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The Permanent Council of the Organization (Permanent Council) is one of two bodies that make up the ‘Councils of the Organization’ (see also ‘Inter-American Council for Integral Development’). It consists of one ambassador from each member state, who is appointed by their respective government. In General, the Permanent Council serves as the ‘Organ of Consultation’ to the OAS and meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month. To help its work, the Permanent Council has established 5 Permanent Committees:

The Permanent Council of the Organization is responsible for (Chapter XII, OAS Charter):

  • Carrying out decisions of the General Assembly or of the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs the implementation of which has not been assigned to any other body
  • Watching over the observance of the standards governing the operation of the General Secretariat and, when the General Assembly is not in session, adopt provisions of a regulatory nature that enable the General Secretariat to carry out its administrative functions
  • Acting as the Preparatory Committee of the General Assembly, unless the General Assembly should decide otherwise
  • Preparing, at the request of the member states and with the cooperation of the appropriate organs of the Organization, draft agreements to promote and facilitate cooperation between the Organization of American States and the United Nations or between the Organization and other American agencies of recognised international standing. These draft agreements shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval
  • Submitting recommendations to the General Assembly with regard to the functioning of the Organization and the coordination of its subsidiary organs, agencies, and committees
  • Considering the reports of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development, of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, of the General Secretariat, of specialized agencies and conferences, and of other bodies and agencies, and present to the General Assembly any observations and recommendations it deems necessary

iconLockWant more? Read the Permanent Council’s Rules of Procedure and learn more about its work

iconStarTackling Violence against Women and Civil Society Engagement: Observer Status and Registration

CSOs wishing to engage with the Permanent Council on VAW may designate a representative to attend meetings as an observer – meaning the representatives may not take part in any deliberations, negotiations or decisions adopted by member states. Although restricted in this respect, other methods of participation are available to CSOs that have received prior approval from the Secretary General and Permanent Council. These methods include:

  • Presenting written documents for distribution prior to the meeting
  • Delivering a presentation prior to the meeting’s deliberations
  • Receiving documents in advance of the meetings of the Working Groups and Special Committees
  • Presenting a statement at the beginning of the deliberations, and deliver a presentation once the consideration of the issue has concluded
  • Attending closed meetings of the Permanent Council
  • Contributing to the elaboration of the agenda of an annual meeting of the Permanent Council on a matter of special interest to the CSO

There are two primary methods for gaining approval to attend the Permanent Council’s meetings:

    1. By registering with the OAS through an application to the Secretary General and with approval of the Permanent Council
    2. Requesting to attend the Permanent Council’s meeting as a Special Guest

Prior to registering with the OAS, there are certain requirements CSOs must meet. After registration, CSOs are given specific responsibilities as part of their work with the OAS. To decide which method best serves the interests of those wishing to participate in OAS activities, it is highly recommended that CSOs read the terms and conditions of participation on the OAS website.

iconLockWant more? Read about Civil Society status within the OAS and how to participate in Permanent Council meetings

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