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FACT SHEET: Basic information on the 47th OAS General Assembly in Mexico

  June 16, 2017

  • The 47th General Assembly of the OAS will take place on June 19-21 in Cancun, Mexico. The central theme of the Assembly is “Strengthening Dialogue and Concerted Action for Prosperity”. 
  • This will be the first time that Mexico will host a regular session of the General Assembly. 
  • On the occasion of the General Assembly, The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OAS will resume the Consultation Meeting on Venezuela that was suspended on May 31, 2017. The meeting of consultation is not part of the Assembly activities in Cancun. 
  • The General Assembly is the main body of the OAS. It is composed of all the delegations of the member states, and is generally led by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. 
  • Each Member State has the right to cast a vote. The decisions of the General Assembly are usually taken by majority; however, in certain cases, rules require a two/thirds vote. The tradition of the OAS is to decide by consensus. 
  • The Assembly is responsible for determining policies and mandates of the OAS in terms of the structure and the functioning of its organs. 
  • More than 1600 people will participate in the meeting, including delegations of the member states, representatives of civil society, workers, business leaders, special guests, members of the press, and OAS staff. 
  • Since 1971, 22 countries have hosted the General Assembly. Countries that have hosted the assembly the most, besides OAS headquarters, are Chile and Guatemala: three times respectively. 
  • The agenda of the General Assembly includes 5 sessions over the course of two days and 4 thematic panels: the inaugural session will take place June 19; the first session and panels on integral development and prosperity in the hemisphere, and panel on opportunities and challenges for women’s leadership in the Americas will take place Tuesday June 20; The second, third plenary session and closing ceremony, and the panels on Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy, and panel on multidimensional security will take place on Wednesday, June 21. 
  • For more information, visit the Assembly webpage.

Reference: S-009/17