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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the principles governing relations among member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) as embodied in the OAS Charter, including reciprocal assistance, collective self-defence and defence of democracy, abstention from the use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, and non-intervention in the affairs of another member state. It begins by looking at the history of disputes in the Americas, including those arising from border delimitation and demarcation issues, and early efforts to address them. It then discusses the adoption of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance in 1947 and the establishment of the OAS, together with the adoption of the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (‘Pact of Bogota’), in 1948. The chapter considers a number of cases in which the provisions embodied in the OAS Charter, particularly the use of force in dispute settlement, were applied.

Keywords: Organization of American States, OAS Charter, reciprocal assistance, collective self-defence, democracy, use of force, non-intervention, Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, American Treaty on Pacific Settlement, dispute settlement

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