Nº 2/01

In a ceremony held today in the Office of Secretary General César Gaviria, Mr. Richard Wilkinson, Director for the Americas and Permanent Observer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Organization of American States, presented the Secretary General, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ("IACHR"), and the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy ("UPD") with His Government's generous contribution of $24,000 to the IACHR and $37,500 to the UPD in support of the Hemispheric activities of these institutions. Also attending the function were Alexandra Hall Hall, First Secretary and Alternate Observer, Permanent Observer Mission of the United Kingdom to the OAS, UPD Executive Coordinator Elizabeth Spehar, Diego Paz, Senior Specialist of the UPD, IACHR Chairman Dr. Hélio Bicudo, IACHR Executive Secretary Jorge E. Taiana, IACHR Assistant Executive Secretary David J. Padilla, IACHR Senior Human Rights Attorney Relinda Eddie and IACHR Human Rights Attorney Brian Tittemore. 

          The IACHR is the organ of the OAS whose principal function is to promote the observance and protection of human rights in the Americas and to serve as a consultative organ of the Organization in these matters. The funds granted by the Government of the United Kingdom to the IACHR provided crucial support for a seminar convened by the IACHR in Grenada on February 1 and 2, 2001, as its contribution to a series of seminars co-sponsored by the IACHR to promote the inter-American human rights system in the Caribbean region. 

The UPD is the principal body within the General Secretariat of the OAS responsible for activities in support of democratic consolidation in the member states. The Government of the United Kingdom's funding for the UPD will contribute to the undertaking of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission to Peru, which will be deployed on February 20, 2001 for the observation of general elections to be held in that country on April 8, 2001. 

Through these much welcomed and appreciated contributions, the Government of the United Kingdom has demonstrated its formidable commitment to strengthening respect for democracy and human rights in the Americas, and has recognized the central and interdependent roles played by the UPD and IACHR in pursuing this objective.  


Washington, D.C.  February 15, 2001