(OAS) Association founded 1948 by a charter signed by representatives of 30 North, Central, and South American states. It aims to maintain peace and solidarity within the hemisphere, and is also concerned with the social and economic development of Latin America.
The OAS is based on the International Union of American Republics 1890–1910 and Pan-American Union 1910–48, set up to encourage friendly relations between countries of North and South America. Cuba was suspended from membership 1962. Canada held observer status from 1972 and became a full member 1990. Belize and Guyana were admitted 1991, by which time OAS membership had expanded to 35. Its headquarters are in Washington, DC.
An association of countries in the western hemisphere; created in 1948 to promote military and economic and social and cultural cooperation; Also called: OAS.