Regional Institutions

Canada maintains relationships with important hemispheric partners and is an active partner in key organizations who share common interests in the Americas.

The Organization of American States (OAS)

Canada joined the Organization of American States (OAS) as a Permanent Observer in 1972 and became a full member on January 8, 1990. Canada remains fully committed to a strong and effective OAS, which serves as the primary political forum for addressing hemispheric challenges. As part of its deepened engagement in the Americas, Canada is working collaboratively with other OAS members to address key hemispheric issues including, democracy, security and human rights.

Since becoming a full member, Canada has made important contributions to the OAS’s collective achievements. Highlights include the establishment of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which makes democracy an explicit condition of OAS membership and the elaboration of the Declaration on Security in the Americas, which creates a multidimensional security framework for the region. Canada also promoted the establishment of the Unit for Promotion of Democracy within the OAS as a further means of consolidating democratic principles within the region.

Inter-American Development Bank

Canada has been a strong and reliable partner of the Inter-American Development Bank since 1972. Among the IDB’s 48 member states, Canada is the seventh largest shareholder, contributing just over 4 percent of the bank’s ordinary capital. The Canadian government has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the IDB and its goals of reducing poverty and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2009, Canada temporarily increased its callable capital at the Bank by $4 billion, to support lending for economic, social and institutional development in the Americas during the global economic crisis. Canada also played a leading role in the negotiations to conclude the IDB’s Ninth General Capital Increase, which was agreed to in 2010. In March 2012, Canada established the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas at the IDB, a $250 million fund which is providing concessional financing to advance private sector climate change actions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, Canada has been a significant contributor to the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a leading promoter of microfinance in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its creation in 1993, the MIF has funded more than 1,700 projects in this region and has financed over $1.1 billion in grants and investments towards private sector development projects. 

Summit of the Americas

The Summit of the Americas brings together the leaders of the 34 democratic countries of the Americas to address common challenges. Through this process, leaders advance a shared agenda for strengthening democracy, human rights, security and prosperity.