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Organization of American States Hosts International Youth Leaders Assembly Closing

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The International Young Leaders Assembly will hold its graduation ceremony at the Organization of American States (OAS) on August 28, 2013.

The Organization of American States is the world’s oldest regional organization. It dates back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., convened from October 1889 to April 1890. That conference established the International Union of American Republics, that was the foundation to build institutions that became the inter-American system.

The OAS was formalized in 1948 with the signing of the Charter of the OAS in Bogotá, Colombia. It is a dynamic organization that has adapted to the changing needs of their members states.

As Article 1 its Charter states, The Organization was established 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." To be effective in its work, the OAS focuses on four primary “pillars”: democracy, human rights, security, and development.

Today, the OAS is composed on 35 independent states and 67 permanent observer states in the Americas.

This long-standing organization has worked to bring together all independent states of the Americas under commitments to common principles. Among those that stand out is it commitment to peace, the recognition and pledge to protect the rights of individuals without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or gender, and its acknowledgement of the spiritual unity of the continent based on respect for cultural values and cooperation for a higher purpose.

A special thank you for hosting the International Young Leaders Assembly. 

Founding Members StatesMembers Who joined After
BoliviaTrinidad and Tobago (1967)
BrazilJamaica (1969)
ChileGrenada (1975)
ColombiaSuriname (1977)
Costa RicaDominica (Commonwealth of)
CubaSaint Lucia (1979)
Dominican RepublicAntigua and Barbuda
EcuadorSaint Vincent and the Grenadines (1981)
El SalvadorThe Bahamas (Commonwealth of) (1982)
GuatemalaSt. Kitts & Nevis (1984)
HaitiCanada (1990)
HondurasBelize and Guyana (1991)
United States of America 
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)