U.S. Senators Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., this week celebrated the signing of the Organization of American States Legislative Engagement Act (S.1310) into law. The legislation will enhance interest in efforts by the Organization of American States (OAS) to combat corruption and address human rights by increasing the participation of democratically-elected national legislators from across the Western Hemisphere within the organization.

“My work with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has shown me the critical importance of legislator engagement, especially in the fight to protect democracy. The passage of the OAS Legislative Engagement Act will enable legislators from across the region to actively engage in the OAS’ work, especially its efforts to reduce corruption and protect human rights. I am proud to have worked with Senator Wicker on this important effort and look forward to its implementation,” Cardin said.

“Enactment of this legislation could be a turning point in strengthening the rule of law and promoting democracy in the Americas,” Wicker said. “Enhancing the legislative branch and facilitating improved dialogue among American states is a worthy goal. I am thankful for the work of Senator Cardin and many other friends and colleagues to make this legislation a reality.” 

Cardin and Wicker were inspired by the success of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA), which has helped to bring legislators from different nations together to discuss regional challenges. Both Cardin and Wicker serve as representatives of the United States to the OSCE PA when it meets each year.

The legislation also reaffirms United States support for the OAS’s efforts to safeguard human rights, increase regional good governance, and combat corruption in the region.

The full text of the law can be found here.

Press Release

1/15/2021