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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>.