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To strengthen communication, we must cut through the existing organizational underbrush and replace it with a structure capable of responding to the authentic foreign policies of our governments, as expressed directly by Foreign Ministers, and of relating concretely to our institutions and the needs of our peoples. Particularly, the three council system has not fulfilled the hopes which led to its adoption in 1967.
The General Assembly, as the central pillar of the interAmerican system, might well be convened more frequently, perhaps twice a year, with special additional sessions to consider our common concerns, particularly the great challenges of cooperation for development. As contacts at the Ministerial level intensify, the need for an elaborate structure of councils will disappear. Our encounters at the General Assembly will offer sufficient opportunities to set organizational policy.
This is all the organizational superstructure we really need. A leaner, more responsive organization would be serviced by a smaller expert Secretariat responsive to the guidelines established by the General Assembly and the functional committees the General Assembly may create.
We should improve the OAS mechanisms for promoting respect for human rights in the Americas. Membership
To insure that the OAS represents all of the peoples of our region, we should open up the organization to the newly independent states and those which may become independent, both on the continent and in the Caribbean. Although these questions of membership require further study, we believe Article 8 of the present charter, which automatically excludes certain states, is an anachronism and should be removed. Financing
A serious effort to reform the Organization of American States should include a review of present provisions for its financing,
... the Congress of the United States has focused on the proportion of the organization's cost the United States is now bearing. Obviously, this has been a factor in recent U.S. budget cuts affecting the OAS. We do not claim that the United States is paying too much, or more than its fair share of the cost in terms of our relative ability to pay. It is only that it is wrong and damaging for an organization of two dozen-soon to be 25-sovereign states, whose purpose is to advance the interest of each, to be so heavily dependent on the contributions of a single member. It places the organization in a vulnerable position, and projects a false image of the OAS.
It is important to find some basis for OAS financing that will, over time, reduce the U.S. share of the assessed costs while insuring that the activities of the OAS in the vital development assistance field are not weakened.
Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXV, No. 1932, July 5, 1976, pp. 10-12; Dept. of State Pub. No. 8866, Inter-American Series 111, June 1976; O AS doc. OEA/Ser.G, CP/doc. 573/76, July 6, 1976. The OAS Charter (TIAS 2361; 2 UST 2394; entered into force for the United States, subject to a reservation, on Dec. 13, 1951) was amended by a protocol signed Feb. 27, 1967 (TIAS 6847; 21 UST 607; entered into force Feb. 27, 1970). Art. 8, as amended provides:
The Permanent Council shall not make any recommendation nor shall the General Assembly take any decision with respect to a request for admission on the part of a political entity whose territory became subject, in whole or in part, prior to December 18, 1964, the date set by the First Special Inter-American Conference, to litigation or claim between an extracontinental country and one or more Member States of the Organization, until the dispute has been ended by some peaceful procedure. OAS General Assembly Res. 225 (VI-0/76), approved June 17, 1976, recommended to the Permanent Council continuation of the work on“Restructuring of the Inter-American System.” The special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council on July 16, 1976, decided that the Council itself should continue with the study of the resolution on restructuring and also study the document presented by the U.S. Delegation to the sixth regular session of the General Assembly. OAS doc. OEA/Ser.G, CP/SA.254/76, July 16, 1976.
The U.S. Congress expressed its support for Secretary Kissinger's proposal of June 11, 1976, to the Sixth General Assembly of the OAS, in section 105 of the Department of State Appropriation Act, 1977 (P.L. 94-362; 90 Stat. 942), approved July 14, 1976. The section follows:
Sec. 105. The Congress, taking cognizance that,
(1) the Secretary of State on June 11 submitted a multi-point proposal to the Sixth General Assembly of the Organization of American States designed to restructure the membership qualifications, the policymaking organs, and the financial assessments for the members of that body, and
(2) the United States Government has been regularly contributing approximately two-thirds of the annual OAS budget, and
(3) the bureaucratic structure of the OAS has, according to the Secretary of State, assumed a “ponderous” and “cumbersome" nature, pre-empting some of the policymaking responsibilities of the General Assembly, and
(4) the several member states of the OAS have sought a more active role for the organization in formulating common policy positions on such hemispheric issues as recognition of the Cuban government, renegotiation of the Panama Canal Treaty, and protection of human rights in Chile, and
(5) the responsive structure and financial strength of the OAS will determine the relevance of that organization for meeting the challenges of the future, therefore expresses the support for its proposal presented to the Organization of American States General Assembly on June 11 by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and urges the General Assembly to favorably consider and adopt the United States proposal at an early date.
