Secretary General of the OAS visited IIN headquarters

Secretary General of the OAS visited IIN headquarters


October 4, 2011 The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Dr. José Miguel Insulza, visited the headquarters of the Inter-American Children´s Institute (IIN) which is located in Montevideo since its inception in 1927 and according to the 1968 agreement with the Government of Uruguay. This visit was carried out during the 86th Regular Meeting of the Directing Council which took place on September 29th and 30th.


An official reception in honour of the members of the Directing Council was hosted by Amb. John Biehl del Río, OAS Representative in Uruguay, and Ms. María de los Dolores Aguilar, Director General of the IIN. The Secretary General of the OAS kindly attended the event, as did high level authorities of the Uruguayan Government, accredited members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of national, regional and international agencies.


On this occasion the OAS Secretary General addressed some remarks to all those present and especially to the authorities of the organization, the Director General and the staff of the IIN. His message was full of hope and timely observations for those of us who work every day to promote the rights of children and adolescents in the region. Among other relevant concepts, he stated:

“Ours is one of the youngest continents, the one with the lowest average age, it is endowed with abundant youth which is our main source of wealth and will continue to be so in the coming years. Economist, who are so fond of translating everything into economic terms, speak of the demographic bonus; for many years in the future we shall have the youngest population, and therefore one which is at the right age for studying, working and being productive, while in other continents demography indicates that the average age is increasing. We shall be able to take advantage of this situation insofar as we make something of our children”.


The Secretary General thanked the President and Vice President, the Representatives of the OAS Member States and other high level authorities who were present, and expressed special gratitude to the agencies and strategic partners who contribute to the implementation of the Institute’s activities for promoting the welfare of children and adolescents in the continent. He also reaffirmed the OAS support for the IIN activities and highlighted the work done by this Specialized Organization which was founded even before the OAS itself, since the Charter was signed in 1948.


The Secretary General extended special congratulations for her performance to Director General Ms. Aguilar Marmolejo, who in April 2011 started a second four-year term after her candidacy was approved by acclamation during the 85th Regular Meeting of the Directing Council (September 23 – 24, 2010, Panama City).


This rebirth of the Institute had already been emphasized by Dr. Ricardo Domínguez, Chief of Staff to the Secretary General of the OAS, who participated on his behalf at the Opening Session of the 86th Regular Meeting on the morning of Thursday 29th: “The IIN, a Specialized Organization of the OAS since 1949, has the mission of contributing to the development of public policies which will guarantee the promotion, protection and exercise of the rights of childhood and adolescents in the OAS Member States and fostering the development of a culture of rights and well-being for children and adolescents in the framework of respect for human rights and consolidation of democracies. Its activities are aimed at building the capacities of the governing bodies for childhood in those States, in order to guarantee children and adolescents the full exercise of their rights based on the framework of promotion and protection enshrined in the CRC. It strives to become an example of specialized excellence and a technical point of reference at the regional level in matters pertaining to childhood and adolescence, a linking nexus within the Inter-American System in the search for consensus and commitment from the governments in order to contribute to the promotion and protection of the rights of children and adolescents”.


The 86th Regular Meeting of the Directing Council was attended by 24 Member States (Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Barbados; Brazil; Canada; Chile, Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala, Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Santa Lucia; Suriname; United States; Uruguay and Venezuela), whose delegations were mostly headed by their Principal Representatives. Significant decisions were made, particularly the adoption of the Action Plan 2011-2015 of the IIN(1) , a planning tool which was accepted by all those present at the meeting and will become the road map for the actions of the Institute in that period.


This document was produced by the Working Group created in the 85th Regular Meeting and led by the President (Colombia), the Vice-President (Panama) and the Principal Representatives of six Member States representing the five subregions (Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago) and the Director General of the IIN; other Member States provided valuable input and participated in its preparation.


After a series of face-to-face and online meetings, the Members States defined three main lines of work for the Action Plan: -Early childhood. – Caring for children and adolescents in natural disasters and emergencies. – Violence in childhood and adolescence, focused on juvenile criminal justice, commercial sexual exploitation, illegal smuggling and trafficking of children and international abduction.


Furthermore, during this regular meeting the Directing Council approved the Management Report for the period October 2010 to September 2011(2) and the Final Report of the 85th Regular Meeting; it thanked the Government of Uruguay for being the headquarters State for the 86th Regular Meeting (3) and accepted Costa Rica kind offer to host the 87th Regular Meeting to be held in the second semester of 2012(5), the year which marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the IIN.


The body also adopted a resolution about promotion and training for children in the Americas according to the Inter-American Democratic Charter(6) and a mandate for work in the topic of adolescent criminal responsibility(7). The OAS Secretary General visit was also the occasion for celebration and friendly communication, for giving recognition to the Director General and the staff of the IIN who renewed their commitment to working for the welfare of children and adolescents in the Americas.


(1)Through Resolution CD/RES. 04 (86-R/11) (2)Through Resolution CD/RES. 02 (86-R/11) (3)Through Resolution CD/RES. 03 (86-R/11) (4)Through Resolution CD/RES. 01 (86-R/11) (5)Through Resolution CD/RES. 05 (86-R/11) (6)Through Resolution CD/RES. 06 (86-R/11) (7)Through Resolution CD/RES. 07 (86-R/11)


See Resolutions

See Accion Plan 2011 – 2015 

See Policy Position Paper «Child Rights in Disaster Risk Management»

See presentations about Early Childhood (original language) 

See presentations about Juvenile Justice (original language) See ICBF’s presentation about Juvenile Justice (original language)

See other presentations See speech of the President of the Directing Council (original language)