Außenpolitik und Menschenrechte Neuigkeiten August 2013
GRANDCHILD No. 109 RECOVERS HIS IDENTITY
Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo announced the restitution of the identity of Pablo Germán Athanasiu Laschan, who was abducted with his parents on 15 April 1976 at the age of five months and a half.
His parents were Frida Laschan Mellado and ngel Athanasiu Jara, a couple of Chilean citizens who arrived in Argentina after Pinochet s coup d état. Pablo Germán was born on 29 October 1975, in Buenos Aires. In April 1976, the couple and their child were abducted during an operation of the security forces conducted within the framework of the Condor Plan.
Pablo Athanasiu Laschan is the 109th grandchild to recover his identity, adding another accomplishment to the battle being fought by the human rights movement in search of truth, memory and justice.
THREE YEARS OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
On 15 July, the Argentine same-sex marriage law turned three years old. During these years, more than seven thousand marriages were performed throughout the country, including a hundred couples of foreigners who married on Argentine soil.
It should be noted that Argentina was the first country in Latin America and the tenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. To date, 13 countries have passed same-sex marriage laws.
This law promoted a series of legislative reforms that placed Argentina in the forefront of the movement for the recognition of the rights of the LGBT community.
FRANCE CONGRATULATED ARGENTINA ON ITS ACTION AGAINST THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY ITS MILITARY DICTATORSHIP
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs congratulated the Argentine Judiciary on the conviction of four defendants accused of the illegal abduction and disappearance of French citizen Marie-Anne Erize in October 1976.
The communiqué stated that, once again, France welcomed the determination of Argentina to bring justice to the victims of the military dictatorship and their families, as well as the country s commitment to the remembrance efforts undertaken since the abrogation of the amnesty laws in 2003. In addition, the communiqué recalled the commitment of Argentina to the fight against impunity and to the rights to justice and truth, praising the excellent cooperation between both countries for the defence of human rights.
MEETING OF OLDER PERSONS IN COSTA RICA
From 3 to 5 July 2013, the first follow-up meeting of the Charter of San José on the Rights of Older Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean was held in San José, Costa Rica, organized by ECLAC and the government of Costa Rica. The San José Charter, which was agreed upon in May 2012, reaffirms the commitment of the governments to spare no effort in promoting and protecting the human rights and fundamental liberties of all older persons, as well as their willingness to work toward the eradication of all forms of discrimination and violence, and to create protection networks for elderly persons that will help guarantee their rights.
The Delegation of Argentina was comprised of officers of the Ministry of Social Development, the Secretariat for Human Rights and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting consisted of working groups and panels that reflected the regional consensus with respect to the need to continue making progress in connection with the legal gaps faced by this vulnerable group.
It should be noted that Argentina attaches great importance to the issue of the protection of the rights of the elderly, as evidenced by its presidency of the OAS Working Group that is currently elaborating the American Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons, as well as by its presidency of the Fourth Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, which will be held in August 2013, within the framework of the United Nations.
39 STATES ARE ALREADY PARTIES TO THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL PERSONS FROM ENFORCED DISAPPERARANCE (CED)
Argentina and France are promoting an international campaign to achieve a higher number of ratifications of this international instrument, which was an initiative launched by the two countries in 2006.
The Convention is a novel instrument which presents a pre-emptive dimension that contemplates monitoring and early warning mechanisms. In addition, the instrument addresses the existing gap with respect to the crime of enforced disappearance, constituting the first legally binding document to define enforced disappearance as a generalized and systematic practice, classifying it as an imprescriptible crime. The CED also refers to the appropriation of children who were subjected to enforced disappearance, as well as to the right to the truth.
The Convention against Enforced Disappearance entered into force in December 2010, after 20 ratifications. To date, 39 countries have ratified it. The last two countries to adopt it have been Cambodia (June 2013) and Morocco (May 2013).
POLAND: SEMINAR ON THE LATIN AMERICAN GENOCIDE PREVENTION NETWORK
On 27 and 28 June, the first Session of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) was held in Auschwitz, Poland. It was addressed to the focal points of the Latin American Network for Genocide Prevention.
The Latin American Network for Genocide Prevention was launched in 2012, in Buenos Aires, and Poland s is the first activity that is specifically addressed to the Network. The second session of the Seminar will be held in November, in Buenos Aires.
During the course of the first session in Poland, Argentina hosted the closing dinner of the Seminar, with the presence of representatives from fourteen countries of our region, which demonstrates the strong regional commitment to the issue.
AMBASSADORS OF LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES VISITED THE REMEMBRANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS SITE
Ambassadors and cultural attachés from Latin America visited the Officers Mess of the former Buenos Aires Navy Mechanics School (ESMA), which served as one of the most iconic clandestine detention centres of the last civil and military dictatorship in Argentina. The activity was organized with a view to strengthening the bonds with the countries of the region that have a common past, history and identity with Argentina.
