Macaulay elected president of all-woman IACHR board

COMMISSIONER Margarette Macaulay has been elected president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) board.

Macaulay has served on the IACHR since 2016 and is in her second term. She is an attorney in private practice, All Woman columnist, and a mediator in the Supreme Court of Jamaica. She was a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2007 to 2012. She is also an honorable member of the Legacy Wall for Gender Justice for women’s rights advocates, which has achieved significant changes and was launched in December 2017 at the United Nations in New York during the Assembly of Ministers. She is known as a strong advocate and reference for women’s rights.

In welcoming the announcement, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, extended hearty congratulations to Macaulay.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, the announcement of Mrs Macaulay’s election as president of the board of directors on March 7 is welcomed news, as she is well known and is a strong advocate for women’s rights. Not only will Mrs Macaulay serve as president for the second time, but she will be leading an all-woman board of directors and the first with all-women from the Caribbean and Central American countries,” she said.

“Jamaica sincerely values the work of the IAHCR in promoting and protecting human rights. The valuable service of Mrs Macaulay on the commission and her ongoing work to improve the operations and the efficiency of this body in the service to member states and the people of the region is truly commendable. As a representative of the Caribbean, we look forward to her continued service to achieve the mandate of the commission during her final year.”

The IACHR chair-elect will serve as president for a period of one year, and will preside over the session of the commission and represent the commission before the other organs of international organisations and institutions.

The IACHR elected its 2023 board of directors during the opening of its 186th period of sessions at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The board is composed by the President, Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay (Jamaica); First Vice President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño (Panama); and Second Vice President, Commissioner Roberta Clarke (Barbados). This is the second historic all-woman board of directors and the first with all-women from the Caribbean and Central American countries.

The election of the board of directors takes place every year, on the first day of the first annual period of sessions in accordance with the Chapter 3 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.

The IACHR is composed of seven persons, with the aforementioned members of the board of directors, it is completed by Commissioner Joel Hernández, Commissioner Julissa Mantilla, and Commissioners Stuardo Ralón Orellanda and Carlos Bernal. The Commission’s Executive Secretariat is headed by Tania Renaum Panzi, the Assistant Executive Secretary for the Monitoring, Promotion and Technical Cooperation is Maria Claudia Pulido, and the Assistant Executive Secretary for the Petition and Case System is Jorge Meza Flores.

The thematic rapporteurships and those from the 35 Organization of American States (OAS) countries are distributed among the seven commissioners with the aim of providing more strategic follow-up, in compliance with the mandate of the IACHR.

A principal, autonomous body of the OAS, the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.