Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (Spanish: Organización de los Estados Americanos, Portuguese: Organização dos Estados Americanos, French: Organisation des États américains), or the OAS or OEA, is a continental organization that was founded on 30 April 1948, for the purposes of solidarity and cooperation among its member states within the Western Hemisphere. Since the 1990s, the organization has focused on election monitoring. Headquartered in the United States’ capital Washington, D.C., the OAS’s members are the 35 independent states of the Americas.
The General Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of OAS. It convenes once every year in a regular session.
The Organization’s member states take turns hosting the General Assembly on a rotating basis. The states are represented at its sessions by their chosen delegates: generally, their ministers of foreign affairs, or their appointed deputies. Each state has one vote, and most matters are settled by a simple majority vote.
The General Assembly’s powers include setting the OAS’s general course and policies by means of resolutions and declarations; approving its budget and determining the contributions payable by the member states; approving the reports and previous year’s actions of the OAS’s specialized agencies; and electing members to serve on those agencies.