The Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is held in order to consider problems of an urgent nature and of common interest to the member states of the Organization of American States and to serve as the Organ of Consultation on such matters.
Any member state may request that a Meeting of Consultation be called. The request must be addressed to the Permanent Council of the Organization, which decides by an absolute majority whether a meeting should be held.
When one or more of the member states that have ratified the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) requests that the Meeting of Consultation be convened in accordance with Article 13 of the Treaty, the Permanent Council decides by the vote of an absolute majority of the states that have ratified the Treaty whether such a meeting should be held.
The agenda and rules of procedure of the Meeting of Consultation are prepared by the Permanent Council and submitted to the member states for consideration. When the Council serves as Organ of Consultation, its proceedings are governed by the provisions of the Rio Treaty.
If, for exceptional reasons, a minister of foreign affairs is unable to attend the meeting, he or she shall be represented by a special delegate.
In case of an armed attack on the territory of an American state or within the region of security delimited by the treaty in force, the Chair of the Permanent Council shall without delay call a meeting of the Council to decide on the convocation of the Meeting of Consultation, without prejudice to the provisions of the Rio Treaty with regard to the states parties to that instrument.
The Assistant Secretary General acts as Secretary of the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs when the rules of procedure of the Meeting so provide.