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Panel on equal representation in international bodies

Fecha: (7/12/2017 3:17:42 PM)

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San José, Costa Rica. On June 12, 2017, the IIHR hosted a panel on “Equal Representation in International Bodies: Current Challenges and Proposals,” an activity organized with the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) with a view to the coming election of three members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at the OAS General Assembly to be held June 19-21. Participants included Elizabeth Odio Benito, Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and member of the IIHR General Assembly; Alejandra Mora Mora, Minister of the Condition of Women and President of INAMU; Adriana Murillo Ruin, Costa Rican diplomat, and Miguel Gutiérrez Saxe, founder and former Director of the State of the Nation program and member of the Panel of Independent Experts that evaluated the candidates. Marcela Martino, Assistant Director of CEJIL Mesoamerica, was the moderator.  

After the opening remarks of IIHR Executive Director, José Thompson, Ms. Murillo provided an interesting explanation on how elections and candidatures for these types of international positions take place. She was followed by Ms. Mora who referred to the persistent lack of women in positions of decision, the importance of affirmative action and the need to change public opinion and move from talk to effective action to overcome underrepresentation. For her part, Judge Odio related the history of the participation of women in international tribunals underlining their important role in defining sexual violence as a crime against humanity, among other contributions. She pointed out that there are no women on the current International Criminal Court and argued that there should be affirmative action, quotas and panels of experts to ensure the appropriate representation of women, especially because men do not wish to give these positions. Finally, Mr. Gutiérrez Saxe spoke briefly on the work of the Panel of Experts and its recommendations and contrasted it with the review of the quality of democracy in Costa Rica, which had been carried out by the State of the Nation program a few years ago and which included the area of the administration of justice.

The presentations were followed by an exchange of opinions among those attending, which included Marcia Aguiluz, Director of CEJIL Mesoamerica; members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Costa Rica, members of academia and human rights organizations.

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