The Organization of American States (OAS) is
comprised of 34 Member
States, and has granted permanent observer status to
over 43 states, as well to the European Union. The mission of the OAS is to
assure democracy and the economic and social well being of all countries in
The OAS is divided into several bodies: the Governing
Bodies, which are the General
Assembly, the Permanent Council and the
Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI); several
Inter-American Commissions and Committees; the General Secretariat;
Specialized Organizations; and other agencies and entities.
Each department is responsible for taking action in their specific
areas to further promote the mission of the Organization.
The OAS continues to make
progress in all areas important to the nations of the Americas, including
ensuring democracy, advancing human rights, promoting peace, justice and
security, improving education, expanding trade and tackling complex problems
caused by poverty, drugs and corruption.
Through the Summits of the Americas process, the
hemisphere’s Heads of State and government have given the OAS important
responsibilities and mandates, including:
freedom of speech and thought as a basic human right;
greater participation by civil society in decision-making at all levels of
a democratic culture;
cooperation to address the problem of illegal drugs; and
the process to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas.
The OAS is also the home for the Secretariat for the
Summit Process, which is responsible for the preparation for and follow up
to the Summits of the Americas.
For more information on the OAS, please see their web page: http://www.oas.org/