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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.

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What is the oas
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


  • 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
Age of Organization

  • Created in 1948 (turning 64 years old)


  • Since Cold War ended, OAS has put more emphasis on democracy & human rights

  • Inter-American Democratic Charter

    wasadopted in 2001 to promote democracy


  • Keep independence of member states while promoting cooperative action in economic, social, and cultural development and speeding the process of economic integration


  • 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


  • 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


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
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
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
International Impact


  • 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
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. <>.