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Model OAS General Assembly for Students Opens with a Call for Participants to Commit to Seek a Better Life for All

  March 25, 2014

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, today opened the new edition of the Washington Model OAS General Assembly (WMOAS) for university students, a program designed to promote democratic values ​​among the youth of the Hemisphere through a simulation of the Assembly, in which they become familiar with the work of the Organization and with its member states.

The annual event, which on this occasion gathers nearly 270 students from 25 universities—17 from the United States, 7 from Latin America and one from Canada—, was inaugurated with a call from the Assistant Secretary General to seize the opportunity presented to the young participants to contribute and exercise their social responsibility to provide better opportunities to those in need "by making efforts to build consensus and reach compromises acceptable to all."

"There are approximately 800 million people living in the Hemisphere, of which at least 200 million live on less than two dollars a day. Thus, issues such as equal opportunities, access to education, the fight against discrimination and guarantees to live a secure life have not reach them," said Ambassador Ramdin. He also recalled that the exercise of participation in the Model General Assembly is "an example of what we need to do to solve our problems: leave aside our differences and focus on the importance of reaching common consensus that benefit the majority."

The OAS high official also recalled that the fundamental principles that gave birth to the OAS Charter, signed in Bogotá, Colombia, in April 1948, "still have the same validity as they had sixty years ago," and issues such as the maintenance of peace, prosperity, democracy, and the existence of a safe environment remain at the heart of the concerns of the peoples of the Hemisphere. In this regard, he underlined that "we must fulfill our commitment and responsibility to contribute in order to make this a reality despite the changes in circumstances that have occurred over time."

At the opening of the WMOAS, to be held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, through Friday, March 29, were also present the Chair of the Faculty Council and representative of the EAFIT University of Colombia, Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy; the President of the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas (IDDA), and the representative of Frostburg State University, Joan Andorfer.

During this WMOAS, participants will discuss issues related to democracy; gender equity and equality; protection of refugees; the fight against racism and intolerance; cybersecurity; eradication of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking in minors, transparency in conventional weapons acquisitions; food security and sustainable development; and human capital for development, among others.

The MOAS is a simulation exercise where, through role-playing, students represent diplomats and political officials of the OAS member states and debate resolutions related to the current issues on the inter-American agenda. The Models foster the development of leadership skills in young people, such as negotiation, team work, and problem solving.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-106/14