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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 22:31 UTC



Paraguay getting ready to host OAS General Assembly

Tuesday, June 25th 2024 - 10:30 UTC
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Most deliberations will be held at the Conmebol headquarters Most deliberations will be held at the Conmebol headquarters

Paraguayan authorities are fine-tuning the last arrangements for the upcoming 54th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) to be held in Asunción Between June 26 and 28. According to Paraguay's Foreign Ministry, some 1,200 people are expected to attend the continental event, which is to focus on the fight against transnational organized crime.

The opening ceremony is scheduled at the Central Bank of Paraguay's building in Asunción with the presence of President Santiago Peña. The rest of the activities are to take place at the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) headquarters in the nearby city of Luque. Delegation heads will also convene on the opening day at the Paraguayan Olympic Committee for preliminary talks.

The event will bring together representatives from OAS member countries as well as 74 permanent observers and some 482 civil society organizations.

The General Assembly is the OAS supreme organ. Among its main functions are:

• To decide the general action and policy of the Organization, determine the structure and functions of its organs, and consider any matter relating to friendly relations among the American states;

• To establish measures for coordinating the activities of the organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization among themselves, and such activities with those of the other institutions of the inter-American system;

• To strengthen and coordinate cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies;

• To promote collaboration, especially in the economic, social, and cultural fields, with other international organizations whose purposes are similar to those of the Organization of American States;

• To approve the program-budget of the Organization and determine the quotas of the member states;

• To consider the reports of the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the observations and recommendations presented by the Permanent Council with regard to the reports that should be presented by the other organs and entities, in accordance with the provisions of Article 91.f, as well as the reports of any organ which may be required by the General Assembly itself;

• To adopt general standards to govern the operations of the General Secretariat; and

• To adopt its own rules of procedure and, by a two-thirds vote, its agenda.

Despite the hosting country's high expectations, the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay urged President Peña's delegation to oppose OAS initiatives against “life and family” contained in draft resolutions. These declarations would not be in line with the principles of the National Constitution on life and family while denting the country's sovereignty, the prelates warned.

“The Church firmly believes in the value of life, from conception to natural death, and in the family, constituted on the marriage of man and woman; therefore we urge respect for these convictions of our people, and which are guaranteed and protected by the National Constitution,” the religious organization stressed.

Earlier this month, Paraguay's Minister of Childhood and Adolescence, Walter Gutiérrez announced that the South American country would not be following a suggestion from the United Nations to legalize abortion and lower the minimum marriage consenting age. “They are free to make the recommendation they want, but we are also free as a sovereign and self-determined people to respect our regulations,” the minister explained. In its note, the UN also suggested Paraguay adopt ”gender education and make it part of the mandatory school curriculum,” to which Gutiérrez replied that the South American country had “many other priorities to address.”

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