Nº 22/01 




On Thursday, 23 and Friday, 24 August 2001, in the Conference Room of the Escuela Diplomática y Consular of the Department of Foreign Relations, located at Avenida Independencia Nº 752, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold a Seminar on the inter-American dystem for the protection and promotion of human rights.  This event, convened at the invitation of the Government of the Dominican Republic, will be attended by a delegation of the Commission composed of: Dr. Juan Méndez (Argentina), First Vice Chair of the IACHR, Dr. Hélio Bicudo (Brazil) and Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo (Ecuador) members of the IACHR; Dr. Bertha Santoscoy, Senior Human Rights Specialist; Dr. Raquel Poitevien, Human Rights Specialist; and Mrs. Gloria Amanda Molina, Administrative Assistant. The Inaugural Session of the Seminar will be attended by the following representatives of the Government of the Dominican Republic: the President of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Hipólito Mejía; the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Dr. Hugo Tolentino Dipp; and the Attorney General, Dr. Virgilio  Bello Rosa.


The objective of the Seminar is to promote the inter-American treaties and mechanisms for the protection of human rights in OAS member states.  Participants will include parliamentarians, public prosecutors, ombudsmen, judges, lawyers, law professors and students, police officers, correctional officers, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and members of civil society.  “This Seminar is of great importance for the promotion of respect for and observance of human rights in the Dominican Republic as well as the rest of the Americas”, explained the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Dr. Santiago Alejandro Canton.


The Commission is a principal organ of the OAS entrusted with promoting, protecting, and defending human rights in the Americas and acting as an advisory body to the OAS in these matters. The Commission derives its authority from the OAS Charter, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the Statutes and Regulations of the Commission.  The Commission is composed of seven Commissioners who are elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and do not represent their countries of origin or residence. As part of its mandate, the Commission analyzes individual petitions alleging violations of rights protected under the American Convention, in respect of member states having ratified that treaty, and rights enshrined in the American Declaration in respect of other OAS member states. The Commission also studies the human rights situation in countries of the Hemisphere, examines specific questions subject to its competence, and prepares and publishes reports accordingly. The Commission wishes to express its appreciation and congratulations to the Government of the Dominican Republic for offering to host this event.


Washington, D.C., August 17, 2001