The sixth annual General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) opened in santiago, Chile, on friday (4 June) with the question of human rights high on the agenda.
GV INTERIOR OAS members applauding as Pinochet walks to rostrum (2 shots)
GV Pinochet walks to main table as band plays and greets military junta members
SV Audience seated
SV Pinochet speaking in Spanish
GV EXTERIOR Dancers performing in front of OAS building as officials watch (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Foreign ministers seated
SV Jamaican FM Thompson speaking in English
THOMPSON: "I am going to pursue to my utmost every avenue to clear the name of Chile and settle my concern in whatever way I can. And I believe that the process of law can only stand examination and be of credit when the people see the facts. It therefore should be open to the press. I cannot, I'm afraid, say at this stage, tell you how far I will go or what I will request. I only hope that any pursuit to satisfy the disquiet I still have will be open to the free press of the world."
Most of the countries at the assembly were represented by their foreign ministers. Mexico boycotted the meeting because of Chile's alleged repressive polices. Other subjects on the 42-point agenda include the Panama Canal and economic and trade matters. On Monday (7 June) U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrived to spend three day sat the conference and was expected to have talks with General Pinochet and other government leaders.
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Background: The sixth annual General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) opened in santiago, Chile, on friday (4 June) with the question of human rights high on the agenda.
SYNOPSIS: Delegates from 22 Latin American countries and the United States are in santiago, Chile, for the sixth annual Organisation of American States' General Assembly. It will last for two weeks and on Saturday Chile's President Augusto Pinochet took the rostrum to address the assembly for the second successive day. In his opening address the previous day, General Pinochet had called for respect of human rights and said his government would soon introduce far-reaching laws on this issue, which would be he most advanced in the world. Since the General deposed Marxist President Salvador Allende in 1973 Chile has been under international pressure for its alleged disregard of human rights. In Saturday's speech the president openly condemned communism and said there was no room in Latin America for neutralism or compromise with communists.
But the conference was not all business and during one of the breaks from debate, delegates had a chance to see some Chilean folk dancing.
Later Jamaica's Foreign Minister, Dudley Thompson expressed his concern at the violation of human rights allegations against Chile and at a news conference called for an investigation into the charges.