclamation a resolution supporting the inviolability of diplomatic premises, in accordance with the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in the context of the situation between Ecuador and the United Kingdom.

"It was a very positive meeting, with a successful outcome: no one was excluded, everyone spoke -including the representative of the United Kingdom-, there were disagreements, but in the end between us we put together a satisfactory agreement," said the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza. "It showed that the OAS is the foremost hemispheric forum and I think we can all be happy about that," added Secretary General Insulza, who thanked the Foreign Ministers and heads of delegation for their presence at a meeting of "the utmost importance for us.”

For his part the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, Ricardo Patiño, at the conclusion of the meeting, said that “the OAS has demonstrated its important role,” because “an issue of enormous importance for our countries was resolved. It was decided that the rules of international law are still valid, even though some countries are willing to threaten others with violating them.” In a press conference following the meeting of Foreign Ministers, Patiño said that “we feel strengthened by the decision of the OAS, we are sure that the United Kingdom will not carry out its threat.”

"Here it became clear that might does not make right, and that the world is not a jungle, that today's world should be governed by the rules of civilized coexistence, should abide by the rules of international law, and the principles that govern the life of nations. This is a very important victory, above all for Ecuador, because it has expressed solidarity and support for our people and our government, so on behalf of that people and their government I want to thank the representatives of the countries of the Americas,” added Foreign Minister Patiño.

The Chair of the Meeting and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Rafael Roncagliolo said that the countries of the Americas “have reaffirmed our commitment to international law, our ability to express support for a country when threatened and our capacity for dialogue.” “I am pleased to announce with great satisfaction that this meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OAS has strengthened the solidarity between our countries and also fortified the solidity of the organization," added the Peruvian Minister.

The six-point resolution was adopted at a meeting in which the Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela spoke, as well as the heads of delegation of Panama, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, the United States, Grenada, Costa Rica, Dominica, Canada, Suriname, Bolivia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala, Brazil, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, in addition to the delegates from the United Kingdom and Sweden, in their capacity as Permanent Observers.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The full video of the event is available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-291/12