Union of South American Nations

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Union of South American Nations
Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties (Dutch)
União de Nações Sul-Americanas (Portuguese)
Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Spanish)
Flag of Union of South American Nations Coat of arms of Union of South American Nations
Political centresEcuador Quito[1]
Bolivia Cochabamba[1]
Largest city Brazil São Paulo
Official languages
Demonym South American
Member states
Government Continental union
 -  President pro tempore Chile Michelle Bachelet
 -  Cuzco Declaration 8 December 2004 
 -  Constitutive Treaty 23 May 2008 
 -  Total 17,715,335 km2 
6,839,929 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 27
 -  2008 estimate 384.381 million 
 -  Density 21.7/km2 (195th2)
56.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate
 -  Total $3,673.043 billion (5th2)
 -  Per capita $9,604 (68th2)
GDP (nominal) 2007 estimate
 -  Total $2,349.087 billion (7th2)
 -  Per capita $6,142 (68th2)
Time zone (UTC-2 to -5)
Internet TLD

The Union of South American Nations (Dutch: Nl-Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties.ogg Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties - 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, 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.[2] 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.[3] The Union's former designation, the South American Community of Nations (Dutch: Nl-Zuid-Amerikaanse Statengemeenschap.ogg Zuid-Amerikaanse Statengemeenschap , Portuguese: Comunidade Sul-Americana de Nações, and Spanish: Comunidad de Naciones Suramericanas), abbreviated as CSN, was dropped at the First South American Energy Summit on April 16, 2007.[4]



File:Cuzco summit.jpg
South American leaders sign the "Cuzco Declaration".

At the Third South American Summit on 8 December 2004, presidents or representatives from 12 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 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 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.


File:Unasul 12.jpg
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:

Current work in progress

Presidents and other members of UNASUR at the First Brasília Summit on September 29, 2005.
File:Presidentes unasur (cropped).jpg
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".[6]

Single market

Infrastructure cooperation

Free movement of people

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 Vázquez 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 decided not to join the project due to their objection to Hugo Chavez's influence in the bank's creation[citation needed].

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.

Defense policy

Venezuela and Brazil have put forward a plan for a South American Defense Council which would draft defense 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 strong military ties it has with the US through the Plan Colombia. However after reviewing the proposal they decided to join in July 20, 2008. [8][9][10] Shortly following the signing by Colombia'a President, Michelle Bachelet President of Chile, appointed a working group to investigate and draft a plan for the new council. Finally on March 10, 2009 the 12 nation members met at a meeting in Chile to hold the first meeting of the newly formed council.[11]

Participating nation states

¹ These countries are also considered to be associate members of Mercosur
² These countries are also considered to be associate members of the Andean Community.
³ Guyana and Suriname are currently members of CARICOM and entered its single market in 2006. It is unknown if simultaneous UNASUR and CARICOM membership would be possible to accomplish; these states may remain UNASUR associate members only.

Non-participating territories

The following parts of South America are dependent territories and therefore do not participate:

Proposed name change

On 28 December 2005, Chilean former foreign minister Ignacio Walker proposed that the name of the community be changed to South American Union (Dutch: Zuid-Amerikaanse Unie, Portuguese: União Sul-Americana, Spanish: Unión Sudamericana); nevertheless, many members stated to him that that proposal had already been rejected to prevent confusion related to its acronym (U.S.A. in comparison to the United States of America).

The name was finally changed on April 16, 2007 to "Union of South American Nations" (Dutch: Unie van Zuid-Amerikaanse Naties, Portuguese: União de Nações Sul-Americanas, Spanish: Unión de Naciones Suramericanas), abbreviated "UNASUR" in Spanish and "UNASUL" in Portuguese. The new name was jointly agreed by all member states during the first day of meeting at the South American Energy Summit held at Isla Margarita, Venezuela.

See also


External links

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ca:Unió de Nacions Sud-americanes

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