Americas: OAS member states must prioritise human rights agenda in election of leaders

Member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) must honour the principles of competence, independence and impartiality in the election of the highest-ranking leaders in its General Secretariat, Amnesty International said today in an open letter.

In a letter sent to the authorities of the member states, Amnesty International acknowledges the multilateral organisation’s efforts to finance its Inter-American human rights protection system, but also expresses its concern over the positions of some member states who seem unaware of the independence and autonomy of the organisations that make up this system, the grave human rights situation prevailing in many countries in the region, and the silence of the OAS General Secretariat in response to both these issues.

The OAS General Secretariat has a fundamental role to play in the promotion of human rights of all people on our continent through the protection of its own Inter-American system
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“Following a thorough analysis of the OAS General Secretariat’s official positions on human rights issues in its public press releases, Amnesty International regrets its silence in the face of reports of grave human rights violations in recent protests in Bolivia, Chile, Haiti and Honduras. We urge member states to prioritise a human rights agenda in the upcoming election,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. 

“The OAS General Secretariat has a fundamental role to play in the promotion of human rights of all people on our continent through the protection of its own Inter-American system.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Duncan Tucker: duncan.tucker@amnesty.org