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OAS Supports Ecuador

Some of the region’s foreign affairs ministers recently passed a resolution affirming the inviolability of diplomatic missions and reminding member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) of their obligation not to invoke provisions of their domestic law to justify noncompliance with their international obligations.
The fallout from the decision by Ecuador to grant political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was immediate, with the UK insisting that it had legal grounds to arrest Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
In the aftermath, the regional body issued its resolution standing behind Ecuador –within a very narrowly defined set of parameters, and urging both Ecuador and the UK to continue dialogue to resolve the impasse.
Ecuador publicly announced that on August 15, 2012, it had received an aide-memoire from the UK stating that, among other things: “there are legal grounds in the United Kingdom-the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987-that would allow us to take steps to arrest Mr. Assange on the Embassy’s current premises.”
Ecuador announced on August 16 that it had decided to grant political asylum to Assange, who had requested it on June 19, 2012, at the Embassy of Ecuador in London.
The ministers resolved “to urge the Governments of Ecuador and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to continue to engage in dialogue in order to settle their current differences in accordance with international law, taking into account the statements made recently by authorities of both governments.”
They also resolved to reiterate the full validity of the principles and standards that govern diplomatic relations among states, especially those that concern full respect for the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions and consular offices, as recognized in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza called the meeting at which the resolution was adopted “very positive…[with a] successful outcome.” Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, applauded the resolution.
“It was decided that the rules of international law are still valid, even though some countries are willing to threaten others with violating them,” he said. In a press conference following the meeting of Foreign Ministers, Patiño said that “we feel strengthened by the decision of the OAS, we are sure that the United Kingdom will not carry out its threat.”

“Here it became clear that might does not make right, and that the world is not a jungle, that today’s world should be governed by the rules of civilized coexistence, should abide by the rules of international law, and the principles that govern the life of nations. This is a very important victory, above all for Ecuador, because it has expressed solidarity and support for our people and our government, so on behalf of that people and their government I want to thank the representatives of the countries of the Americas,” Patiño added.
The Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela spoke at the meeting, as did the heads of delegation of Panama, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, the United States, Grenada, Costa Rica, Dominica, Canada, Suriname, Bolivia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala, Brazil, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, in addition to the delegates from the United Kingdom and Sweden, in their capacity as Permanent Observers.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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