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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

World View: Oas Needs Review After Fracas In Venezuela

On March 28, the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) experienced a public spectacle of disarray that, in 36 years of diplomatic life in many international and multinational organisations, I have never witnessed. A similar observation was made by many other seasoned Ambassadors.  The spectacle, which was a complete breakdown of all the norms of diplomatic discourse, resulted from the dysfunctionality of the OAS, the antiquated nature of its governing Charters, and the long overdue need for a revision of its procedural rules. A highly fractious and contentious public meeting - carried live via an Internet streaming - was brought to a premature end with some delegations on their feet, ready to walk out, accusations being fired back and forth across a room (named after the great Latin American integrationist, Simon Bolivar), and the Chair of the meeting struggling to retain order. More…

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