G E N E R A L S E C R E T A R I A T
CP/RES. 76 (84/72)
RULES OF PROCEDURES FOR
Inter-American Specialized Conferences referred to in articles 128 and 129
of the Charter of the Organization of American States are governed by the
provisions contained in the "Standards for Inter-American Specialized
Conferences" approved by the General Assembly (AG/RES. 85 (II-0/72),
by their own rules or organization plan in the case of periodic
conferences when the General Assembly has approved them,
THE PERMANENT COUNCIL
OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
when applicable, the Inter-American Specialized Conferences shall also be
governed by the following:
RULES OF PROCEDURES FOR
THE CONFERENCE AND ITS PURPOSES
1. The (name of the
specialized conference) shall have the following purposes. . . . . . .
2. The delegations
accredited by the governments of the member states of the OAS or those of
the inter‑American specialized organization concerned may be
composed of a principal representative, alternate representatives,
advisers, and such other members as the governments may deem necessary. The accreditation shall be accomplished by written
communication to the Secretary General or the OAS (or to the
administrative head of the pertinent specialized organization).
3. The Secretary General
of the Organization, or his representative, participates with voice but
without vote in the deliberations of the Conference.
Other organs and entities of the
4. The representatives of
the organs or entities of the Organization, whose spheres of competence
are related to the topic or topics to be dealt with at the conference,
shall have the right to speak but not to vote.
5. The order of
precedence of the delegations shall be established by lot at the
Permanent observers and other observers
6. Permanent Observers
accredited to the Organization of American States or their alternates may
attend the Conference, if they have advised the Secretary General, in
writing, of their intention to do so.
7. The following may
accredit observers to the Conference:
Inter-American specialized organizations and intergovernmental
regional agencies of the Americas;
The United Nations and its specialized agencies;
International or national organizations that maintain cooperative
relations with the Organization of American States or with [name of the
specialized organization] when the organ at whose initiative the
conference is convoked expressly decides to do so; and
Governments of states that are not members of the Organization of
American States [or of the name of the specialized organization] when
these governments have expressed an interest in participating in the
conference provided that the resolution on the convocation does not
contain express provisions on the matter.
purposes of this article, the Secretary General of the Organization shall
transmit the appropriate communications.
When the specialized conference has been convoked by the Meeting of
Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the body that prepares the
rules of procedure for the conference shall observe the provisions of the
last sentence of Article 11.d of the Standards for Inter-American
8. Both the Permanent
Observers and other observers may attend the inaugural session, public
plenary sessions, and public committee meetings, as well as closed
meetings of the committees when invited to do so by the Chairman
concerned; they may also attend the closing session.
Observers may speak in plenary session and in committee meetings
providing the corresponding president or chairman so decides.
9. The General
Secretariat shall provide to both the permanent and other observers copies
of the minutes of the public sessions and of the other official documents
of the Conference, except those whose distribution it has been decided to
10. When special guests
attend the Conference in accordance with Article 12 of the Standards for
Inter-American Specialized Conferences, they may attend the inaugural
session, the closing session, and public plenary sessions and committee
meetings, as well as closed plenary sessions or committee meetings, when
invited to do so by the chairman concerned.
III. OFFICERS OF THE
11. The Conference shall
have a president, elected from among the chiefs of the delegations. The
chiefs of the delegations other than that of the president shall be vice-presidents
ex officio of the Conference and shall replace the president in the
event of his absence or disability, in accordance with the order of
12. The government of the
host country shall designate a provisional president of the Conference,
who shall serve until the Conference elects its president at the first
plenary session. When the Conference meets at the headquarters of the
General Secretariat, the Chairman of the Permanent Council shall serve as
13. The President shall
call the plenary sessions, decide on the order of business thereof, open
and close the plenary sessions, direct the discussions, recognize speakers
in the order in which they request the floor, submit points under
discussion to a vote and announce the results thereof, decide on points of
order, install the committees of the Conference, and, in general comply
with and enforce the provisions of these rules of procedure.
