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Organization of American States

Created in April 1948, the Organization of American States (OAS) is a regional intergovernmental organization of sovereign nations ranging across the Western Hemisphere. It succeeded the Pan-American Union, one of the oldest regional blocs, which was formed in 1890 during the Pan-American Conference. Pan- Americanism is an old continental goal, dating from the Monroe Doctrine and Bolivar’s Panama Congress in the 1820s. The OAS was created in response to post–Second World War security issues. Approved at the Conference of Bogotá, its charter encompassed contemporary concerns about the threat of communism. Two competing forces shaped the organization: (1) the division of nations around the world into two hostile blocs of influence and (2) the creation of the United Nations. These prompted the organization of a hemispheric ...

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