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FACT SHEET: Basic information on the 49TH OAS General Assembly in Medellin, Colombia

  June 23, 2019

  • The 49th OAS General Assembly will take place on June 26-28 at the Plaza Mayor Convention and Exhibition Center, in Medellin, Colombia.
  • This will be the third time that the OAS General Assembly has been held in Colombia. The first time was in 1985 in Cartagena, and the second time in 2008 in Medellín.
  • The General Assembly is the principal organ of the OAS and is composed of the delegations of all the member states, usually headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
  • Each member state has the right to cast a vote. The decisions of the Assembly are usually adopted by majority, but in certain cases the rules require a two-thirds vote. The tradition of the OAS is to adopt resolutions by consensus.
  • The Assembly is responsible for defining the policies and mandates of the OAS, as well as the structure and functions of its organs.
  • It is responsible for the election of the members of the decentralized and autonomous organizations of the OAS such as the IACHR, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Juridical Committee, the Inter-American Juridical Committee, and the Justice Center of the Americas, among others.
  • The 49th Assembly will be the fifth of the mandate of Secretary General Luis Almagro.
  • The OAS General Assembly has met annually since 1971. Previously meetings of this nature had varied intervals and were called International American Conferences.
  • Since 1971, 22 countries have hosted the General Assembly. Outside the OAS headquarters, the countries where the Assembly has held the most meetings are Colombia, Chile and Guatemala: three times in each case.
  • The schedule of the General Assembly has 4 sessions divided between Thursday June 27 and Friday June 28.
  • Activities will also be carried out prior to and in parallel with the start of the General Assembly:

Tuesday 25: 

  • YABT Event - TIC Americas 2019 and Eco Reto 10. El Poblado Business Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín.
  • Event to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia of the OAS (MAPP-OAS). Intercontinental Hotel
  • "Innovating in the Fight against Corruption with Open Data in the Americas." Intercontinental Hotel
  • Event to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the creation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). EAFIT University

Wednesday 26:

  • Dialogue of representatives of civil society organizations and other actors with Heads of Delegation, Secretary General (SG) and Assistant Secretary General (ASG)
  • Discussion on "The work of international mechanisms in the fight against impunity: a globalized dialogue." InterContinental Hotel
  • Private Sector Forum (Business meeting). Intercontinental Hotel

Friday the 28th:

  • Lunch-dialogue of the Heads of Delegation, the SG and the EMS with the Heads of Delegation of the permanent observers.

Reference: S-002/19