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OAS and Ecuador Agree that Quito will Host Upcoming Meeting of Justice Ministers

  September 20, 2012

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Ambassador of Ecuador to the OAS, María Isabel Salvador, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding that Quito will host the Ninth Meeting of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA), on November 29 and 30.

"REMJA has become the most important political and technical forum in the hemisphere to address issues of justice and legal cooperation," said Secretary General Insulza, recalling that the first meeting was held in Buenos Aires in 1997. Insulza added that, in the Quito meeting, "we hope to make progress on those two great themes of REMJA: justice and legal cooperation."

The OAS Secretary General said that "in terms of justice, we have the reports of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA), to allow for a dialogue on how justice reform has advanced in terms of both criminal and private law. The rest is a matter of public law in terms of the Democratic Charter."

"In the same area we are going to go deeper in the issues of access to justice and alternative mechanisms for dispute resolution that have been on the REMJA agenda," said Insulza, and mentioned the “Judicial Facilitators Program,” which "from the numerical point of view, is the most important program of the OAS."

The OAS Secretary General said that another central theme of the meeting will be hemispheric legal cooperation. In this regard, he recalled that the Inter-American system has "working groups and tools that follow-up on these treaties," such as the Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the follow-up agreement to the Convention of Belém do Pará.

The head of the OAS also reported that "concrete steps" will be taken at the meeting to strengthen the Inter-American Network of information exchange with the implementation of a "secure videoconferencing system," which has been used in a pilot group of six countries "and which we hope to extend to the entire region." Finally, Insulza announced that he participants in the upcoming meeting hope to "strengthen legal cooperation against cybercrime."

For her part, Ambassador Salvador said that for her country "this is important, because the people of Ecuador and the government of President Rafael Correa has given the justice sector and access to it, a new impetus with the aim of achieving definitive transformations in justice." "In this context, the realization of the Ninth REMJA Meeting in my country converges with the interests of the national government," added the Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the OAS.

Ambassador Salvador thanked the General Secretariat of the OAS for its support to her government in organizing the event, and said the Ninth REMJA "will be a space that will allow us to share our visions and experiences on the issue, while at the same time learning from the experiences of other countries in the hemisphere, and jointly search for best practices and together design new justice policies."

The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding was held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. At the ceremony were present the Ambassador of Canada, Allan Culham; the Alternate Representative of the United States to the OAS, William McGlynn; the Chief of Staff of the OAS Secretary General, Ambassador Hugo de Zela; the OAS Secretary for Legal Affairs, Jean Michel Arrighi; the OAS Secretary for External Relations, Alfonso Quiñonez; the Chief of Staff of the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Carmen Lucía de la Pava; and several officials from the OAS and the Mission of Ecuador.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event will be available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-322/12