This Tuesday, May 30, the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva, took a first step in his promise to resume strategies for cooperation in the region by holding a summit of South American presidents in Brasilia. A meeting of this style had not been held for more than ten years and had the participation of 11 leaders. The meeting left the commitment to “strengthen unity”, the return of Venezuela to the international spectrum and the proposal to develop a common currency.
During the opening of the meeting, the Brazilian president called for resuming regional integration and proposed creating a “high-level group” made up of representatives of the presidents.
His proposal provides for a period of 120 days, in which he expects a new “road map for the integration of South America” to be given. ‘Lula’ was emphatic that he hopes that this initiative goes beyond ideologies. This, taking into account that changes in government have been one of the causes of the instability of cooperation agencies in the region.
Since 2012, the South American leaders had not had a meeting of this type. The first Summit of South American Presidents was held in 2000, but little by little interest waned.
The presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela arrived at the summit.
The only president who did not attend the event was that of Peru, Dina Boluarte, who cannot leave her country due to legal processes, but sent a delegate on her behalf.
During his speech, ‘Lula’ reviewed the various attempts in South America to achieve real integration since the 1960s. some rehearsals that they have been frustrated and that, according to the president, have maintained “giant social abysses since colonialism.”
‘Lula’, who took office for the third time in January, highlighted Brazil’s willingness to resume regional integration initiatives, such as the Unasur and Celac. The president promoted the creation of both during his first terms.
South America has before it, once again, the opportunity to walk the path of unity. And you don’t have to start from scratch. Unasur is a collective good. Remember that it is valid. Seven countries remain full members. It is important to resume its construction process, said ‘Lula’.
The 10 starting points proposed by ‘Lula’
Among the proposals that attracted the most attention, is the creation of a unified regional currency. An initiative that had already been proposed during the “golden years” of Unasur and that, once again, is back on the table.
Thus, the leftist leader seeks to reduce dependence on foreign currencies, facilitate procedures, increase regional trade, among others.
The decalogue has a great economic focus. ‘Lula’ proposed using development banks such as CAF, Fonplata, Banco do Sul and BNDES to promote regional savings.
In addition, the president advocated standardizing procedures to reduce bureaucracy in the commercial area, expand electronic commerce and update a list of projects, which have been proposed for more than 20 years, but have mostly not been fulfilled.
Petro calls for the regional union
The first left-wing president of Colombia assured after his arrival at the Itamaraty Palace, venue of the summit, that Latin America must seek more unity, both in his speech and in his actions.
Latin America has to play a united role, have a unified voice because it has great potential. He has in his hands, in his own territory, several of the important solutions to the integral crisis that humanity is experiencing, said Petro.
The president also showed his interest in putting environmental issues at the center of the agenda. In this sense, he affirmed that if the countries manage to work integrated in this matter, they will be able to generate “an exchange of public debt for climate action.”
With EFE and local media
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