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On July 18, 1978, the American Convention on Human Rights was signed in San José, Costa Rica. Upon the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Convention's entry into force, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hosted an academic event titled "Achievements and challenges of regional human rights systems" from 16 to 19 July, 2018. It was formally opened last night, 16 July 2018, by the President of the Court of Justice, Mexican Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor, United Nations Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesado. In his opening speech, Secretary-General Guterres explicitly emphasized the importance of promoting the rule of law and human rights in the world.
The presidents of the European Court of Human Rights, Guido Raimundi, and the African Court of Human Rights, Sylvain Oré, as well as other judges of the two tribunals, also traveled to Latin America to discuss regional human rights protection and further cooperation with their American counterparts. In addition to numerous former presidents of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the President of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and renowned academics from all over the world, numerous German academics and the chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the German Bundestag, MP Gyde Jensen, FDP, traveled to San José.
During the academic program of the coming days, the victims of the most prominent cases of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, human rights defenders and representatives of civil society will also have their say. The KAS Rule of Law Program in Latin America, which has been working successfully for years with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, is supporting the event. The Director of the Rule of Law Program, Dr. Marie-Christine Fuchs was able to exchange views with UN Secretary-General Guterres at the opening ceremony. The Rule of Law Program has also launched a documentary on the influence of the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights over the past 40 years, which will be presented for the first time to attendees during the events of the coming days.