On October 30, The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights had the honor of presenting a recognition to the President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, for the Ratification of the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance, in the Uruguayan city of Trinidad.

Álvaro Rodríguez, representing the National Afro-Uruguayan Coordination, expressed to the President the desire of Afro-Uruguayan populations “to be included in the future of Uruguay,” and that, with the ratification of the Convention, “Uruguay will be viewed as an advanced nation in the eyes of the international community.”

Carlos Quesada, Executive Director of Race and Equality, also expressed to the President the importance of the decision by the Uruguayan government to ratify the Convention, given that with this second ratification (Costa Rica was the first), the Convention will automatically enter into full force in the coming month. “Once again, the Uruguayan State reaffirms its commitment to human rights and, in this case, to the rights of Afro-descendants and Afro-Uruguayans,” Mr. Quesada stated.

Also present to congratulate President Vázquez on Uruguay’s commitment to adhere its national legislation to the Convention, was the Rapporteur on the Rights of Afro-descendants and against Racial Discrimination, of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Margarette May Macaulay. Commissioner Macaulay voiced her desire “for other States in the region to follow Uruguay’s steps to put a stop to the scourge of racial discrimination that affects millions of people in the Americas,” while also urging the President and the Uruguayan State to also ratify the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance.

President Vázquez accepted the award with gratitude, and spoke of Uruguay’s commitment in the fight against racial discrimination, with the ratification of the Convention a natural step in that direction. Uruguay deposited the Instrument of Ratification on October 12, which will allow for the Convention to enter into full force in November 2017.

The recognition awarded to the President by Race and Equality was part of a series of activities organized with the National Afro-Uruguayan Coordination, which included a workshop on the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Afro-descendants (IACHR), a meeting between Commissioner Macaulay and members of the Afro-Uruguayan community from across the country, and a meeting between Commissioner Macaulay and members of Afro-Uruguayan organizations.

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