What is the Model OAS General Assembly (MOAS)?
MOAS is a program of the Organization of American States (OAS) designed to promote democratic values among the youth of the Hemisphere by familiarizing students, faculty and academic institutions of the Americas with the work of the OAS and itsMemberStates, as well as with the Organization’s role as the premier political forum in the Hemisphere. MOAS is a simulation exercise where, through role-playing, the students represent the diplomats and political officials of the Member States of the OAS and follow parliamentary proceedings to debate and approve resolutions dealing with current issues on the Inter-American agenda. The Models foster the development of leadership skills in youth such as negotiation, team-work and problem solving.
The MOAS program seeks to reach out to as many students as possible through the organization of model assemblies OAS Member States. Each year, approximately 1500 students and 100 teachers throughout the Hemisphere participate. The Department of International Affairs (DIA) organizes MOAS for universities, high schools, and for OAS Interns.
Universities in the hemisphere have developed course curricula based on the MOAS to teach Inter-American issues, Multilateral/International Relations, Diplomacy, International Organizations, and the Inter-American System. Some universities borrow the model’s name for their courses, while others offer seminars within their faculties of Latin American studies, international studies, political science, government, history or other related programs. Universities offering these courses include, but are not limited to:
- Université de Sherbrooke (Canada)
- College of Charleston (U.S.)
- Baylor University (U.S.)
- College of Notre Dame of Maryland (U.S.)
- Frostburg State University (U.S.)
- Plattsburgh University (U.S.)
- Grant MacEwan College (Canada)
- University of the District of Columbia (U.S.)
- University of Maryland University College (U.S.)
- Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala)
- Universidad del Norte (Paraguay)
- Universidad Nacional de la Matanza (Argentina)
The Washington MOAS, held at OAS Headquarters in Washington,DC every April is open to universities of OAS member states and is conducted in English, as it is customary to conduct negotiations in the language of the host country.
Similarly, MOAS Abroad can be held in any OAS member country that offers to host it, and can be sponsored by a government, a university or an NGO. It also tends to be conducted in the language of the host country, unless the sponsoring entity is able to provide translation services. MOAS abroad may be open to all OAS member states; sub-regional, such as for North American, Central American, Southern Cone, Andean or CARICOM universities; or even in just one country.
The MOAS for universities held immediately before the OAS General Assembly in the host country have enjoyed extensive local media coverage, thereby successfully raising the MOAS profile among the youth and the general population of those countries and highlighting the main issues in the hemisphere and the role and mission of the OAS. The idea is that youth and citizens of that country or region become familiarized with the priorities of the Inter-American Agenda. Resolutions approved by the students during the MOAS are presented during the OAS General Assembly by a student chosen by his/her peers, thus making the youths’ perspective known. They provide a “rehearsal” for the host countries as they prepare to host the actual General Assembly.
Recent MOAS for universities have been held in Edmonton, Canada (2000); San Martin de los Andes, Argentina (2001); Queretaro, Mexico (2003); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (2006); Barranquilla, Colombia (2006); Buenos Aires, Argentina (2007); Medellin, Colombia (2008-National); Santiago, Chile (2008); and San Pedro Sula, Honduras (2009).
The MOAS program is a valuable tool for the development of negotiation, leadership and communications skills, as well as a networking source for teachers and students in the Americas.
For more information regarding the MOAS program, as well as past and upcoming models, visit www.moas.oas.org. A tutorial CD to help faculty and students prepare for the MOAS is also available on the site.
MOAS Program Coordinator
Organization of American States
17th & Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
For information about Canada’s role at the OAS from the Permanent Mission of Canada to the OAS, please direct inquiries to Ms. Penny Walker at: Penelope.firstname.lastname@example.org
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