The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that at the recently concluded 49th Session of the General Assembly (GA) of the Organization States (OAS) held in Medellin, Colombia, from 26th to 28th June 2019, The Bahamas’ offer to host the 50th GA in 2020 was approved by the member states of the OAS. This will be the second time that The Bahamas will be hosting the Assembly, having done so when the 22nd Session was convened in 1992.
The Bahamas officially gained membership status in the OAS in March of 1982, and plays an active role through its participation in a number of the Organization’s bodies that make up the Inter-American system. The Bahamas most recently chaired and hosted the 60th Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) in 2016 and the Inter-American Commission on Education (CIE), also in 2016. Based on the rotation system, The Bahamas has also served as President of the Permanent Council several times over the years.
The hosting of the General Assembly is a major undertaking for The Bahamas that will showcase the country’s continued commitment to multilateralism. As host, The Bahamas will shape the dialogue by selecting the Assembly’s theme, focused on issues confronting The Bahamas and the hemisphere such as climate change, migration, human rights, gender and security. Its success will be determined by the collective efforts of all stakeholders, both public and private.
The Organization was founded by member states on 30th April 1948, “to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence”, as stated in in Article 1 of the Organization’s founding document, the Charter of the OAS. Headquartered in the United States’ capital Washington, D.C, it is comprised of 35 member states of the hemisphere.
The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the OAS through which foreign ministers of the Americas meet annually. The mechanisms, policies, actions and mandates of the OAS are determined by the General Assembly.
In addition to the 35 member states, it is expected that the 50th General Assembly will have participants from observer countries, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and a wide range of international journalists.
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
19 July 2019