The event will also mark Jamaica’s 50th anniversary as a member of the hemispheric organization. Jamaica’s permanent representative Ambassador Audrey Marks, current Chairman of the Permanent Council of the OAS, leads the committee making plans for next week's historic general assembly.
This meeting, to which all the foreign ministers of the Hemisphere are invited, is the highest political body of the OAS and its decisions will serve as a guide for the activities and priorities of the regional body during the coming year. The Assembly is in charge of defining the policies and mandates of the OAS, as well as the structure and functions of its organs.
The General Assembly has as its principal powers, in addition to such others as are assigned to it by the OAS Charter, to decide the general action and policies of the Organization, determine the structure and functions of its organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization among themselves, and such activities with those of the other institutions of the InterAmerican system, strengthen and coordinate cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and to approve the program-budget of the Organization and determine the quotas of the member states, among others.
The meeting will have as its theme, “Facing the Challenges of COVID-19 in the Hemisphere: A Collaborative Approach to Address Vulnerabilities and Build Resilience in Times of Crisis, Based on the Four Pillars of the OAS."
During discussions 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.
During this Assembly, member states will elect members of the decentralized and autonomous organizations of the OAS such Inter-American Juridical Committee, Justice Studies Center of the Americas, Administrative Court and the Board of External Auditors.
The 50th Assembly will be the sixth of the mandate of Secretary General Luis Almagro.The topics to be discussed can be found here and the documents will be available on the OAS 50th General Assembly page.
Prior to the A ssembly, on Monday, October 19 at 14:30 GMT (18:30 EDT), the OAS will hold the “Dialogue of representatives of civil society organizations and other actors with heads of delegation, Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General,” an event during which the highest authorities of the OAS will exchange points of view on the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights, democracy, and security -among other issues- with representatives of civil society organizations from the Hemisphere, the private sector and other social actors.
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