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FACT SHEET: Basic information on the 50th OAS General Assembly in Washington, DC.

  October 16, 2020

The 50th OAS General Assembly will take place on October 20-21.

It will be the first virtual meeting of the General Assembly. All public meetings will be broadcasted online on the OAS Website, with interpretation available in all 4 official languages: Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

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 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, and the Justice Center of the Americas, among others.

The 50th Assembly will be the sixth of the mandate of Secretary General Luis Almagro, and the first since his re-election.

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 Tuesday October 20 and Wednesday October 21.

Activities will also be carried out prior to and in parallel with the start of the General Assembly:

Monday, October 19:

  • Dialogue on the multidimensional crisis in Venezuela, beyond the parliamentary elections
  • Dialogue of representatives of civil society organizations and other actors with Heads of Delegation, Secretary General (SG) and Assistant Secretary General (ASG)

Wednesday, October 21:

  • Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (To be confirmed)

More information available at:

Reference: S-015/20