- Union of South American Nations
Member states of the UNASUR in dark green; observer states in light green.
Administrative centers Quito
Largest city São Paulo Official languages Spanish
Demonym South American Membership Leaders - President Fernando Lugo - Secretary General María Emma Mejía Formation - Cusco Declaration 8 December 2004 - Constitutive Treaty 23 May 2008 - Functioning entity 11 March 2011 Area - Total 17,731,457 km2
6,846,154 sq mi
- Water (%) 8.91 Population - 2008 estimate 387.948 million - Density 21.9/km2 (192nd)
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate - Total $7.942 trillion (3rd) - Per capita $9,736 (77th) GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate - Total $3.532 trillion (4th) - Per capita $7,421 (68th) Currency Time zone (UTC-2 to -5) Internet TLD Website
The Union of South American Nations (Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties ( pronunciation (help·info)) - UZAN, Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-Americanas - UNASUL, Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas - UNASUR) is an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions: Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), as part of a continuing process of South American integration. It is modeled 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 the headquarters of its bank, the Bank of the South are located in Caracas, Venezuela.
The combined population of the 12-member Union as at 1 July 2010 was estimated at 396,391,032.
On 4 May 2010, at an extraordinary heads of state summit held in Campana, 75 km (47 mi) north of Buenos Aires, former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner was unanimously elected the first Secretary-General of UNASUR for a two-year term. This new office was conceived as a first step towards the establishment of a permanent bureaucratic body for the supranational union, eventually superseding Mercosur and CAN political bodies. On 1 December 2010, Uruguay became the ninth nation to ratify the UNASUR treaty, thus giving the union full legality.
As the Constitutive Treaty enters into force on 11 March 2011, UNASUR will become a legal entity during a meeting of Foreign Ministers in Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador, where they will lay the foundation stone for the Secretariat Headquarters.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Name change
- 3 Structure of the UNASUR
- 4 Current work in progress
- 5 Participating nation states
- 6 Summits
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
At the Third South American Summit on 8 December 2004, presidents or representatives from 12 South American nations signed the Cusco 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 group 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 29–30 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.
On 28 December 2005, Chilean former foreign minister Ignacio Walker proposed that the Union's former designation, the South American Community of Nations, abbreviated as CSN, be changed to South American Union; nevertheless, many members stated to him that that proposal had already been rejected to prevent confusion since its acronym of U.S.A. (Spanish: Unión Sudamericana) would be easily confused for the United States of America.
The name was finally changed on 16 April 2007 to Union of South American Nations. The new name was jointly agreed by all member states during the first day of meeting at the First South American Energy Summit, held at Isla Margarita, Venezuela.
Structure of the UNASUR
At the moment, the provisional structure of the UNASUR is as follows:
- A permanent Secretariat is to be established in Quito, Ecuador. The Secretary General, with a two-year mandate, is to be elected on a consensual basis among the Heads of State of the member states. Former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner was designated the first Secretary General on 4 May 2010.
- The presidents of the member nations will have an annual meeting, which will have the superior political mandate. The first meeting was in Brasília (Brazil) on 29–30 September 2005. The second meeting was in Cochabamba (Bolivia) on 8–9 December 2006. The third meeting was held in Brasília on 23 May 2008.
- The Presidency Pro Tempore, is exercised for a one-year period on a pro tempore basis by one of the heads of state of each UNASUR Member State, the succession following alphabetical order. The first leader to occupy this position was Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. According to Decisions Reached in the Political Dialogue which was signed during the I South American Energy Summit.
- 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.
- Sectorial Ministers' meeting will be called upon by the presidents. The meetings will be developed according to Mercosur's and CAN's mechanisms.
- On 9 December 2005, a special commission was established in charge of advancing the process of South American Integration. It consists of 12 members, whose function is to elaborate proposals that will help the process of integration between the South American nations.
- An 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.
Organs of the Unasur
- Council of Heads of State and of Government of Unasur
- President Pro Tempore of UNASUR
- Council of Minister of External Relationships of Unasur
- Council of Delegates of Unasur
- Secretary General of UNASUR
Ministerial Councils of the Unasur
They are eight Ministerial Councils of the Unasur.
- South American Council of Social Development
- South American Council of fight against the drug traffic
- South American Council of Health
- South American Council of Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Innovation
- South American Council of Defense
- South American Council of Energy
- South American Council of Economy and Finances
- South American Council of Infrastructure and Planning
Other institutions of Unasur
Current work in progress
Union of South American Nations