Fecha: (4/12/2018 12:00:56 PM)
Montevideo, Uruguay. On March 14, 2018, María Elena Martínez, a member of the IIHR General Assembly, represented the IIHR and its Regional Office for South America in the awarding of diplomas of the Inter-University Program on Human Rights, co-sponsored by the Institute and the Association of Universities Entrusted to the Society of Jesus in Latin America (AUSJAL). The event took place at the Catholic University of Uruguay (UCU).
Mrs. Martínez stated that this unprecedented initiative “complements other training on human rights and offers concrete tools that may be applied in daily work,” which makes it “an innovative effort because … it has not been created to increase academic prestige or improve the standing of the universities.” She further stated “that this educational cycle makes possible a greater effort to change society by training professionals with integrity to build a democratic culture on a solid base and to build societies that are more egalitarian, more respectful of human rights by training persons to be more demanding of their human rights.”
She was followed by Mario Spangenberg, Dean of the UCU Law School, who emphasized the importance of working with the IIHR, and the Director of the Secretariat of Human Rights of the Office of the President of the Republic, Nelson Villareal, who in addition to recalling the work of Father Luis Pérez in the area of education in human rights, stated that rights are “in contradiction” in a world that debates between “full and restricted democracies.” He also pointed out the interrelationship of rights with democracy and development and asked the graduates to think about the effect of new technologies on rights.
Finally, Mariella Saettone, General Coordinator of the Program, urged the graduates to have “a proactive attitude in promoting human rights” and alluded to the 40th anniversary of the American Convention and the 70th of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which consecrates the dignity of all persons and the essence of which is the protection of their rights, an end that the juridical and political institutions must ensure in addition to creating the conditions for the spiritual and material progress that is necessary to achieve happiness.
The program was carried out simultaneously in eleven universities, located in Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. According to Alipio Nahui, staff member of the General Coordination, there were 120 graduates this year, which brings the total number of graduates to some 1,600 since the program began 16 years ago.