The OAS

The OAS

Organization of About the OAS American States (OAS) Table of Contents About the OAS

Fast Facts Mission History Structure OAS Documents Permanent Council Member States Permanent Observers General Secretariat Main Pillars Administration and Finance

Main Menu Fast Facts About the OAS Oldest Regional Organization Currently 34 active Member States 1 and 60 Permanent Observer countries 4 Official Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French The main governing bodies of the OAS are the General Assembly and the Permanent Council The General Secretariat of the OAS (GS/OAS) carries out the mandates issued by the OAS governing bodies The GS/OAS is led by the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General who are elected by

the Member States for a period of 5 years Back to Table was of Contents 1. Cuban Government suspended in 1962 Mission About the OAS The OAS is the premier political forum of the nations of the Western Hemisphere with the mission of promoting and supporting democracy, human rights, multidimensional security and integral development in the Americas. The OAS seeks to

prevent conflicts and to bring political stability, social inclusion and prosperity to the region through dialogue and collective action. Back to A little bit of history The principles that embody the OAS grew out of a history of regional cooperation dating back to the 19th century. In 1826, Simn Bolvar convened the Congress of Panama with the idea of creating an association of states in the hemisphere. In 1890, the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., established the International Union of American Republics and its Secretariat, the Commercial Bureau of the American Republicsthe precursor to the OAS.

In 1910, this organization became the Pan American Union. On April 30, 1948, 21 nations of the hemisphere met in Bogot, Colombia, to adopt the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), which affirmed their commitment to common goals and respect for each nations sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the English-speaking Caribbean, as well as Canada. Back to Table of Contents OAS DOCUMENTS OAS Charter Adopted in Bogot, Colombia on April 30, 1948 and entered into force in December 1951. Inter-American Democratic Charter Adopted by the General Assembly at its special session; Held in Lima, Peru, on September 11, 2001

Treaties, Conventions, Agreements and De clarations REFERENCE DOCUMENTS: General Assembly resolutions and declarat ions Back to Table of Contents The General Assembly Is the supreme governing body that gathers the hemispheres Ministers of Foreign Affairs once a year in regular session to set major policies and goals for the region, or in special session as needed. Establishes and approves mandates regarding priority action activities in the Hemisphere for the coming year. Approves the program-budget of the Organization, determines the

quotas of the Member States and adopts general standards to govern the operations of the General Secretariat. NEXT Permanent Council Is the body made up of the delegations of the Permanent Missions appointed by the Member States, headed by an Ambassador, that meets on a regular basis at OAS Headquarters to implement the GA mandates through the following Committees:

General Committee Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs Committee on Hemispheric Security Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and Civil S ociety Participation in OAS Activities Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs Back to Table of Contents Member States The OAS was established in 1948 by 21 countries. From 1967 through 1991 a wave of independence and democratization in the Caribbean prompted these countries to join the Organization. In 1990, after being an Observer country, Canada joined the OAS.

Now the Organization is comprised of 35 Member States; however, Cubas participation has been suspended since 1962. Currently, the 34 active OAS Member States are all the free, independent and democratically elected governments of the Americas. Back to Table of Contents The 34 OAS Member States according to their geographical location are North America: Canada, Mexico, United States of America; Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama;

The Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela; Permanent Observers There are 60 non-Member States who have a special interest in following OAS issues closely and have acquired Permanent Observer status in the

Organization. France, Spain, Italy: Have an Ambassador accredited exclusively to the OAS and thus participate more actively in the life of the Organization. The Permanent Observers also provide cooperation in the form of in-kind or cash contributions for various OAS programs. Back to Table of Contents OAS General Secretariat About the OAS The General Secretariat of the OAS, through its specialized areas, carries out the mandates issued by the governing bodies in four priority areas:

democracy, hemispheric security, integral development and human rights, and functions under the direction of the Secretary General. NEXT Secretary General Jos Miguel Insulza Jos Miguel Insulza, a Chilean politician, was elected OAS Secretary General on May 2, 2005, after an accomplished record of public service, in which he served as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, and Minister of the Interior and Vice President of the Republic. The Secretary General: Is elected for a term of 5 years and may not be elected more than once or succeeded by a person of the same nationality

Directs the General Secretariat and is responsible to the General Assembly for the fulfillment the obligations and functions of the General Secretariat May participate with voice but without vote in all meetings of the Organization May bring to the attention of the General Assembly or the Permanent Council any matter which in his opinion might threaten the peace and security of the Hemisphere or the development of the Member States NEXT Secretary Generals speeches The Assistant Secretary General:

Albert R. Ramdin was elected OAS Assistant Secretary General on June 7, 2005. The Surinamese diplomat has had a distinguished career in public service at the national and international level, serving before his election to the OAS as Ambassador at Large and Special Adviser to the Government of the Republic of Suriname on Western Hemispheric Affairs. The Assistant Secretary General: Replaces the Secretary General in the event of his absence or disability or if the office of the SG becomes vacant. Is the Secretary of the Permanent Council and of its subsidiary organs and committees. Serves as an advisory officer to the Secretary General Assistant Secretary Generals Speeches Back to Table of Contents

OAS Structure NEXT MAIN PILLARS Democracy Hemispheric Security Integral Development Human Rights NEXT Democracy and Political Affairs The Secretariat for Political Affairs deals directly with the promotion of Democracy, the strengthening of democratic governance, and the prevention of democratic crises (to which all members committed when they signed the

