Statue of Isabella I the Catholic Queen in front of the seat of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C.

The Organization’s official languages are SpanishPortugueseFrench, and English. The Charter, the basic instrument governing OAS, makes no reference to the use of official languages. These references are to be found in the Rules of Procedure governing the various OAS bodies. Article 51 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, the supreme body of the OAS, which meets once a year, states that English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish are the four official languages.

Article 28 stipulates that a Style Committee shall be set up with representatives of the four official languages to review the General Assembly resolutions and declarations. Article 53 states that proposals shall be presented in the four official languages.

The Rules of Procedure and Statutes of other bodies, such as the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), the Permanent Executive Committee of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CEPCIDI), the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), technical bodies of the OAS, also mention the four official languages in which their meetings are to be conducted. Policy is therefore dictated through these instruments that require use of the four official languages at meetings.

Although a number of other languages have official status in one or more member states of OAS (Dutch in Suriname; Haitian Creole alongside French in Haiti; Quechua and Aymara in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia; Guaraní in Paraguay), they are not official languages of the Organization.

The relationships between various multinational organisations in the Americas (prior to 2019).

The Organization of American States in Haiti: Election Monitoring or Political Intervention?, from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, October 2011.


Organization of American States

International diplomatic organizations

International organizations based in the Americas

International political organizations

United States–South American relations

Organizations established in 1948

United Nations General Assembly observers

1948 establishments in the United States

Organizations based in Washington, D.C.

1948 establishments in Colombia