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Cablegate: Argentina Proposes Human Rights Cooperation

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0837/01 1702219
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182219Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1378

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000837

SIPDIS

DRL FOR CATHERINE NEWLING
G/IWI FOR PENNY RECHKEMMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PHUM PREL AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA PROPOSES HUMAN RIGHTS COOPERATION

1. This is an action request. Please see para 8 for request.

2. Summary. Ambassador Wayne recently met with National Institute
against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism (INADI) President
Maria Jose Lubertino to explore opportunities for cooperation in the
realm of advancing civil rights. Lubertino proposed three
initiatives her agency is leading that would benefit from USG
support. The first is an event to commemorate the sixtieth
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
highlighting former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's role in drafting
and ratification of the Declaration. The second is an event to
commemorate the 100th anniversary of an International Women's
Congress held in Argentina in 1910 which would feature an exhibit on
the suffragists who participated in the Congress, including U.S.
participants. The third event is a joint INADI-U.S. Embassy
roundtable with U.S. companies to encourage them to participate in
INADI's network of companies against discrimination. The roundtable
would also be an opportunity to share best practices in fighting
discrimination and promoting diversity in the workplace, she said.
The Ambassador agreed that there were a wide range of areas in which
INADI and the U.S. Embassy could cooperate to promote efforts to
promote civil rights and combat discrimination. Post will follow up
with INADI to see how best we can support these initiatives.
Separately, the Ministry of Justice's Secretary for Human Rights
Luis Duhalde asked the Ambassador it ir would be possible to sign an
MOU for broader cooperation on human rights issues. Post would
appreciate DRL view on potential options. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- -
60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights
--------------------------------------------- -

3. Ambassador Wayne met with National Institute against
Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism (INADI) President Maria Jose
Lubertino on May 30 to explore opportunities for cooperation in the
area of advancing civil rights. Lubertino proposed three events her
agency is leading and asked for USG support. The first is an event
in December 2008 to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlighting former First Lady
and UN Commission on Human Rights Chair Eleanor Roosevelt's role in
drafting and ratification of the Declaration. Lubertino asked
whether the USG had programs to pay for the travel costs of speakers
who are experts on the lifetime contributions of Eleanor Roosevelt.
In particular, INADI is interested in inviting Sara Brewer,
Associate Director of American University's Women and Politics
Institute; Stephanie Foster, specialist in political participation;
and Cynthia Harrison, Professor at George Washington University (GW)
who collaborated on GW's efforts to catalog Eleanor Roosevelt's
papers.


------------------------------------------
100th Anniversary of International Women's Congress
------------------------------------------

4. Lubertino then informed the Ambassador of Argentina's long
suffragist tradition, noting that in 1910 Argentina's early
feminists organized an International Women's Congress that included
participants from Europe and the United States. She expressed
interest in hosting an event that would commemorate the 100th
anniversary of an International Women's Congress held in Argentina
in 2010. The event would feature an exhibit on the suffragists who
participated in the Congress, including U.S. participants: 1) Emma
Day, Argentine resident and one of the founders of the Association
for Women's Rights; 2) Christine Hancock, Secretary of the College
of Nursing; 3) Elizabeth Cady Stanton, President of the National
Association for Women's Suffrage; 4) Elizabeth Swallow Richards,
Association of Collegiate Alumnae; and 5) Martha Carey Thomas, a
doctor and pioneer who helped pave the way for women's access to
Johns Hopkins Medical School. Lubertino asked whether the Embassy
could assist in contacting the descendants of these women, or the
organizations with which they were affiliated, to see if there are
personal items that they would be willing to lend for the exhibit.

------------------------------------------
Roundtable on Best Practices to Promote Diversity and Fight
Discrimination in the Workplace
------------------------------------------

5. Lubertino's third proposal is to organize a joint INADI-U.S.
Embassy roundtable with U.S. companies to encourage them to
participate in INADI's network of Companies against Discrimination.
Lubertino stated that she admired U.S. companies' commitment to
promoting diversity in the workplace and believed the roundtable
would also be an opportunity to share best practices in fighting
discrimination. The Ambassador agreed that there are many ways that
U.S. companies are championing diversity in the workplace and noted
that American Express has a program to hire many disabled
individuals as employees. Lubertino expressed interest in learning
more about the program, and the Ambassador offered to put her in
contact with the American Chamber of Commerce's Corporate Social
Responsibility Committee. The Ambassador agreed that there were a
wide range of areas in which INADI and the U.S. Embassy could
cooperate to promote civil rights and combat discrimination. Post
will follow up with INADI to see how best we can support these
initiatives.

-------------------
Background on INADI
-------------------

6. INADI was created in 1995 under the Ministry of Interior. In
2005, it was moved over to the Ministry of Justice, Security and
Human Rights. It has a staff of 118 employees and a budget of 10.1
million pesos (almost US $3 million). INADI aims to develop
national policies to fight discrimination, xenophobia and racism.
INADI has a special grievances hotline to receive complaints by
citizens who believe they have been discriminated against. INADI
then attempts to resolve these grievances. This is the hotline that
also receives TIP calls. In 2005, INADI launched the National Plan
against Discrimination, which included a plan to conduct public
awarness campaigns designed to fight discrimination and training
programs for NGOs and civic leaders on how to prevent
discrimination. In addition to its office in Buenos Aires city,
INADI has offices in 15 Argentine provinces. Through its regional
offices, INADI works with local and regional actors to develop and
implement anti-discrimination programs. INADI's President, Maria
Jos Lubertino, was appointed to the post in September 2006.

-----------------------------------
Secretary of Human Rights Seeks MOU
-----------------------------------

7. Separately on June 9, the Secretary of Human Rights Luis Duhalde
asked the Ambassador if it would be possible to sign a bilateral
Memorandum of Understanding on human rights cooperation. Duhalde's
Secretariat is also under the Ministry of Justice. It has
responsibility for the entire range of human rights issues, but has
given priority in recent years to addressing unresolved human crimes
from the 1976-83 military dictatorship. Duhalde indicated he had a
broader focus in mind for a cooperation agreement. Ambassador
promised to investigate what might be possible.

8. Action request: Post would appreciate Department DRL guidance
on what options might be available or of interest for a bilateral
cooperation agreement on human rights issues.

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