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Ecuador receives full support from OAS Ministers in dispute with UK over Assange case

Monday, August 27th 2012 - 06:05 UTC
Full article 33 comments
“OAS has demonstrated its important role”, said Minister Ricardo Patiño “OAS has demonstrated its important role”, said Minister Ricardo Patiño

The Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved last Friday a resolution supporting the inviolability of diplomatic premises, in accordance with the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in the context of the situation created between Ecuador and the United Kingdom.

“It was a very positive meeting, with a successful outcome: no one was excluded, everyone spoke -including the representative of the United Kingdom-, there were disagreements, but in the end between us we put together a satisfactory agreement,” said the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza. “It showed that the OAS is the foremost hemispheric forum and I think we can all be happy about that,” added Insulza.

For his part the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, Ricardo Patiño, at the conclusion of the meeting, said that “the OAS has demonstrated its important role,” because “an issue of enormous importance for our countries was resolved. It was decided that the rules of international law are still valid, even though some countries are willing to threaten others with violating them.” 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,” added Foreign Minister Patiño.

The Chair of the Meeting and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Rafael Roncagliolo said that the countries of the Americas “have reaffirmed our commitment to international law, our ability to express support for a country when threatened and our capacity for dialogue.”
He added “I am pleased to announce with great satisfaction that this meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OAS has strengthened the solidarity between our countries and also fortified the solidity of the organization”.

The six-point resolution was adopted at a meeting in which the Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela spoke, as well as 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.

The resolution from 24 August, 2012 reads as follows:

BEARING IN MIND that in resolution CP/RES 1005 (1863/12), of the Permanent Council of the Organization, dated August 17, 2012, a Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs was convened “to address the situation between Ecuador and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland regarding the inviolability of the diplomatic premises of Ecuador in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in accordance with international law” and “to agree on appropriate measures to be adopted”;


That the American states have reaffirmed in the Charter of the Organization of American States that “international law is the standard of conduct of States in their reciprocal relations” (Article 3.a);

That strict compliance is, therefore, essential on the part of all states with the standards that govern the protection of, respect for, and inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions and consular offices, which standards have been codified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, in particular, the provisions contained in Article 22 of that treaty; and in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963, particularly the provisions at Article 31 of that treaty;

That the Government of the Republic of Ecuador publicly announced that on August 15, 2012, it received from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland an aide-memoire which states, inter alia, “… that 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”; and

That the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, on August 16, 2012, announced its decision to grant political asylum to Mr. Julian Assange, who requested it on June 19, 2012, at the Embassy of Ecuador in London,


1. 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.

2. To reaffirm that those principles and standards constitute fundamental rules for ensuring the peaceful coexistence of all the countries that comprise the international community.

3. To reiterate the full validity of the principles enshrined in international law, such as respect for sovereignty, faithful compliance with international treaties, peaceful settlement of disputes, peaceful coexistence among states, and rejection of the threat or use of force to settle disputes.

4. To reject any attempt that might put at risk the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions, to reiterate the obligation / of all states not to invoke provisions of their domestic law to justify non-compliance with their international obligations, and, in this context, to express its solidarity and support for the Government of the Republic of Ecuador.

5 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.

6. To entrust the Permanent Council with the due follow-up of this matter.


Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Gordo1

    This resolution means nothing as no threat was ever made by Britain. This has all been nothing more than a “storm in a teacup” engineered by Correa and Patiño in an effort to hide their mistake in giving Assange “diplomatic” asylum.

    “Diplomatic” asylum is not recognised outside of Latin America.

    Aug 27th, 2012 - 08:37 am 0
  • Steve-32-uk

    'Ecuador called for the Organisation of American States vote saying the UK had threatened to storm the embassy.

    But the resolution was reworded after the UK insisted it had made no threat.

    The BBC's Kim Ghattas said the resolution expressed solidarity with Ecuador but, despite a strong plea from Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, there was no reference to any threat against his country's embassy in London.

    The United States withdrew its opposition to the resolution after the text was amended.'

    Aug 27th, 2012 - 08:50 am 0
  • Lou Spoo

    “The representative of the Dominican Republic had questioned why the meeting was called since the row over Mr Assange was not going to be solved there, especially not with any grandstanding by Ecuador”

    Aug 27th, 2012 - 09:00 am 0
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