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Press Release


  September 24, 2008

Eighty years of advocacy by the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) on behalf of the hemisphere’s women came in for much praise from the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council, which has passed a resolution recognizing the OAS specialized agency’s work promoting women’s civil and political rights since its founding in 1928.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Mission to the OAS tabled the resolution at Wednesday’s regular Permanent Council session. Ann-Marie Layne, the Antigua and Barbuda Alternate Representative, presented the draft resolution, telling the member country representatives that “through the work of the CIM issues once rarely spoken about—which were invisible and underground, such as violence against women—have been brought strongly to the fore.”

Several delegations joined in saluting the work of the Inter-American Commission of Women, which was founded at the Sixth International Conference of American States, held in Havana, Cuba, in 1928. “That women are now represented here is ample demonstration of how far we have come,” Brazil’s Ambassador Osmar Chohfi told his colleague Member State representatives. “The inter-American system must therefore continue the struggle by furnishing the Commission with the necessary resources.”

Chile’s Ambassador Pedro Oyarce, meanwhile, in his congratulatory remarks stated that the Commission has made significant contributions to women’s rights, as reflected in the agency’s promotion of the relevant cultural change and public policies.

A number of the Member State representatives who addressed the Permanent Council on the topic cited the important role of the landmark 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, also known as the Belém do Pará Convention.

The Permanent Representative of Peru to the OAS, Ambassador María Zavala Valladares, told the Permanent Council that with CIM being among the most significant initiatives aimed at consolidating gender equity, “it is vital that trafficking in women be combated and mechanisms for access to justice be strengthened.” Barbados’ Ambassador, Michael King, underscored the important role played by the Inter-American Commission of Women in development for women in Caribbean development. He also reiterated the support of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) bloc for the hemispheric Commission.

Reference: E-363/08