The Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday elected Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, to chair the organization's Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs.
The Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (the CAJP) is responsible for monitoring reports from various OAS bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court for Human Rights and the Inter-American Juridical Committee. It is responsible for guiding and assessing the work of the OAS on matters such as promoting International Law (including International Humanitarian Law), Human Rights education, resisting discrimination and intolerance, strengthening public sector management and protecting rights in the era of terrorism.
The CAJP is also mandated to undertake work within the OAS concerning the human rights of various groups of people, including older persons, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, people of African Descent, persons with HIV/AIDS, victims of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants. It reports to the Permanent Council of the OAS.
Ambassador Vasciannie was elected to the Chair of the CAJP for a one-year period, by acclamation of the Permanent Council of the OAS, on the nomination of Colombia and Honduras.
Ambassador Vasciannie, in addition to serving as Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, is the country’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He was Principal of the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, and a UWI Professor of International Law, prior to taking up his current positions. He was selected to serve as the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council shortly following his arrival in Washington D.C. in 2012.