OAS adopts Inter-American Conventions

vlcsnap-2013-06-06-19h49m52s144Yesterday, the General Assembly of the OAS adopted the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance, as well as the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance. Both documents were formerly negotiated and subsequently drafted and are now open for the member states to sign and thereafter ratify. However, we understand that Belize did not participate in this process, nor can it, at this time, join in the adaptation of the conventions. This is because of the UNIBAM vlcsnap-2013-06-06-19h50m07s52vs. the Attorney General suit which is currently before the Supreme Court. The conventions, says Chair of the OAS’s Permanent Council, Arturo Vallarino, has been in the making since 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.” So will this advancement have any impact on the global lobbying for the legalization of sex unions? Guatemala’s Foreign Minister insists it will not. Speaking on the issue, he stated “I don’t think that we are approving this to thereafter approve gay vlcsnap-2013-06-06-19h49m59s220marriage. I don’t think that that is the consequence of the convention… And while of course, part of the gay movement has been strong in promoting the idea of marriage as an acknowledged right, I think that the majority of states consider these topics as separate. But nevertheless, today I see a very clear convention in that if I attack someone for being gay or for his/her sexual orientation in general, this is a violation of the convention.” Today, a signing ceremony for the two conventions was held. The 43 Annual Assembly of the OAS ended today.

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