Agreement between the President of the NHRC Mexico and the Ombudsman of Belize

Opening Remarks
Lionel Arzu, Ombudsman of Belize
National Commission for Human Rights
Mexico HQ, Mexico City, D.F.
January 14, 2016

Hon. Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, President, Natl. Human Rights Com. of Mex.
Lic. Claudia Cristina Ibarra Reynoso, Director of Intl. Cooperation, Executive Secretariat, (NHRC, Mex.)
Lic. Hector Davalos Martinez, Executive Secretary
Atty. Rubiceli Perera, Legal Officer, the Office of the Ombudsman, Belize
Staff members of NHRC, Mexico
Invited Guests
Members of the media houses
Ladies and gentlemen,

A pleasant good morning! It is indeed a great honour and privilege to make a few remarks during this momentous ceremony. This occasion is a very important one because it signals a cooperation agreement between the President of the National Human Rights Commission, Mexico (NHRC) and the Ombudsman of Belize. This cooperation is unprecedented in the history of our two countries much so because it is between two Ombudsmen whose function in all societies is not limited to advocating for the voiceless within our midst. It is a noble endeavour which will further cement the already existing strong bonds between our two countries. Furthermore, the most important resource of any nation is its human resource; therefore, whatever it takes to protect the human rights of our citizens is a noble thing indeed.

Today, the President of the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico (NHRC) and the Ombudsman of Belize are signing a Cooperation Agreement that will allow our two countries to share vital information, experience, and expertise in the promotion and protection of human rights. This will be facilitated through the exchange of knowledge, and research on human rights. It is our hope that personnel and experts from both our countries can visit with each other for the exchange of ideas and strategies to protect and preserve human rights and dignity. The mechanism of action to implement this Cooperation Agreement will be initiated through holding high-level or working–level meetings to share information, practices and knowledge.

The Ombudsman of Belize is a parliamentary commissioner appointed by the Governor General on the advice of both Houses of the National Assembly. The main function of the Office of the Ombudsman is to investigate complaints made by any person or persons. In doing so the Ombudsman uses his own initiative and authority to determine guilt, wrong doing, corruption or any other action that has resulted in injustice, injury or abuse. The Ombudsman ensures that no human being is undignified as less than a person due to religious affiliation, language, race, colour or creed. I must confess it is a tough call and it requires a lot of patience but I believe that is why Hon. Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez was appointed the President of the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico. With the agreement that we are about to sign, I hope to expand my knowledge and learn from the Hon. Perez.

I believe that this occasion marks the beginning of a better way to understanding each other as two friendly countries because the signing of this cooperation agreement is shrouded in human element. I feel honoured to be a part of this unprecedented agreement and I believe this will open an avenue for further cooperation in areas beyond the scope of this agreement. I take this opportunity to thank Hon. Perez and his staff for their hard work and dedication in helping to bring this agreement to fruition, I also want to thank Atty. Perera from the Office of the Ombudsman, Belize, who played a key role in the preparation of the agreement and was in constant communication with the staff from NHRC, Mexico. Hon. Perez, please extend our heartfelt thank you and appreciation to the Government of Mexico and its hospitable citizens.

We from the Office of the Ombudsman, Belize, look forward to reaping the future success of this cooperation agreement along with Hon. Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, President of NHRC, Mexico and his staff.

I pray God’s guidance and blessings upon each of us present and Happy New Year to all.

Once again thank you!!!!!!