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Fact Sheet on the OAS General Assembly

  June 11, 2015

• The General Assembly is the principal organ of the OAS and is composed of the delegations of all member states, usually led by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

• Each member state is entitled to one vote. Assembly decisions are often adopted by a majority, but in some cases the rules require the vote of two thirds. The OAS tradition is to adopt resolutions by consensus.

• The Assembly is responsible for defining the policies and mandates of the OAS and the structure and functions of its organs.

• The Assembly Is responsible for the election of the officers of the decentralized and autonomous organs of the OAS such as the IACHR; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; the Inter-American Juridical Committee, and the Center for Justice Studies of the Americas, among others.

• More than a thousand people will participate in the Assembly, including the delegations of the member countries, representatives of civil society, special guests, members of the press and officials of the Organization.

• The 45th Assembly will be the first of the mandate of the Secretary General, Luis Almagro. The central theme of the Assembly is: "Present and Future of the OAS." In addition, countries can submit any other issue they deem relevant for discussion.

• The OAS General Assembly has met annually since 1971. Previously, these sessions were called Conferences of American States and met at varying intervals.

• Since 1971, 22 countries have hosted the General Assembly. The countries where the Assembly has met the most are Chile and Guatemala: three times in each case.

• The Assembly has met on ten occasions in the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. The last time was in 1989.

• The main theme of each Assembly is proposed by the host country. In the case of the 45th Assembly, the topic was proposed by the Mission of Uruguay to the OAS.

• The agenda of the General Assembly includes six sessions over two days: The opening session, and the first two plenary sessions are held on Monday June 15. The final two plenary sessions and the closing session will be held on Tuesday, June 16. On Sunday, June 14, the Secretary General will meet with civil society. The same day, the heads of delegation will hold separate meetings with civil society, representatives of workers, the private sector and Permanent Observers.

For more information visit the webpage of the Assembly

Reference: S-015/15