At the invitation of the Government of Brazil, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hold its 107th special session in that country next week. It will meet in Brasilia from June 12 to 14, 2000, and in the city of São Paulo on June 15 and 16.
The Commission is one of the principal autonomous organs of the Organization of American States (OAS), established under the OAS Charter to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the Americas and to serve as the Organization's advisory body on such matters. The Commission is composed of seven members, who receive support services from its Executive Secretariat. Participants at the session will include the Chairman, Dr. Hélio Bicudo, of Brazil; the First Vice Chairman, Dean. Claudio Grossman, of Chile; the Second Vice Chairman, Dr. Juan E. Méndez, of Argentina; and members Dr. Marta Altolaguirre of Guatemala, Prof.. Robert Goldman of the United States, Dr. Peter Laurie of Barbados, and Dr. Julio Prado Vallejo of Ecuador. The Commission will be assisted by its Executive Secretary, Ambassador Jorge Taiana; its Assistant Executive Secretary, Dr. David Padilla; its Principal Specialist, Dr. Osvaldo Kreimer; and its specialists, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed and Mario López Garelli. Administrative support will be provided by Mrs. Ana Cecilia Adriazola and Mrs. Gloria Hansen.
The Commission's schedule includes meetings with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and with other high officials from the various branches of national and state government. A meeting with civil society organizations is planned for June 15 at the Parlatino facility in São Paulo.
In addition, the Commission will participate in two seminars on the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights. The first will be held on June 12 in the hearing room of the Superior Court of Justice in Brasilia, and has been organized by that court in conjunction with the Secretariat for Human Rights and the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil. The second, to be held on June 16 at the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo, has been organized by the Secretariat of Justice and Citizen Affairs of the State of São Paulo and by the Violence Studies Unit of the University.
The Commission will also hold regular meetings to address matters relating to its tasks and mandate. As is customary, at the close of the session the Commission will issue a press release summarizing its activities.
São Paulo, June 9, 2000