The sixth regular session of the OAS General Assembly at Santiago, on June 17, 1976, adopted a resolution (AG/RES. 225(VI-076))extending the mandate of the Permanent Council to continue the work of amending the OAS Charter. A preliminary draft Protocol of Amendment, prepared by the Working Group of the Permanent Council, composed of the delegations of Costa Rica (Chairman), Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and the United States, was distributed to the missions and delegations on December 23, 1976. On December 29, 1976, the Permanent Council approved a draft preamble.
OAS Doc. OE A/Ser.G, CP/doc. 622/76 corr. 1, Dec. 29, 1976, and CP/doc. 613/76 rev. 2. Jan. 3, 1977. The draft preamble and draft articles are set out below:
PRELIMINARY DRAFT PROTOCOL OF AMENDMENT TO THE
CHARTER OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES In the name of their peoples, the governments of the member states of the Organization of American States;
Determined to strengthen the ties that unite them and to adapt the provisions of the Charter of the Organization of American States appropriately to the spirit of international social justice and to the desire of their peoples for integral development;
Reaffirming the right to preserve their territorial integrity; to organize their political life freely; to maintain the authenticity of their cultural individuality; to promote social justice based on freedom and on the equality of mankind and on the repudiation of all forms of discrimination; to pursue their economic objectives; and to protect and freely make use of their natural resources;
Reaffirming their adherence to the principles of world peace, the juridical equality of states, and international cooperation, and to the duty to promote, preserve, and protect human rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man;
Convinced that cooperation and collective economic security should be strengthened among the member states, independent of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems;
Convinced that in joining their wills to amend the Charter of the Organization they are strengthening the legal foundation for living together in the Americas; and that peace, and, to a large extent, justice, among their peoples will depend on the observance of the Charter as amended; Agree to sign the present Protocol Of Amendment To The Charter Of The Organization
Of American States
ARTICLE I Articles 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 50, 53, 57, 59, 60, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 76, 78, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 105, 106, 109, 111, 112, 114, 116, 117, 119, 120, 121, 122, 125, 137, 138, 139, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, and 150 of the Charter of the Organization of American States shall keep their texts now in force.
ARTICLE II The following articles of the Charter of the Organization of American States are hereby amended to read as follows:
Article 1. The ratifying American States agree by this Charter to institute the international Organization they have developed to ensure that they live together in peace and achieve the integral development of their peoples in an order of peace and justice; to further their solidarity, strengthen their cooperation, and defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.
In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Organization of American States is a regional agency.
The Organization of American States has no powers other than those expressly conferred upon it by this Charter, none of whose provisions authorizes it to intervene in matters that are within the internal jurisdiction of the Member States.
Article 2. The purposes of the Organization of American States are: a) To strengthen the peace and security of the continent; b) To prevent possible causes of difficulties and to ensure the pacific settlement of disputes among the Member States;
c) To provide for common action by the Member States to counteract aggression, preserve peaceful relations, stimulate integral development, and establish collective economic security for development;
d) To seek the solution of political, juridical, and economic problems among the Member States;
e) To promote the attainment of international social justice by contributing, for that purpose, to the establishment of economic and social conditions that will make possible the full realization of the potential of the individual;
f) To make full and continuing cooperation an effective means of achieving the sustained and balanced development of the national economies; of preserving and enriching national cultural values, and of promoting the educational, scientific, and technological progress of the member countries and their access to the advances of science and technology;
g) To assist in banishing nuclear weapons from Latin America as a contribution to the strengthening of international peace and security?
h) To encourage the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes that will further the integral development of the Member States.1
Article 3. The American States reaffirm the following principles:
a) International law and, in particular, the pertinent provisions of the Charter of the United Nations are the standards of conduct of the American States in their reciprocal relations;
b) International order should be based on living together in peace and on cooperation; on respect for the personality, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the States; on the faithful fulfillment of obligations assumed under treaties and other international agreements that are valid pursuant to the generally recognized principles and standards of international law, and on compliance with those deriving from other sources of this law;
c) Good faith should govern the relations between States;1
d) Every State has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State. Subject to the foregoing, the American States shall cooperate fully among themselves independently of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems.