Apart from the diplomats, the Undersecretary for the Promotion of Human Rights, Carlos Pisoni; the representative of the Secretariat for Human Rights in the Remembrance Site (former ESMA), Paula Maroni; the director of the Espacio para la Memoria Institute (IEM), Eduardo Tavani; the director of the Haroldo Conti Remembrance Cultural Centre, Eduardo Jozami; the president of the Argentine Remembrance Archive (ANM), Ramón Torres Molina; and Daniel Tarnopolsky, a relative of disappeared victims and member of the Board of Human Rights Organizations of the Remembrance Site, participated in the activity.
The visitors took a private tour of the Officers Mess and, at the end of the visit, saw the various exhibitions in the Haroldo Conti Remembrance Cultural Centre located within the premises of the former ESMA , which is a place for the dissemination and promotion of culture and human rights where intellectuals, artists, musicians, filmmakers, actors and photographers contribute, through art, to the building of a collective identity from different perspectives.
DELEGATION OF THE BUENOS AIRES ANNE FRANK CENTRE VISITS THE NETHERLANDS
On 16 and 17 July, a delegation of the Anne Frank Centre of Argentina visited the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam and the study program that this foundation organizes for students and teachers who receive awards from museums such as Hollandsche Schouwburg (the Dutch Theatre), the Dutch Resistance Museum, the Monument to Auschwitz, the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Quarter in Amsterdam in order to learn about the lives of Jews during the Holocaust.
The Argentine Delegation included the Deputy Director of the Directorate for Human Rights and the Director for the Promotion and Development of Practices against Discrimination of the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism of Argentina (INADI).
The strong commitment of our country to the fight against discrimination has been evidenced by the recent passing of Law No. 26809, which commemorates the date of birth of Anne Frank as the Day of Adolescents and Youngsters for Social Inclusion and Coexistence, and against All Forms of Violence and Discrimination .
Official meetings were held in order to advance in a cooperation project between Argentina and the Netherlands, considering the importance that both countries attach to the promotion and defence of human rights.
The visit, which finished with a reception at the official residence with the presence of approximately 100 guests, successfully reinforced the fraternal bonds that bring together two countries that have become natural partners thanks to their common agenda on human rights.
CHILE: HOMAGE TO CAMERAMAN LEANDRO HENRICHSEN
On 29 June, a ceremony to pay homage to cameraman Leandro Henrichsen took place in Santiago, Chile, on the 40th anniversary of his murder during the failed military coup d état known as the tank putsch ( el tanquetazo ).
Henrichsen had been sent to Chile to cover the political and military situation of the government of Salvador Allende for the Swedish television and a Buenos Aires TV channel. On the morning of 29 June 1972, while Henrichsen was filming the military coup together with a colleague of his, Swedish journalist Jan Sandquist, he was shot by a military patrol. The cameraman filmed his own death.
The ceremony, during which a plaque was put up to honour Leonardo Henrichsen, was organized by the Citizenship Committee for Democratic Memory, and was supported by the Mayor of Santiago.
Present at the ceremony were Josephine Henrichsen, the daughter of the journalist, foreign correspondents, several media and representatives of different human rights organizations.
AUSENCIAS EXHIBITION AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Within the framework of the Second Meeting of the Member States to the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which took place on 28 May, the photographic exhibition Ausencias of Argentine artist Gustavo Germano was inaugurated. The Mothers and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo were present and offered a speech, as well as the artist and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban-Ki Moon, in an environment of palpable emotion and transcendence.
The exhibition was inaugurated in our country by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in 2008, at the Recoleta Cultural Centre. It has been planned to take it to different Latin American cities.
II MEETING OF ARGENTINE AND COLOMBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DIRECTORS - COLOMBIA
On 5 July, the II Meeting of Human Rights Directors of Argentina and Colombia was held through videoconference, with the presence of officers from both Ministries of Foreign Affairs and other entities of the Colombian Government.
During the meeting, there were exchanges about positions and experiences in various issues of interest to both countries, including the Inter-American System of Human Rights (IASHR) and possibilities for bilateral cooperation.
The meeting produced two proposals, which were subsequently agreed upon in the presidential declaration signed by the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos.
These proposals include:
To coordinate visits and exchange experiences in memory and truth processes based on the experience of Argentina, in order to support the design of transitional justice programmes in Colombia.
To hold a meeting between the relevant authorities in the field of the fight against discrimination during the second semester, in the city of Buenos Aires, in order to move forward with a cooperation project in the field.
JOINT DECLARATION FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF COOPERATION IN HEALTH
On 26 and 27 June, representatives of the Ministries of Health of Argentina and the Caribbean States, the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization, the Directors of the Development Programme and the Public Health Agency of the Caribbean signed an important joint Declaration for the Strengthening of Cooperation in the Field of Health at the Palacio San Martín building of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Buenos Aires.
This declaration recognizes the importance of the Right to Health as the working framework, considering it to be a Fundamental Human Right. The importance of the measures aimed at strengthening the fulfilment of the MDGs, particularly those related to Health and Inclusive Growth, was also highlighted.
On 17 July, a MoU on Cooperation for Social Inclusion, Access to Health and Building of Human Resources in the field of Health was signed by the Secretaries of State of the Ministries of Health of the Argentine Republic and the Federative Republic of Brazil. The MoU highlighted health and education as fundamental human rights, and social inclusion as vital to the social policies of States, the participation and commitment of citizens being paramount to the actual enjoyment of said rights.