Organization of American States (OAS) formed in 14th April, 1890 to promote economic, military, and cultural cooperation among its members, which include almost all of the independent states of the Western Hemisphere. The prime objective of the formation was to prevent any outside state’s intervention in the Western Hemisphere and to maintain peace between the various states within the hemisphere.
Governing Bodies of OAS
The Governing Bodies of the Organization of American States (OAS) is consists of General Secretariat, the Permanent Council, the Inter-American Council for Integral Development, and a number of committees.
General Secretariat: It is the supreme decision-making body and convenes once every year in a regular session. The staffs of the General Secretariat are consists of personnel chosen mainly from the member states, with consideration given to geographic representation. Staff members are considered international civil servants. The OAS Secretariat also maintains a small office in many member states.
Permanent Council: It involves in implementing mandates from the General Assemblies, designing and assessing activities to promote democracy and strengthen human rights, considering requests from members, debating and approving resolutions on current issues, and dealing with reports from subsidiary organs.
Contribution OAS in Hemispheric Security
• Their response to the terrorist attacks was an immediate condemnation and a focus on a united hemispheric response. The OAS was the first international organization to condemn the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
• The OAS, with technical support from the Pan-American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), has provided cartographers, facilitators, conciliators, offered its good offices, and brokered agreements to resolve disputes between Belize and Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and El Salvador and Honduras.
• The OAS has been involved in many conflict resolution and national reconciliation activities, such as disarmament and demobilization in Colombia.
• The OAS narcotics program was launched at the Inter-American Specialized Conference on Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in April 1986—the first Western Hemisphere meeting to deal with all aspects of the drug problem.
• The 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas plan of action charged the OAS with finding a hemispheric approach to fight corruption. The Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, negotiated under OAS auspices during 1995-96, is the world's first comprehensive multilateral anticorruption agreement.