Social Sciences


What is the OAS?

The Organization of American States, or better known as OAS, is made up only of American countries. Its headquarters are located in Washington, United States, and along with it, it has other branches throughout the continent . It was founded and created in response to the need to have a meeting and dialogue for the Americas . The OAS provides a place where you can discuss, evaluate and decide what action to take regarding matters of interest to the continent. There are thirty-five member countries today.

Now, it is said that the idea of ​​this organization came from the hero Simón Bolívar, who wanted the union of the countries of South America. It is in 1889 when it comes to life, what at the time was called the “International Union of American Republics.” In this way, the following year, the first meeting between American countries was held. The end of it focused on agreements that would guarantee peace among the nations of the continent. Later this meeting between American countries was agreed and held on a regular basis.

Likewise, it is necessary to mention that the OAS, before being called that, received other names. The first of them, the aforementioned “Union of the American Republics” during 1889. For its part, in 1910 it changed to “Pan American Union”, while in 1948 it adopted the name by which it is known today. This organization has focused through history to guarantee and ensure the safety of all native or foreign citizen who inhabit the American continent . It defends the rights of citizens and intercedes when they are violated.

Objectives of the Organization of American States

Like any organization, the OAS has a series of objectives and functions:

  • Dialogue: It is a fundamental pillar for the proper functioning of the organization. Through political dialogue, existing problems and possible solutions to solve them are presented and discussed. In addition, if there is a conflict between countries belonging to the organization, the OAS acts as a mediator. In this way, confrontations that threaten the peace of the continent are avoided.
  • Cooperation: One of its objectives is to support the countries that are part of the organization. This, in order to support and collaborate in risk situations that may threaten citizen security. Similarly, the OAS is characterized by its contributions in matters that promote the development of American education.
  • Monitoring: Another of its objectives focuses on the evaluation of statistics associated with social development, public health and compliance with citizens’ rights. It works as a mechanism for the correct development of the continent. In case of finding a decline in any of these areas, we proceed to discussion and intercession.
  • Legal Heritage: Another objective pursued by the OAS focuses on treaties that guarantee peace on the American continent. In general, in this type of document the processes to be executed in certain situations are reflected. They establish solutions and support systems to solve issues such as poverty and the violation of human rights

Functions of the OAS

  • Contributes, guarantees and reinforces security among American countries.
  • Promote and defend democracy in every American country.
  • It prevents and mediates against possible conflicts between the member countries of the organization.
  • It promotes dialogue, diplomatic and peaceful actions in the face of possible misunderstandings between the member countries of the organization.
  • It contributes to the dissemination and support of the economic, social and cultural development of each country that is part of the organization.
  • It seeks and works towards the eradication and prevention of armed conflicts, violation of human rights and poverty.
  • It supports solidarity and unity among the member countries of the organization.

Example of OAS member countries

  • Argentina
  • Panama
  • Colombia
  • USA
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Barbados
  • Jamaica
  • Honduras
  • Dominican Republic

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