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Organization of American States (OAS) By Megan Hussey What is the OAS? • Organization of 35 nations from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean • World’s oldest regional organization • Four main pillars: democracy, human rights, security, and development Documents • Charter of the OAS was signed by original 21 members in 1948 • Organization of American States was officially created under the signing of the charter Age of Organization • Created in 1948 (turning 64 years old) Revisions: • Since Cold War ended, OAS has put more emphasis on democracy & human rights • Inter-American Democratic Charter was adopted in 2001 to promote democracy Purpose • Keep independence of member states while promoting cooperative action in economic, social, and cultural development and speeding the process of economic integration Goals • Increase peace & security of continent • Prevent conflicts & encourage peaceful settlement of disputes between member states • Promote democracy • Limit poverty • Find solutions for political & economic problems Membership • 35 countries currently belong to the OAS • Original 21 member states signed the Charter of the OAS in 1948 • 14 member states have since joined • All members have ratified the Charter of the OAS Leadership General Secretariat • Secretary General: José Miguel Insulza • Chief of Staff of the Secretary General: Hugo de Zela • Assistant Secretary General: Albert R. Ramdin • Chief of Staff of the Assistant Secretary General: Carmen Lucía de la Pava Permanent Representatives to the OAS • Chair of the Permanent Council: Duly Brutus • Vice Chair of the Permanent Council : Allan Culham Advantages of Membership • Has helped ensure fair and free elections in Latin America • Promotes educational programs throughout the Americas • Has numerous affiliated organizations Disadvantages of Membership • Since the OAS was created, it has been dominated by the United States • During the Cold War Era, the main concern of the OAS was to limit communist influence on western hemisphere • The United States violated the Charter of the OAS, which states that no state can intervene on the affairs of another state International Impact Mexico • Has been a member of the OAS since 1948 • In October 2011, Mexico’s Supreme Court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a part of the OAS, signed an agreement where all Mexican federal judges on will receive training concerning human rights Works Cited • Hastedt, Glenn. "Organization of American States (OAS)." Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. • Schroeder, Michael J. "Organization of American States (OAS)." In Ackermann, Marsha E., Michael Schroeder, Janice J. Terry, Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur, and Mark F. Whitters, eds. Encyclopedia of World History: The Contemporary World, 1950 to the Present, vol. 6. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. • Organization of American States. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://www.oas.org>.