Monday, April 14, 2008

Washington MOAS

OAS flags This past week I participated in the Washington Model Organization of American States. The experience was quite unlike any other that I have ever had. In case you don't know what the OAS is, it is basically the United Nations (UN) of the Western Hemisphere. They define themselves as such:
The Organization of American States (OAS) brings together the nations of the Western Hemisphere to strengthen cooperation on democratic values, defend common interests and debate the major issues facing the region and the world. The OAS is the region’s principal multilateral forum for strengthening democracy, promoting human rights, and confronting shared problems such as poverty, terrorism, illegal drugs and corruption. It plays a leading role in carrying out mandates established by the hemisphere’s leaders through the Summits of the Americas.

With four official languages — English, Spanish, Portuguese and French — the OAS reflects the rich diversity of the hemisphere’s peoples and cultures. It is made up of 35 member states: the independent nations of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The government of Cuba, a member state, has been suspended from participation since 1962; thus only 34 countries participate actively. Nations from other parts of the world participate as permanent observers, which allows them to closely follow the issues that are critical to the Americas.
me at OASStudents from Shippensburg represented the delegations of Belize and Haiti. We were required to act and speak as if we really were a representative of our respective nations. We sought to simulate real OAS sessions and approve or oppose resolutions as our assigned countries really would.

Our class had been preparing for this model all semester, and now I'm kind of sad it is over. I actually had a really nice time in DC thinking and living like a diplomat (I even bought a business suit).

1 comment:

  1. so i take it you weren't as unprepared for this as you said you were....