Article 8.  The Secretary General.  The Secretary General shall direct the General Secretariat, be the legal representative thereof, and, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 91 (b) of the Charter, be responsible to the General Assembly for the proper fulfillment of the obligations and functions of the General Secretariat.  The Secretary General shall be the ranking officer of the Organization. 

            Article 9.  Participation in Meetings.  The Secretary General or his representative may participate with voice but without vote in all meetings of the Organization.  His participation in these meetings shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of the Charter and of the respective statutes, rules of procedure, and agreements.

            Article 10.  Notice of Threats to Peace and Security.  The Secretary General may bring to the attention of the General Assembly or the Permanent Council any matter which in his opinion might threaten the peace and security of the Hemisphere or the development of the Member States.  The Secretary General shall exercise this authority in accordance with the Charter.

            Article 11.  Reports.  The Secretary General shall furnish the reports that are requested of him by the General Assembly, the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and the Councils.

            Article 12.  Powers.  It is the responsibility of the Secretary General:

a.  To establish the dependencies of the General Secretariat that are necessary to accomplish its purposes;

b.  To determine the number of members of the staff of the General Secretariat, appoint them, regulate their powers and duties, and set their remuneration;

c.  To abolish the dependencies of the General Secretariat that become unnecessary;

d.  To redistribute the functions of existing dependencies, incorporating some into others or dividing or subdividing them, whenever necessary for the greater efficiency of the services and better execution of the programs, provided that no increase in the expenditures budgeted for those services or programs is involved;

e.  When strictly necessary, to contract for special or technical services of natural or juridical persons; and

f.  To issue and apply the administrative provisions necessary for the proper functioning of the General Secretariat.

            The Secretary General shall exercise this authority in accordance with these General Standards and the budgetary provisions established by the General Assembly.

            Article 13.  Other Powers.  It is also the responsibility of the Secretary General:

a.  To carry out the provisions of a regulatory nature adopted by the Permanent Council in accordance with Article 91 (b) of the Charter;

b.  To appoint the Executive Secretary for Integral Development with the approval of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) and taking into account the recommendations of the Management Board of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD).[2]

c.  With the prior authorization of the General Assembly, pursuant to Article 7 of the Charter, to accept signature of the Charter and the deposit of the corresponding instrument of ratification by the representative of a state wishing to become a member of the Organization; and

d.  With the authorization of the General Assembly, to conclude agreements that define the relations that should exist between the Organization and each Inter-American Specialized Organization.

            Article 14.  Responsibility.  The Secretary General is responsible for compliance with these General Standards.

            Article 15.  The Assistant Secretary General.  The Assistant Secretary General shall be the Secretary of the Permanent Council.  He shall serve as advisory officer to the Secretary General and shall act as his delegate in all matters that the Secretary General may entrust to him.  During the temporary absence or disability of the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General shall perform his duties.

            In the event that the office of Secretary General becomes vacant, the Assistant Secretary General shall assume the duties of that office until the General Assembly elects a new Secretary General for a full term, and until the newly-elected Secretary General takes office.

            Article 16.  Autonomy, Privileges and Immunities, and Rank.  In the performance of their duties, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any authority outside the Organization and shall refrain from any action that may be incompatible with the position as international officers responsible only to the Organization.

            In accordance with Article 134 of the Charter, the pertinent bilateral agreements between the Member States and the General Secretariat of the Organization and the multilateral agreements in force, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General shall enjoy the privileges and immunities corresponding to their positions and necessary for the independent performance of their duties.

            In all protocolary acts that they attend in performance of their official duties, the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General shall have rank equivalent to that of Ambassador.


[1].  Adopted by the General Assembly through resolution AG/RES. 123 (III-O/73) and amended through resolutions AG/RES. 248 (VI-O/76), AG/RES. 256 (VI-O/76), AG/RES. 257 (VI-O/76), AG/RES. 301 (VII-O/77), AG/RES. 359 (VIII-O/78), AG/RES. 404 (IX-O/79), AG/RES. 438 (IX-O/79), AG/RES. 479 (X-O/80), AG/RES. 671 (XIII-O/83), AG/RES. 672 (XIII-O/83), AG/RES. 731 (XIV-O/84), AG/RES. 791 (XV-O/85), AG/RES. 842 (XVI-O/86), AG/RES. 981 (XIX-O/89), AG/RES. 1036 (XX-O/90), AG/RES. 1137 (XXI-O/91), AG/RES. 1321 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1322 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1. (XXV-E/98), AG/RES. 3 (XXVI-E/99), AG/RES. 1725 (XXX-O/00), AG/RES. 1839 (XXXI-O/01), AG/RES. 1873 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 1909 (XXXII-O/02), AG/RES. 2059 (XXXIV-O/04), AG/RES. 2156 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2157 (XXXV-O/05), AG/RES. 2302 (XXXVII-O/07), AG/RES. 2353 (XXXVII-O/07), AG/RES. 2754 (XLII-O/12), AG/RES. 2755 (XLII-O/12), AG/RES. 2756 (XLII-O/12), AG/RES. 2778 (XLIII-O/13), AG/RES. 2817 (XLIV-O/14), AG/RES. 1 (XLVIII-E/14), AG/RES. 2889 (XLVI-O/16), AG/RES. 1 (LII-E/17), AG/RES. 2923 (XLVIII-O/18), AG/RES. 1 (LIII-E/18), AG/RES. 2940 (XLIX-O/19), AG/RES. 2942 (XLIX-O/19), and by the Permanent Council through resolutions CP/RES. 652 (1033/95), CP/RES. 703 (1122/97), CP/RES. 761 (1217/99), CP/RES. 910 (1568/06), CP/RES. 919 (1597/07) and CP/RES. 1062 (2069/16) pursuant to the authority conferred by the General Assembly in resolutions AG/RES. 1319 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1382 (XXVI-O/96), AG/RES. 1603 (XXVIII-O/98), AG/RES. 2257 (XXXVI-O/06) and AG/RES. 1 (L-E/15), respectively.

[2].  Paragraph amended by resolution AG/RES. 3 (XXVI-E/99) of the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth special session in November 1999.