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CELAC - UN expert calls for urgent assistance to the region’s weakest regional economies

GENEVA (27 January 2015) –United Nations Independent Expert Alfred de Zayas on Tuesday urged the leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to coordinate their efforts to support the region’s most fragile economies.

On the eve of CELAC’s third summit, to be held in Costa Rica 28 - 29 January, Mr. de Zayas called on heads of state and regional governments to take "urgent measures to help the weakest economies, to free those countries of external debt and commercial, economic and financial pressures which always have a negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights."

"Unity in diversity is necessary to meet the challenges of today's world, in particular, climate change, the multiple financial crises, terrorism and international crime," said Mr. de Zayas, the first UN-appointed Human Rights expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.

CELAC’s third summit will focus on combating poverty, and advancing toward social inclusion, transparency and accountability. Regional leaders will also address the issue of security, the fight against drug-trafficking and the promotion of respect for the human rights of all peoples of the region.

"As a mechanism for regional dialogue, CELAC should also expand co-operation with concrete agreements in areas crucial for people such as education and health,” Mr. de Zayas said.

Zone of Peace

“In recent years, Latin America has reaffirmed, step by step, the defence of people as the cardinal principle in negotiations for conflict resolution,” said Mr. de Zayas, recalling that CELAC leaders adopted a declaration after their 2014 summit in Havana, proclaiming Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.*

"CELAC’s Declaration is an example for other regions of the world to follow," he said, stressing that the CELAC region remains the most stable part of the world.   "The international order requires expanding zones of peace and adopting concrete measures at the regional and international level to ensure world peace in accordance with the commitments undertaken by all Member States of the United Nations pursuant to the Charter," said Mr. de Zayas.

The Independent Expert reiterated his call for "the adoption of a UN Declaration on the Human Right to Peace, a task which is being discussed at the Human Rights Council in Geneva."

(*) CELAC / Zone of Peace: " A key step to countering the globalization of militarism - UN expert: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNew

ENDS

Alfred de Zayas (United States of America) was appointed as the first Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order by the Human Rights Council, effective May 2012. He is currently professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy. Mr. de Zayas practiced corporate law and family law in New York and Florida. As a Human Rights Council’s mandate holder, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IntOrder/Pages/IEInternationalorderIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Marissa Storozum (+41 22 917 9389) or write to ie-internationalorder@ohchr.org

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