Organization of American States (OAS)

The Organization of American States brings together the 35 independent states of the Americas under the pillars of democracy, human rights, security and development. It was established in 1948 with the signing of the Charter of the OAS which stated that the organization’s purpose was to achieve among the Americas “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."

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CHAIR: ana abufele

Hi OAS! I’m Ana Sofia, a junior from San Pedro Sula, Honduras majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering. On campus, I am involved with Princeton Splash!, PMUNT and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. I’m excited to meet all of you this fall and seeing what ideas you have come up with.


Send Position Papers To: TBA

Topic A: The 2017 Honduran Presidential Election

It is November, 2017, and the general elections have just been held in Honduras. These are the first elections after the amendment to the constitution that allowed presidents to seek re-election was passed. The votes are in, but the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has been suspending the release of the results and claims to have experienced a glitch in their computer system. The final results’ report showed Hernandez in the lead, causing Nasralla to declare that there had been fraud in the elections and sending his supporters to the streets to protest the reports. Will the OAS accept the results of the election? How will the OAS aid in restoring peace and stability across Honduras?

Topic B: The Mass Incarceration Crisis in Latin America

Between 2000 and 2015, incarceration rates increased by 14% in the US, 80% in Central America, and 145% in South America, pointing to a largely unreported mass incarceration crisis throughout the Americas. This increase is largely driven by the increasing use of pre-trial detention, or “preventative prison”; highly repressive drug laws and enforcement tactics, often promoted and funded by the US, and the militarization of the police across the hemisphere, resulting from “iron fist” internal security policies ostensibly designed to combat organized crime and violence. The increasing use of incarceration has disproportionately impacted women, lower income people, queer and trans people, and racial and ethnic minorities, but has done very little to lower the extremely high rates of violence and citizen insecurity in the region. The majority of prisons in the Americas dangerously overcrowded and serve as the headquarters for many networks of organized crime, while forcing those incarcerated to languish in violent and squalid conditions. Member states must determine how public security policies addressing the high levels of violence in the region can simultaneously protect the human rights of those incarcerated and policed.