14. The General
Secretariat, as the central and permanent organ of the Organizations is
the secretariat of the Conference. However,
when the Conference has been convoked at the initiative of an inter-American
specialized organization, it shall be the responsibility of that
organization to provide the corresponding secretariat services, with such
cooperation as the General Secretariat can extend.
the Conference is to be held elsewhere than at the headquarters of the
General Secretariat or of the specialized organization at whose initiative
it has been convoked, the cooperation and contribution of each of the
parties for its holding shall be established in the corresponding
agreement with the government of the host country.
COMMITTEES OF THE CONFERENCES
15. There shall be a
Steering Committee, a Committee on Credentials, a Style Committee, and
such working committees as the Conference may deem necessary.
16. The Steering
Committee shall be composed of the chairmen of the working committees and
the President of the Conference shall be its chairman. It shall see that
the work proceeds satisfactorily and, to that end, shall make such
recommendations as it considers appropriate.
Committee shall meet when convoked by the chairman either on his own
initiative or at the request of one of its members.
17. The Committee on
Credentials shall be composed of three delegations designated at the first
plenary session. It shall
examine the credentials of the delegations and duly submit a report on the
matter to the Conference.
18. The Style Committee
shall be composed of delegations designated at the first plenary
session, each of which shall represent one of the four official languages.
Style Committee shall be responsible for coordination of the texts of the
documents of the Conference in the official languages to ensure their
equal authenticity, and it shall make such changes of style in them as may
be necessary. To this end,
the Committee shall receive the drafts adopted by the working committees
before they are submitted to a plenary session for consideration.
the event that any draft contains defects of form that cannot be
corrected, the Style Committee shall raise the point with the committee
concerned or at a plenary session.
19. The working
committees shall be responsible for studying the various matters that
appear on the agenda. Each delegation shall have the right to be
represented on each working committee. Each working committee shall elect
a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a rapporteur.
20. Each committee may
establish such subcommittees or working groups as it deems necessary for
the study of the topics assigned to it for consideration. Delegations
shall have the right to participate with voice but without vote in a
committee, subcommittee, or working group of which they are not members.
21. The reports of the
committees shall be prepared by the rapporteurs, who may have the
assistance of the Secretariat. They
shall contain a summary of the background, a list of the documents
considered, the essential points of the discussions, the results of any
votes taken, and the complete text of the conclusions and recommendations
adopted, as well as an explanation of how those decisions were reached.
22. The provisions of
these rules of procedure regarding procedures, discussions, and voting
shall also govern the committees, subcommittees and working groups,
insofar as they are applicable.
VI. SESSIONS OF THE
CONFERENCE AND MEETINGS OF ITS COMMITTEES
23. The Conference shall
hold an inaugural session, plenary sessions, which may be public or
closed, and a closing session. The committees may hold public or closed
24. Prior to the first
plenary session of the Conference the chiefs of delegation shall hold a
closed preparatory meeting, which shall have the following order of
Establishment of the order of precedence;
Agreement on the rules of procedure;
Agreement on the election of the President of the Conference;
Agreement on the agenda;
Agreement on the [membership of the] Committee on Credentials and
the Style Committee;
Agreement on the working methods and the establishment of working
Deadline for the presentation of proposals;
Consideration of the assignment of documents to committees and of
those proposals that are not clearly related to the topics on the agenda;
Agreement on the approximate duration of the Conference; and
agreements reached shall be formally adopted at the first plenary session.
25. A majority of the
delegations of the member states of the OAS or, if applicable, of the
member states of the specialized organization shall constitute a quorum
in plenary sessions of the Conference.
In a meeting of a committee, a majority of the delegations that are
members of it shall constitute a quorum.
