Organization of American States

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The Organization of American States (OAS) originated April 14, 1890, as the International Union of American Republics and became the Pan American Union in 1910. In 1948, the organization became Organization of American States with the adoption of the OAS Charter in Bogota, Colombia. The OAS is headquartered in Washington, D.C. [1]


"All sovereign states of the Western Hemisphere are OAS members. Cuba is a member, although its present government has been excluded from participation since 1962 for incompatibility with the principles of the OAS Charter." [1]

Permanent Observers

Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, European Community, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Holy See, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and Tunisia. [1]

Principal Organs

  • General Assembly
  • General Secretariat
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
  • Inter-American Council for Education, Science, and Culture
  • Inter-American Economic and Social Council
  • Inter-American Juridical Committee
  • Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers
  • Permanent Council
  • [1]

Specialized Organizations

  • Inter-American Children's Institute (IACI)
  • Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)
  • Inter-American Indian Institute (IAII)
  • Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH)
  • [1]

Other Entities

  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights
  • Inter-American Defense Board
  • Inter-American Defense College
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)
  • Pan American Development Foundation (PADF)
  • [1]

Contact details

17th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Phone: (202) 458-3000


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Background Notes: OAS, Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs, accessed November 2007.

External articles