Media Center



  June 5, 2007


PANAMA CITY, Panama—In its fourth and final plenary session, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a series of resolutions and declarations tied to key facets of the hemispheric agenda.

The region’s highest decision-making body, which has been meeting in Panama City, approved by acclamation a proposal put forward by Panamanian First Lady Vivian Fernández de Torrijos, who asked that her country be the headquarters for the Technical and Executive Secretariat of the Program of Action for the Decade of the Americas for the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

The General Assembly also approved the Declaration on the Question of the Malvinas Islands, proposed for the consideration of the plenary by the delegation of Argentina. In its final session, the plenary also received a Report on the Maritime Problem of Bolivia.

The countries also approved, at the urging of the Colombian government, the Declaration on the Peace Efforts in Colombia. Fifteen delegations took the floor to express their appreciation for efforts by the government of President Alvaro Uribe to move toward a lasting solution to the conflict that has affected that South American country in the last four decades.

The 34 member states also approved the Declaration against the Restriction on International Soccer Matches at Altitudes of Over 2,500 Meters Above Sea Level, in response to a recent decision on this issue by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).

After receiving a report on the socioeconomic and environmental impact of climate change on the countries of the hemisphere, presented by Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the annual report of the OAS Permanent Council, the General Assembly adopted more than 80 resolutions and declarations on a range of issues related to the regional organization’s efforts.

Election of Authorities

Members of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights addressed the General Assembly, after which the member states proceeded to elect officials to OAS bodies, agencies and entities.

Guillermo Fernández de Soto of Colombia and Mauricio Herdocia Sacasa of Nicaragua were elected to the Inter-American Juridical Committee, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Elections were also held for four vacancies on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, headquartered in Washington. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro of Brazil, Felipe González Morales of Chile, Florentín Meléndez of El Salvador and Luz Patricia Mejía Guerrero of Venezuela were elected to four-year terms.

Joseph Freamo of Canada was elected by acclamation to the Board of External Auditors, which looks at the accountability of the General Secretariat. Also by acclamation, the Assembly elected Homero Máximo Bibiloni of Argentina to the OAS Administrative Tribunal.

Lucila Esther Larrandart of Argentina was also elected by acclamation to join the Board of Directors of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas, based in Chile.

Reference: GA-23-07