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OAS Permanent Council Opens Dialogue with the IACHR on the Strengthening of the Inter-American System

  November 8, 2012

The Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) began on Wednesday, in a special meeting of the Permanent Council, a dialogue with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that should lead to the adoption of measures to contribute to the strengthening of the Inter-American System of Human Rights (ISHR).

The Commission, through its Chair, José de Jesús Orozco, presented to the Member States its response to the recommendations of the Working Group of the Permanent Council and afterwards, the Member States presented their points of view on the answer.

The open dialogue is the second phase of the process that will culminate in March 2013 at the latest with the debate and eventual approval in a special meeting of the General Assembly of the proposals for the strengthening the Commission, according to the timetable established by the General Assembly of Cochabamba, in June The previous phase of submission of proposals closed with the reception of eight contributions from Member States and 14 from civil society, explained the Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS, Ambassador Joel Hernandez.

Upon presenting the response of the Commission, its Chair, José de Jesús Orozco, said that "each recommendation presented here, as well as those that were submitted in writing, shall be subject to careful consideration within the Inter-American Commission in the process of reform of its Rules, policies and practices, of which we will promptly inform this Permanent Council, with the aim of greater promotion and protection of human rights." Furthermore, Orozco reported that "the 53 recommendations that the Working Group to Reflect on the Functioning of the Inter-American System of the Permanent Council delivered to the Commission are being analyzed with the greatest commitment and greatest responsibility, seriousness and professionalism. We will always remain at the order of the Council with a receptive spirit. "

During the meeting, the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, made a call to "value the process that is beginning here, and point out that what we all want is to strengthen the system. This means not depriving it of the elements that have been instrumental to its functioning, such as the autonomy with which this organization has been operated - backed by the General Assembly - in the promotion and defense of human rights, as stated in the OAS Charter." He emphasized the value of the dialogue between the Member States and the IACHR and said in his judgment, "strengthening the system goes to meet three objectives: the universalization of the acts of the Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: the promotion of compliance with the recommendations and judgments that are issued through the System: and providing the Commission and the Court the necessary resources to act in a much more extensive manner than at present."

At the conclusion of the meeting, and highlighting the concept that defined the spirit of the session, Ambassador Hernandez echoed the sentiments of Secretary General and all those who took part in the debate, saying: "if there is a keyword that defines this stage of the process of strengthening the ISHR, it is dialogue, constructive dialogue." The Chair of the Permanent Council said that the objective of the meeting was "to have better communication between Member States and the Commission, in order to fully understand the response the IACHR has put on the table, and that the delegations of the countries can convey their concerns to the Commission about the recommendations that have been made by the Commission itself."

During the session of the Permanent Council, representatives of the United States, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica (speaking on behalf of CARICOM), Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Dominica, Canada, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay all participated in the meeting.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-405/12