General >> General Board >> Did U Know About This?
Did U Know About This?
Post by OrangeCandle on Oct 8th, 2008, 5:13pm
The Union of South American Nations (Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas - UNASUR, Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-Americanas - UNASUL, Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties - UZAN) is a supranational and intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions; Mercosur and the Andean Community, as part of a continuing process of South American integration. It is modelled on the European Union.
The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty was signed on May 23, 2008, at the Third Summit of Heads of State, held in Brasília, Brazil. According to the Constitutive Treaty, the Union's headquarters will be located in Quito, Ecuador. The South American Parliament will be located in Cochabamba, Bolivia, while its bank, the Bank of the South (Dutch: Bank van het Zuiden, Portuguese: Banco do Sul, Spanish: Banco del Sur), will be located in Caracas, Venezuela. The Union's former designation, the South American Community of Nations (Dutch: Zuid-Amerikaanse Statengemeenschap, Portuguese: Comunidade Sul-Americana de Nações, and Spanish: Comunidad de Naciones Sudamericanas), abbreviated as CSN, was dropped at the First South American Energy Summit on April 16, 2007.
At the Third South American Summit on 8 December 2004, presidents or representatives from twelve South American nations signed the Cuzco Declaration, a two-page statement of intent announcing the foundation of the South American Community. Panama and Mexico attended the signing ceremony as observers.
The leaders announced their intention to model the new community after the European Union including a common currency, parliament, and passport. According to Allan Wagner Tizón, former Secretary General of the Andean Community, a complete union like that of the EU should be possible by 2019.
The mechanics of the new entity came out of the First South American Community of Nations Heads of State Summit, which was held in Brasília on 29 September–30 September 2005. An important operating condition of UNASUR is that no new institutions will be created in the first phase, so as not to increase bureaucracy, and the community will use the existing institutions belonging to the previous trade blocs.
Michelle Bachelet, President pro tempore.
Extraordinary Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Union of South American Nations, held in Brasília.At the moment, the provisional structure of the UNASUR is as follows:
The presidents of each member nation will have an annual meeting, which will be the superior political mandate. The first meeting was in Brasília (Brazil) on September 29 and September 30, 2005. The second meeting was in Cochabamba (Bolivia) on December 8 and December 9, 2006. The third meeting was held in Brasília on May 23, 2008.
The ministers of foreign affairs of each country will meet once every six months. They will formulate concrete proposals of action and of executive decision. The President of the Mercosur's permanent representatives committee and the director of the Mercosur's department, the Andean Community's general secretary, ALADI's general secretary and the permanent secretaries of any institution for regional cooperation and integration, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization among others, will also be present at these meetings.
A Secretary General would be elected, to establish a permanent secretariat in Quito, Ecuador.
Sectorial Ministers' meeting will be called upon by the presidents. The meetings will be developed according to Mercosur's and CAN's mechanisms.
The temporary Presidency will be held for a year and will rotate among the member countries between each UNASUR meeting. According to Decisions Reached in the Political Dialogue (Dutch: Besluiten Bereikt in de Politieke Dialoog, Portuguese: Decisões Tomadas no Diálogo Político, Spanish: Decisiones Alcanzadas en el Diálogo Político), which was signed during the I South American Energy Summit, a general permanent office will be created and this will be hosted in Quito, Ecuador.
On December 9, 2005 a special commission was established in charge of advancing the process of South American Integration (Dutch: Commissie ter Stimulering van het Proces van de Zuid-Amerikaanse Integratie, Portuguese: Comissão Estratégica de Reflexão sobre o Processo de Integração Sul-americana, Spanish: La Comisión Estratégica de Reflexión a cargo de formular propuestas con miras a impulsar el proceso de integración sudamericano en todos sus aspectos). It consists of 12 members, whose function is to elaborate proposals that will help the process of integration between the South American nations.