26. For the adoption of a
decision in a plenary session, the vote of a majority of the states that
participate in the Conference shall be required; for the adoption of a
decision by a committee, the vote of a majority of the members of that
committee present at the meeting at which the voting is conducted shall be
27. Votes shall be taken
by a show of hands, but any representative may request a roll-call vote,
which shall be taken beginning with the delegation whose name is drawn by
lot by the president or chairman and continuing in the order of
precedence of the delegations.
representative may interrupt the voting except for a point of order
relating to the manner in which the voting is being conducted. The voting
shall be considered concluded when the president or chairman has announced
28. At plenary sessions,
no draft resolution, report, or proposal that has not been studied by the
appropriate committee shall be considered, unless it is decided otherwise
by the vote of an absolute majority of the delegations.
Article 29. Discussions
shall be limited to matters related to the agenda, both in plenary
sessions and in committee meetings.
30. The sessions of the
Conference shall be public. However, if the president or the chairman
concerned so decides or any representative so requests, a session or
meeting shall be closed and shall continue in that form unless the
Conference or committee decides otherwise.
31. The following
standards shall be observed in the discussions:
Proposals shall be presented in writing to the Secretariat, which
shall distribute copies of them to all the delegations 24 hours before the
session at which they are to be discussed. However if the body concerned
considers it proper, it may authorize, discussion of and even voting on a
proposal that was not distributed beforehand;
An amendment shall be submitted for discussion and shall be put to
a vote before the article or proposal that it is intended to modify is
Proposals on the same topic shall be put to a vote in the order in
which they were presented;
Amendments to an article or a proposal shall be voted upon before
the article or proposal. When several amendments to the same proposal are
presented, the one that departs farthest from the original proposal shall
be voted upon first. The same principle shall apply to the voting on the
other amendments, but when the approval of one amendment necessarily
implies the exclusion of another, the latter shall not be put to a vote;
A proposal that would totally replace the original proposal or that
is not directly related to it shall not be considered an amendment;
If one or more amendments are approved, the proposal so amended
shall be put to a vote as a whole;
Proposals and amendments shall be voted on by parts when any
representative so requests, and voting shall immediately follow on the
whole made up of the parts that have been approved;
When a proposal or amendment has been approved or rejected it may
not be the subject of further consideration unless the body concerned so
decides by the vote of two thirds of the delegations that are members of
VII. PROPOSALS AND
32. Documents intended
for the Conference shall be: a) working documents on topics of the agenda;
b) reference documents relating to topics on the agenda, and c) drafts or
proposals presented by the official delegations.
33. Proposals, studies,
and reports shall indicate the agenda topic to which they relate and shall
be referred to the appropriate committee by the Secretariat.
34. A proposal that in
the view of a delegation or of the Secretariat of the Conference is not
clearly related to a topic on the agenda shall first be considered by the
Steering Committee, which shall recommend to one of the working committees
that it decide whether it should be studied.
35. Any proposal of an
activity that has financial implications for the Organization of American
States shall be presented, together with an estimate of its cost, for
consideration by the Conference. However, the implementation of the
approved project shall be subject to decision by the appropriate organ.
VIII. OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
36. The official
languages of the Conference are English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
IX. MINUTES, FINAL REPORT, AND ARCHIVES OF THE CONFERENCE
37. Summary minutes shall
be kept of the plenary sessions and of the meetings of the Steering
Committee and the working committees; those minutes shall contain a
summary of the discussions and the full text of the decisions adopted.
38. The Secretariat shall
distribute to the delegations, as promptly as possible, the provisional
text of the minutes of each session or meeting. The delegations may present to the Secretariat of the Conference
such corrections as they consider necessary, within a period of
twenty-four hours from the time the text is distributed.
Article 39. There shall be a final report of the Conference, which shall contain, in addition to the conclusions and agreements reached, background information on the organization of the Conference, the list of participants, and basic information on the work of the Conference, and the reports of the rapporteurs of the committees.