U.S.-Panama Initiative Tours the Organization of American States

U.S.-Panama Initiative Tours the Organization of American States

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Maha Neouchy
October 22, 2012

The U.S.-Panama Initiative program had the special opportunity to tour the Organization of American States (OAS), the world's oldest regional organization of the Americas. Members of the OAS include all 35 independent countries of the Americas including Panama. The Organization was established to achieve an order of peace and justice, promote solidarity, strengthen collaboration, and defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the member countries.


The organization serves the following eight purposes under the Charter of the United Nations:


  • To strengthen the peace and security of the continent
  • To promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention
  • To prevent possible causes of difficulties and to ensure the pacific settlement of disputes that may arise among the Member States
  • To provide for common action on the part of those States in the event of aggression
  • To seek the solution of political, juridical, and economic problems that may arise among them
  • To promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural
  • To eradicate extreme poverty, which constitutes an obstacle to the full democratic development of the peoples of the hemisphere; and
  • To achieve an effective limitation of conventional weapons that will make it possible to devote the largest amount of resources to the economic and social development of the Member States.

The tour was hosted by both Ivan Chanis and Elida Caballero, who are both Alternate Representative Counselors at Panama's Permanent Mission to the OAS. Denisse Gonzalez, current fall intern at The Sierra Club and student at Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, learned about how committed and devoted this organization is in achieving its goals, which she learned "focus on promoting the union of Member States, eradicating international issues such as poverty, and seeking solutions for political and economic problems that arise."


Delia Zúñiga,  also a student at Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, was very pleased with the opportunity to visit the OAS as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) earlier that day. While living in Panama, Delia had only heard about the efforts of the two organizations. But while interning in Washington, D.C., she "was able to visit both buildings. This was a great opportunity that got me excited about finding a position with an international organization that works to improve efforts in the Latin American region."


Chris Toyloy, student at Universidad Latina de Panama and intern at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, "aspires to work for organizations like the OAS, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) or International Monetary Fund (IMF)." He believes that in order to fully develop our countries, we need to have an objective understanding of our problems and how to approach them.


For many of the students participating in the U.S.-Panama Initiative this semester, the tour of the OAS was a unique opportunity that they otherwise would not have had in Panama. The tour provided insight into the workings of the organization, which before October 22nd, had only been what they learned in classrooms or read online.


[Read more about the U.S.-Panama Initiative's visit to the UN FAO]

[View photos of the tour on our Flickr channel]

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