Executive Commission, which was created by the II CSN meeting, was transformed in the Political Commission or Delegates Council, according to Decisions Reached in the Political Dialogue (Dutch: Besluiten Bereikt in de Politieke Dialoog, Portuguese: Decisões Tomadas no Diálogo Político, Spanish: Decisiones Alcanzadas en el Diálogo Político).
 Current work in progress
Presidents and other members of UNASUR at the First Brasília Summit on September 29, 2005.
Presidents of UNASUR member states at the Second Brasília Summit on May 23, 2008.At the present time the union exists only on paper. The signing of the treaty was delayed from March until late May due to a Colombian raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador, and disputes regarding the conflict and broader trade issues continue to pose an obstacle. Michael Shifter of the Washington D.C. Inter-American Dialogue called UNASUR a "pipe dream for now", while saying that "economic conditions in the region have never been riper for this sort of integration".
 Single market
One of the initiatives of UNASUR is the creation of a single market, beginning with the elimination of tariffs for non-sensitive products by 2014 and sensitive products by 2019.
 Infrastructure cooperation
There is an Initiative for Infrastructure Integration of South America (IIRSA) underway, which has received the support of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Andean Development Corporation.
UNASUR started plans of integration through infrastructure cooperation with the construction of the Interoceanic Highway, a road that intends to more firmly link the Pacific Coast countries, especially Chile and Peru with Brazil and Argentina by extending highways through the continent, allowing better connections to ports to Bolivia and the inner parts of Argentina, Peru and Brazil. The first corridor, between Peru and Brazil, began construction in September 2005, financed 60% by Brazil and 40% by Peru, is expected to be ready by the end of 2009.
The South American Energy Ring (Dutch: Zuid-Amerikaanse Energiekring, Portuguese: Anel Energético Sul-Americano, Spanish: Anillo Energético Sudamericano) is intended to interconnect Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay with natural gas from several sources, such as the Camisea Gas Project in Peru and Tarija Gas Deposits in Bolivia. Though this proposal has been signed and ratified, economic and political difficulties in Argentina and Bolivia have delayed this initiative, and to date, this agreement remains more like a protocol than an actual project, since Chile and Brazil are already building LNG terminals to import gas from overseas suppliers.
 Free movement of people
Visits by South American citizens to any South American country (except French Guiana) of up to 90 days require only the presentation of an identity card issued by the respective authority of the travellers' country of origin. On 24 November 2006, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela waived visa requirements for tourism travel between nationals of said countries.
 Economic development
Presidents of the seven founding countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay) officially launched the South American Bank in Buenos Aires in December 2007. The heads of all the founding countries were at the ceremony, with the exception of President Tabaré Vazquez of Uruguay. The capital will be US$7b, with Venezuela responsible for US$3b and Brazil US$2b. The headquarters will be located in Caracas with offices in Buenos Aires and La Paz.
The Bank of the South will finance economic development projects to improve local competitiveness and to promote the scientific and technological development of the member states. Chile and Colombia participated on initial meeting, but they decided not to join the project.
The founding chart affirms that the Bank will promote projects in "stable and equal" manner and priorities will be pointed to reinforce South American integration, to reduce asymmetries, and to promote egalitarian distribution of investments.
The Brazilian Minister, Guido Mantega, stated that the bank is not similar to the International Monetary Fund; it will be a credit institution similar to the World Bank or the BIRD.
 Defence policy
Venezuela and Brazil have put forward a plan for a South American Defence Council which would draft defence policy and serve as a mechanism for regional security. The proposal is currently under discussion by the member states. Colombia was the only country not to join, as a result of the 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis with Ecuador and Venezuela. However after reviewing the proposal they decided to join in July 20, 2008. 
 Participating nation states
Members of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN)¹:
Members of Mercosur²:
¹ This country is also considered to be an associate member of Mercosur
² These countries are also considered to be associate members of the Andean Community.
³ Guyana and Suriname are currently members