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The Permanent Council of the Organization reports directly to the General Assembly and has the powers assigned to it by the Charter and the other inter-American instruments and the functions entrusted to it by the General Assembly and the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.


The Permanent Council keeps vigilance over the maintenance of friendly relations among the member states and, for that purpose, effectively assists them in the peaceful settlement of their disputes.  It carries out those decisions of the General Assembly or of the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs the implementation of which has not been assigned to any other body.  It watches over the observance of the standards governing the operation of the General Secretariat and, when the General Assembly is not in session, adopts provisions of a regulatory nature that enable the General Secretariat to carry out its administrative functions.  It acts as the Preparatory Committee.  At the request of the member states, it prepares draft agreements to promote and facilitate cooperation between the OAS and the United Nations and other inter-American institutions.  It submits recommendations to the General Assembly with regard to the functioning of the Organization and the coordination of its subsidiary organs, agencies, and committees.  It considers the reports of the organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system and presents to the General Assembly any observations and recommendations it deems necessary.


It serves provisionally as the Organ of Consultation under Article 83 of the OAS Charter and under the provisions of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty).  It also considers any matter which the Secretary General of the Organization may bring to its attention under Article 110 of the OAS Charter and Article 20 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.




The Permanent Council is composed of one representative of each member state, especially appointed by the respective government, with the rank of ambassador.  Each government may appoint alternate representatives and advisers and, if necessary, accredit an acting representative.


Chair and Vice Chair


The office of chair is held by each of the representatives, in turn, following the alphabetic order in Spanish of the names of their respective countries.  The office of vice chair is filled in the same way, following reverse alphabetic order.  The terms run for three months and begin automatically on the first day of the months of January, April, July, and October.


Secretary of the Permanent Council


The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization is the secretary of the Permanent Council and of its subsidiary bodies and committees, as provided in Article 115 of the OAS Charter.


Committees, Subcommittees, and Working Groups


The permanent committees are the General Committee, the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs, the Committee on Hemispheric Security, and the Committee on Inter-American Summits Management and Civil Society Participation in OAS Activities.  The Council may also establish such special committees, subcommittees, and working groups as it deems necessary.




The Council holds regular, special, and protocolary meetings, in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.


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