The Inter-American Affairs Committee provides a forum for members of the New York City Bar Association interested in investigating, engaging and making a contribution to legal, political, economic and social issues affecting international affairs in the western hemisphere. The main work of the Committee focuses on the areas of:
(i) investigating current issues in cross-border transactions and private dispute resolution relevant to the members’ practices;
(ii) promoting rule of law, human rights and socioeconomic development in Latin America by supporting pro bono programs of organizations such as the Vance Center for International Justice; and
(iii) furthering the participation of the Association in issues affecting hemispheric affairs by strengthening its relationships with important institutions and preeminent jurists, government officials and other leaders in the region.
The Committee executes its mission through subcommittees that prepare reports on specific issues and develop other professional development initiatives, participate in public service activities and regularly sponsor speakers and events of interest to its members. For example, this past year, the Committee co-sponsored an address by Jose Fernandez, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs (and former Chair of the Committee), hosted Benigno María López Benítez, Director of the Central Bank of Paraguay, to discuss the Republic of Paraguay’s maiden sovereign bond offering, and participated in a delegation of Association business lawyers to Guatemala assessing the potential effects on the rule of law and the international business climate in Guatemala from the ongoing prosecution of former President Efraín Ríos Montt.
In the past, the Committee has also published reports on private equity developments, submitted letters and filed amici curiae in cases implicating human rights issues and organized numerous other speaking events with prominent jurists and government officials. For the upcoming term, the Committee expects to examine numerous and diverse issues such as trends in infrastructure development and financing, prospects for and impact of energy reforms in Mexico, recent developments in cross-border arbitration and proposed alternatives to the ICSID, and threats to judicial independence and other human rights challenges in the region.