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Cable 217: US State Department Report on US Candidate for OAS Human Rights Commission

Cable 217: US State Department Report on US Candidate for OAS Human Rights Commission

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Published by Andres
This is a 2009 US State Department report on Dinah L. Shelton, the US candidate for a seat on the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, the primary body overseeing human rights in the Western Hemisphere for the Organization of American States (OAS).
This is a 2009 US State Department report on Dinah L. Shelton, the US candidate for a seat on the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, the primary body overseeing human rights in the Western Hemisphere for the Organization of American States (OAS).

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Published by: Andres on Jun 25, 2011
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O 252022Z MAR 09FM SECSTATE WASHDCTO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTSUNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 STATE 028833SUBJECT: PROMOTING U.S. CANDIDATE FOR OAS HUMANRIGHTS COMMISSION
¶1. (SBU) This is an action message (see paras 7-8).¶2. (SBU) Summary: The United States has nominatedDinah L. Shelton for a seat on the Inter-AmericanCommission on Human Rights (IACHR). Shelton is aprofessor of international law at The GeorgeWashington University Law School and an experton human rights law. She will stand for electionto the IACHR by secret ballot at the Organizationof American States (OAS) General Assembly in SanPedro Sula, Honduras on June 1-3. Posts arerequested to approach foreign ministries andother appropriate contacts to seek host governmentsupport for Profesor Shelton's candidacy, drawingon points in paragraph 9. Posts may also providecopies of Shelton's curriculum vitae, as excerptedin paragraph 11. End summary.¶3. (U) Background: The IACHR is an autonomousorgan of the OAS that advances the promotion andprotection of human rights throughout the Americas.Given our strong and historic support of the IACHR,it is a priority that the United States maintainstrong representation on the Commission. The IACHRis composed of seven Commissioners who serve four-
 
year terms, with the possibility of re-election toone additional term. Commissioners are nominatedby governments and elected by the OAS GeneralAssembly, but serve in their personal capacityrepresenting all OAS Member States. A U.S. nomineehas served on the Commission since its inception in1959, with the exception of one term (2003-2006).The current U.S. member of the IACHR, PaoloCarozza of the University of Notre Dame Law School,has opted not to seek re-election this year.¶4. (SBU) This is a contested election. There arethree IACHR vacancies this year and four eligiblecandidates. The OAS General Assembly will electCommissioners by secret ballot June 1-3 in SanPedro Sula, Honduras. Only one incumbent, VictorAbramovich of Argentina, is seeking reelection.Mexico has nominated former Federal ElectoralTribunal judge Jose de Jesus Orozco Henriquez, andColombia has nominated former Constitutional Courtjudge Rodrigo Escobar Gil. There would have beenfive eligible candidates, but Saint Kitts and Nevisannounced its candidate, Dr. Henry Browne, afterthe deadline for submissions.¶5. (SBU) The U.S. nominee - Professor Shelton - ishighly-respected in the area of human rights andinternational law, has written extensively on humanrights matters, and is the first female the UnitedStates has nominated to the IACHR. It is criticalthat the United States Government persuade fellowOAS member states to elect a U.S. nominee to theIACHR. Professor Shelton's service on the IACHRwill demonstrate U.S. commitment to the WesternHemisphere's primary human rights body and theinter-American system as a whole. Having a U.S.nominee on the IACHR also ensures that the Western
 
Hemisphere's diversity of legal tradition isrepresented on the IACHR. Additionally, U.S.nominees on the IACHR traditionally offer solidhuman rights experience and a voice of reason andbalance to a body composed of Commissioners withwidely varying levels of experience.¶6. (U) Professor Shelton has extensive knowledgeof Latin America and the Caribbean and expertise inboth the inter-American human rights system and theoperation of domestic and internationaladjudicatory processes. Dr. Shelton's role ineffective case management - acquired throughmanagerial experience at the Ninth Circuit - willbe a tremendous asset to the Commission in managingits own overburdened docket. Dr. Shelton has alsobeen instrumental in raising the profile of theinter-American human rights system within English-speaking OAS Member States, having written thefirst English casebook about the system. Herlanguage skills in the four official OAS languages(English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese),including particular fluency in French, will alsobe crucial to her effectiveness as a Commissioner.¶7. (U) Action Request: Posts are requested toapproach foreign ministries, preferably their legaladvisers as well as officials dealing withmultilateral organizations and human rights issuesto seek host government support for Shelton'scandidacy. Posts may also leave copies of hercurriculum vitae, excerpted in paragraph 11. Postsmay also draw upon points in paragraph 9, and ifdesired, leave them as a nonpaper along withShelton's CV. A Spanish translation of these

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