ANTIGUA, Guatemala — The 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is taking place in Antigua, Guatemala, on Wednesday adopted the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance and opened them for signature.
This decision by the General Assembly marks the end of the process whereby those two documents were negotiated and drafted, following which they are now open for the member states to sign and subsequently ratify. A signing ceremony for the two conventions was due to be held on Thursday, attended by the secretary general of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza.
Fernando Carrera Castro, minister of foreign affairs of Guatemala and president of the General Assembly, said that with the adoption of the draft resolutions, “we have proceeded to adopt two important legal instruments.”
“The Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance recognizes the enjoyment, exercise, and protection, under conditions of equality, of all the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons. In turn, the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance takes into account the victims of discrimination and intolerance in the Americas,” said Guatemala’s foreign minister.
Arturo Vallarino, chair of the OAS’s Permanent Council and permanent representative of Panama to the Organization, said: “Today sees the conclusion of the task that was begun by the OAS member states in the year 2000, when the General Assembly instructed the Permanent Council to study the need to prepare a draft American convention to prevent, punish, and eradicate racism and all forms of discrimination and intolerance.”