Media Center



  December 10, 2015

• Since 1962 the OAS has observed 234 elections in 26 member states

So far in 2015 the OAS has observed 14 elections and for the first time in history, deployed three missions on the same day that covered three sub-regions of the hemisphere: On October 25, the OAS observed elections in Colombia, Guatemala and Haiti

• Since 2008 the OAS has supported the delivery of 19 million birth certificates and/or identification cards in 19 member states through the Universal Civil Identity Project of the Americas (PUICA)

• The OAS has helped to bring down the rate of under-registration of births in the region, from 18% (2005) to 8% (2015)

• The OAS was the first international Organization that had an Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, adopted in 1996

• The Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Convention (MESICIC) has adopted 114 reports, which contain useful recommendations for each state to improve its legal and institutional frameworks in areas like the prevention of conflicts of interest, conservation of public resources and the obligation of public officials to report acts of corruption, the participation of civil society in combating corruption and the criminalization of corruption, among other areas

• The Fourth Round of the MESICIC conducted 30 on-site visits, with the participation of 856 public authorities and 189 civil society organizations, private sector representatives, professional associations, academics and researchers

• The OAS Cyber Security Program has supported the creation and strengthening of Computer Security Incident Response Teams in 18 countries

• To date 25 member states have ratified the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism

• The Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas opened the debate on the importance of addressing drug dependence as a chronic and relapsing
disease that must be treated as a public health issue

Since 1993, the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) has helped ten member states to clear more than 200,000 landmines and other explosive devices, to send prevention messages to more than a million people who live in affected areas, to assist in the physical and psychological rehabilitation and socioeconomic reintegration of some 1,700 landmine accident survivors, and to have Central America declared a mine-free zone in 2010

In 1997, the states of the region adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) as the first instrument to prevent, combat and eradicate this illicit trade.

• From 2009 to 2014, the OAS provided firearms marking equipment and machines for database maintenance, as well as training for officials from 25 member states, and thus facilitated the tracing of illicit weapons seized by national authorities

• Since 2007, through its Assistance Program for the Control of Arms and Ammunition (PACAM), the OAS has supported and certified the destruction of 7.1 million rounds of ammunition with a total weight of 1,700 metric tons and some 62,500 firearms of different types and calibers

• PACAM also provided assistance for government stockpile security and management that resulted in the improvement of security in 18 storage facilities

• More than 600 members of the military, police, and public servants from 14 countries have been trained in stockpile management and destruction of ammunition and explosives through PACAM

• The Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 1999, was the first normative legal instrument on the issue, which focused on human rights

29 countries of the Americas have adapted their national legislation to combat gender-based violence

Eight countries have enacted “second generation” laws, which have eliminated or relegated to second place the concept of “intra-family” violence to also encompass the private and public spheres in the framework of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (MESECVI)

• In the last 10 years, 13,360 projects have been submitted for participation in TIC Americas involving 31,079 young innovators from 48 countries

• In 2015 alone, 2,734 innovative proposals were received from 3,271 young people from all the countries of the OAS

Nearly 1,700 representatives of youth organizations participated in 25 national dialogues for 8 months at the Youth Forum of the Americas discussing issues such as: entrepreneurship, migration, security, the environment, governance and citizen participation

• In the last decade, the OAS has awarded more than 12,000 scholarships for studies at all levels from bachelor’s degree to post-doctoral studies, including professional development courses

• The OAS and its initiative Virtual Educa facilitated the inclusion and access to education for people in remote areas through its PopUp Schools, a fully equipped system with technological devices and educational materials for students and teachers. Six PopUp schools have been built to date

• The Educational Portal of the Americas has provided online learning opportunities to more than 30,000 citizens of the Americas

• The Inter-American Teacher Education Network is the largest regional teaching network in the Americas, with 30,000 teachers in 34 member states and reaching more than 350,000 students

• Between 2013-2015 the ITEN financed 14 technical cooperation missions with the participation of 24 ministries of education of OAS member states, more than 630 ministerial level representatives and teachers, reaching more than 11,900 students

Belize and Guatemala have taken fundamental and unprecedented steps to achieve a peaceful and permanent solution to the centuries-old territorial dispute and have forged a strong bilateral relationship with the collaboration of the OAS Peace Fund

Not one single confrontation between the armed forces of Belize and Guatemala has taken place since the involvement of the OAS Peace Fund

• The OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone is the first and only civilian peacekeeping mission that has been established in the Hemisphere within the context of a territorial dispute

• The Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP-OAS) has accompanied more than 30,000 victims in the prosecution of the main perpetrators of crimes against humanity in the framework of the transitional justice program

• In Colombia, the MAPP has implemented 83 community initiatives in 250 communities with high levels of conflict. Such initiatives have fostered trust in institutions, access to comprehensive reparations for victims of conflict and community and institutional readiness for territorial peace building

• The OAS is the only international organization that has verified and monitored 36 demobilizations of armed groups and the destruction of weapons in Colombia since 2004

• The Judicial Facilitators Program, present in 8 countries of the region (Honduras, Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay) has contributed to a 25 percent reduction of conflicts of legal relevance, minimizing the number of cases in courts and the costs per resolved case

11,040 judicial facilitators support judicial authorities and serve as advisers, consultants or facilitators and contribute to the creation of a civil-legal culture in the Hemisphere

• The judicial facilitators trained by the OAS provide access to justice for 5.5 million people in eight countries in which they have conducted more than 36,000 mediations

• The OAS contributed to the launch of 22 Drug Treatment Court pilot programs in 8 member states (Mexico, Argentina, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Panama)

More than 3,500 judges, magistrates, defense lawyers, prosecutors, treatment providers, and law enforcement professionals are trained to work in the Drug Treatment Courts, creating an alternative to prison for those crimes related to drugs

Reference: S-043/15