The high purposes of the inter-American system and of the solidarity of the Member States are based on the principle of sovereignty of the people, which rests on the exercise of full participatory representative democracy;
e) The American States condemn wars of aggression; victory does not create rights;
f) An act of aggression against a Member State is an act of aggression against all other Member States;
f bis) Collective economic security for the development of the Member States must be guaranteed, if peace and security are to be maintained;
g) Peaceful procedures shall be used to settle international disputes;
h) Social justice and social security are bases of lasting peace;"
i) Cooperation for development is essential for the common well-being and prosperity of the peoples of the continent and should reinforce their national development objectives. Such cooperation should be integral, not unilaterally conditioned, and include the aspects inherent in the economic, social, cultural, educational, scientific, and technological areas;
j) Full respect for the fundamental rights of the individual and elimination of discrimination or distinction on the basis of race, sex, views of political or any other nature, nationality, or creed;
k) The spiritual unity of the continent is based on respect for the cultural values of the American countries and requires their close cooperation for the high purposes of human culture;1
k bis) Freedom of thought, research, and expression are fundamental conditions for the cultural development of the peoples;
1) The education of peoples should be oriented toward justice, freedom and peace:1 m) The preservation of the environment and the obligation to ensure that their environmental policies and the activities carried out under their control are not detrimental to the environment or to the development possibilities of other States or regions located beyond their jurisdiction;
n) Work is a right and a social duty; it should be performed under conditions that will ensure life, health, and a decent standard of living with fair wages, with their right to form unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike. Workers are entitled to participate fully in the social creation of wealth and its benefits;
o) Sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources and the inalienable right to free disposal thereof;
p) Riparian states have the right to dispose of the natural resources of the sea adjacent to their coasts and the seabed and the subsoil thereof subject to their national jurisdiction, including the continental shelf.
Article 4a. The American States that ratify the present Charter shall be Members of the Organization.
Article 5. Any new political entity that arises from the union of several Member States and that, as such, ratifies the present Charter, shall become a Member of the Organization. The entry of the new political entity into the Organization shall result in the loss of membership of each one of the States which constitute it.1
Article 6. Any other independent American State that desires to become a Member of the Örganization should so indicate by means of a note addressed to the
Secretary General, in which it declares that it is willing to sign and ratify the Charter of the Organization and to accept all the obligations inherent in membership, especially those relating to collective security.
Article 15. States shall exercise jurisdiction over all natural and juridical persons, whether national or foreign, within the limits of their territories.
Article 22. Measures adopted for the maintenance of peace and security in accordance with existing treaties do not constitute a violation of the principle of nonintervention established in the Charter and, especially, in articles 18 and 20. Article 23. All international disputes between American States shall be submitted to the peaceful procedures set forth in this instrument, without prejudice to the provisions in article 52 of the United Nations Charter.
Article 26. A special treaty will establish adequate procedures for the pacific settlement of disputes and will determine the appropriate means for their application, so that no dispute between American States shall fail of definitive settlement within a reasonable period.
Article 27. Every act of aggression by a State against the integrity or inviolability of the territory or against the sovereignty or political independence of a Member State shall be considered an act of aggression against the other Member States. Article 28. If the inviolability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political independence of any American State should be affected by an act of aggression or by a conflict or serious event that might endanger the peace of America, the Member States, in furtherance of the principle of solidarity, shall act in the manner established in the existing special treaty on the subject.
Article 29. The Member States, inspired by the principles of inter-American solidarity and cooperation, pledge themselves to a united effort to ensure social justice in their relations and integral development for their peoples as conditions essential to peace and security.
Article 45. The Member States will give primary importance within their development plans to the encouragement of education, science, technology, and culture, oriented toward the overall improvement of the individual, and as a foundation for democracy, social justice, and progress.
Article 46. The Member States will cooperate with one another to meet their educational needs, to promote scientific research, and to encourage technological progress, adapted to their integral development. They will consider themselves individually and jointly bound to preserve and enrich the cultural heritage of the American peoples.
Article 49. The Member States will develop science and technology through educational, research, and technological development activity and information dissemination programs; they will stimulate activities in the field of technology for the purpose of adapting it to the needs of their integral development; they will organize their cooperation in these fields efficiently; and they will substantially increase exchange of knowledge, in accordance with national objectives and laws and with treaties in force.
Article 51. The Organization of American States accomplishes its purposes by means of:
1. The following principal organs:
a) The General Assembly;
b) The Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs;
c) The Councils;
d) The Inter-American Juridical Committees;
e) The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights;
The General Secretaria.
2. Such subsidiary organs and entities as it may be considered necessary to establish in accordance with the provisions of this Charter;
3. The Specialized Organizations; and
4. The Specialized Conferences.
Article 52. The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Organization of American States. The Member States have the right to be represented in the General Assembly and each State has the right to one vote.
The regular session of the General Assembly shall be held annually during the period and at the place determined in accordance with the rules of procedure. Insofar as possible, the place shall be selected following the principle of rotation. Under special circumstances, and subject to the approval of two-thirds of the Member States, the Permanent Council may convoke special sessions of the General Assembly.