Ambassador Alfonso Quiñonez, Secretary for External Relations at the Organization of American States (OAS), spoke to Integral Economic Development Program faculty and students about the background of OAS and the current agenda. As the world’s oldest regional organization, OAS has a history that is as rich and diverse as its members. Thirty-five member states and more than sixty permanent observers contribute to the structure of the organization, whose four main “pillars” are democracy, human rights, security, and development. Ambassador Quiñonez described the value added by the organization, explaining the possibility of a country to continue engaging other countries in a pluralistic way, which can be more efficient than in a bilateral way. He also provided timely examples of multinational challenges, such as migration, drug trafficking, environment, and trade, which he stated “require a multilateral mechanism to address these issues.”

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