September 24 - 25, 2009 | National Assembly of El Salvador, El Salvador
From 24-25 September 2009, and upon the invitation of the Vice-President of the National Assembly of El Salvador, Mr. Sigfrido Reyes, MP (FMLN, PGA Member), a Delegation of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) visited the National Assembly of El Salvador in San Salvador, meeting also with representatives from the Government and Judiciary so as to promote the country's accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The PGA multi-partisan delegation was led by PGA International Councilor Dip. Minou Tavarez Mirabal (Dominican Rep.) and Dominican Republic Lower House Speaker Dip. Julio Cesar Valentin and also included Dip. Jhannet Madriz (Venezuela), Dip. Jose Bernard Pallais Arana (Nicaragua) and Jose Ricardo Taveras (Dominican Rep.).
The delegation met with all political party groups represented in Parliament at that date: Arena, CD, FMLN, PCN and the PDC. The Plenary of the Assembly also heard the statement delivered by Speaker Valentin, who took the opportunity of an honorary national recognition awarded to him to appeal all political groups to unite forces in support of ratification of the Rome Statute.
In respect of the Executive and Judicial branches of Government, the delegation met with the Secretary of State for Strategic Planning of the Presidency of the Republic (Dr. Hato Hasbun, Principle Adviser to the President), the Minister for Public Works, the Deputy-Minister for Foreign Affairs (with his team from the Human Rights and Legal Departments), as well as the members of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (5 Judges, including its President) and the Ombudsperson.
The members of the PGA Delegation also reached out to the media on a number of occasions during their short stay in El Salvador, including through their participation in the popular morning News show Primera Entrevista on Channel 33, from 6:30 to 8 AM. The programme of events also included a Conference Panel at the Universidad Tecnologica of San Salvador, attended by over 250 students and Law Faculty members, a Round-Table Discussion with Members of the Salvadorian NGO Coalition for the ICC and a meeting with the Archbishop of San Salvador. The PGA Delegation also met informally with the Head of the European Commission Delegation in El Salvador (Mr. Stefano Gatto), the Italian and the Dominican Ambassadors to El Salvador and representatives from the French and German Embassies.
While the host of the event, Dip. Reyes became an active participant in the PGA ICC Campaign when he attended PGA's II Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC & the Rule of Law in September 2003 at UN Headquarters in New York, PGA will continue to work with MPs from all political parties of El Salvador to promote a successful ratification process within the shortest possible time-frame. Follow up initiatives - to be undertaken by PGA members from El Salvador and those participating in the delegation, assisted by the PGA Secretariat - shall be politically inclusive and seek to facilitate an indigenously and inclusively owned process, without interference of partisan politics.
El Salvador did not sign the Rome Statute of the ICC, but the new Administration elected in July 2009 included the ratification of the Statute in its programmatic platform for Government. Parliament has prerogative over the ratification of treaties, which require a simple majority for them to be approved. The goal of the multi-partisan PGA Membership in El Salvador is to continue the inclusive process initiated by the PGA delegation visiting San Salvador in September 2009 in order to gather enough support for the passage of the ICC ratification bill, provided that the Government will maintain the promise of submitting the bill as soon as possible to Parliament for consideration and deliberation.
Updated 20 September 2010