Inter-American Democratic Charter) To promote democracy, the OAS actively participates by observing elections, advancing sound practices in political financing, and supporting political party reform and legislative modernization The OAS works to promote good governance by helping to instill democratic values in society, strengthening decentralization and state modernization, and improving transparency, fighting corruption, and civil society participation. The OAS also is instrumental in democratic crisis prevention, by identifying problems at an early stage, taking action to help put an Back to them, Table and of Contents end to supporting member states in the Back to Priorities

resolution of bilateral disputes. Human Rights The OAS human rights system provides recourse to people in the Americas who have suffered violations of their rights by the state. Its pillars are the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, based in Washington, D.C., and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Spanish), based in San Jos, Costa Rica. Seven Rapporteurships monitor and report on human rights conditions in areas focusing on especially vulnerable groups. They are: Rights of afro-descendants and against racial discrimination Rights of children Freedom of expression Rights of indigenous peoples Rights of migrant workers and their families Rights of persons deprived of their liberty

Rights of women More information on Human Rights Back to Table of Contents Back to Priorities Integral Development The OAS has dual roles in promoting integral development. On a political level, it fosters dialogue and consensus on ways to combat poverty and improve the level of development in the region. The OAS also mobilizes funds so member states can carry out projects in priority areas, such as sustainable development, trade, tourism, and competitiveness; education, culture, science and technology; and social development and

employment. Back to Priorities One critical function of the specialized areas of the OAS Back toministerial Table of Contents is to support regional meetings that are held Multidimensional Security The Secretariat for Multidimensional Security focuses on three main areas: Counter-terrorism (the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism), (CICTE) Fighting illegal drugs ( Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission), (CICAD)

Public Security, which includes gangs, arms trafficking, human trafficking, landmines and natural disasters. Back to Table of Contents Back to Priorities Administration & Finance The Secretariat of Administration & Finance is responsible for making sure that the Organization runs smoothly. This Secretariat provides support services to the General Secretariat in areas that include human resources, information and technology, and budgetary affairs. The Department of Financial Services is responsible for processing, maintaining, advising and reporting all aspects of financial information through providing business service to dependencies of the General Secretariat, Member States,

and users of financial information. Back to Table of Contents More Administration and Finan ce Sources of Funding About the OAS Quota distribution Personnel Table of Contents Financing the OAS: Sources of Funding The operations and the several programs and activities of the General Secretariat of the OAS,

are financed mainly by these sources of funding: The Regular Fund: Quotas from Member States The Voluntary Funds: Contributions (voluntary pledges) from Member States to FEMCIDI. The Specific Funds: Contributions from Member States, Permanent Observers, international and regional organizations, and foundations among others. Voluntary Fund 4% Specific Fund 41% Regular Fund 55%

Financing the OAS: Sources of Funding Regular Fund: The purpose of this fund is to provide the General Secretariat with general support as well as technical supervision and administrative services to the programs. It is approved by the General Assembly and is financed primarily by the quotas to the Member States. NEXT

Voluntary Funds These are voluntary contributions (pledges) of Member States to finance the activities of the InterAmerican Council for Integral Development through the Special Multilateral Fund of CIDI (FEMCIDI). Financing the OAS: Sources of Funding (contd) Specific Funds: Financed by special contributions or grants from OAS Member States and Permanent Observer States, as well as from other member states of the United Nations, and from individuals or public or private institutions, for specific and non-specific activities related to the execution and development of activities and programs of the General Secretariat and other organs of the Organization.

Quotas Each OAS Member State contributes a quota for the maintenance of the OAS, which is established by the General Assembly taking into account the ability to pay of the respective countries and their determination to contribute in an equitable manner. Decisions on budgetary matters require the approval of two thirds of the Member States. (OAS Charter, Article 55). Until 2005 the countries had paid their quotas as per the scale established for the year 1995 (Resolution AG/RES. 1277[XXIV-O/94].

In 2006 a special session of the General Assembly adopted a transitional quota scale in order to finance the program-budget for the years 2007 to 2008. This resolution also called for the General Assembly to meet in a special session to adopt a methodology for assessing quotas to the member states. NEXT PIE CHART ON SPECIFIC FUNDS INSERT PIE CHART ABOUT QUOTAS: Personnel Since assuming as General Secretary Mr. Insulza has continued to restructure the SG/OAS, making personnel changes to adapt the organization to the priority issues mandated by the General Assembly. The current OAS administration has continued

working on the General Assembly resolutions regarding the promotion of women to higher positions within the OAS and the principle of geographic representation. NEXT Gender Equity and Equality NEXT GEOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION IN THE OAS GENERAL SECRETARIAT BY REGION 125 18% 13

2% ALADI 81 11% CARICOM 408 57% CENTRAL AMERICA NORTH AMERICA OTHER* 83 12%

*Spain, India, Sweden, Italy 710 Staff Members Back to Administration & Finance 2 PERSONNEL DEMOGRAPHICS Geographic Representation Regions ALADI ARGENTINA BOLIVIA BRASIL CHILE COLOMBIA CUBA ECUADOR PERU

PARAGUAY URUGUAY VENEZUELA CARICOM ANTIGUA Y BARBUDA BARBADOS BELIZE BAHAMAS DOMINICA GRENADA GUYANA HAITI JAMAICA ST. KITTS ST. LUCIA SURINAME ST. VINCENT

TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO CENTRAL AMERICA COSTA RICA EL SALVADOR GUATEMALA HONDURAS NICARAGUA PANAMA REP. DOMINICANA NORTH AMERICA CANADA USA MEXICO **Article 120 of the Charter of the Organization of American

States calls for the necessity of obtaining as wide a geographic representation as possible. Each region is represented by staff members nationality at the time they were hired NEXT 1

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