• Categories
  • Archives

Brazil on Mercosur Summit: ‘Total Agreement Only in the Cemetery’

Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim made a positive assessment of the Mercosur Summit, which took place last week in the southeastern Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. 

According to Amorim, there was a candid debate between the heads of state involved, focusing on the integration of the bloc and of South America as a whole. In addition to the Mercosur presidents, also attending the Summit were leaders of associated countries, and invited guests.

Amorim recognized that there are divergences of opinion between the members, but said that they can be solved. "Where there is life there are differences, homogeneity only exists in the cemetery," he said.

"The members do not disagree on the essential points, namely the commitment to integration based on social justice and economic progress. And in order to lay the foundations for integration, we must respect our differences," he stated.

The minister said that president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was also pleased with the outcome. According to him, the Mercosur is currently more than just a relationship between governments, it belongs to the peoples in the countries that comprise it.

He believes that corporate organizations, unions, states and civil society institutions have "taken over Mercosur." "Should governments fail, society is going to complain," he said.

According to the minister, more than economic integration, the Mercosur aims at achieving political and social integration. "The higher goal is integration for the benefit of our peoples, and trade is but a tool," he said. The Summit saw the creation of a Consultative Forum of Mercosur Municipalities, States, Provinces and Departments.

Among the decisions made during the summit, Amorim highlighted the approval of the first projects to be financed through the Mercosur Structural Convergence Fund (Focem). The 11 projects range from road recovery programs, to support to micro-companies, to the eradication of foot and mouth disease in the bloc.

Other issues thoroughly discussed during the summit were the asymmetries between member countries. Paraguay and Uruguay, which are smaller countries, for instance, requested special treatment regarding some issues, such as rules of origin.

According to the Mercosur rules, a product is only amenable to free trade when at least 60% of it is produced in one of the bloc's countries. Uruguayans and Paraguayans demand the right to have a lower percentage.

The final statement of the Summit gives priority to asymmetries recovery work, and to productive integration among the member countries. The document determines the creation of a Plan for Overcoming Asymmetries in the Mercosur.

It was also decided that a workgroup would be created to deal with the entry of Bolivia in the bloc, currently comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In the foreign realm, the statement highlights the presence in the event of representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), "with which Mercosur should soon conclude negotiations for a free trade agreement." Also present at the Summit were diplomats from Panama, since the Mercosur is also contemplating the possibility of signing a trade agreement with the country.

According to the final statement, these efforts are part of the bloc's strategy for "widening and deepening its commercial ties with different countries and groups of countries, thus gaining access to new markets and contributing to the economic and social development of its member countries."

The Summit was attended by the presidents of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, Brazil, Lula, Paraguay, Nicanor Duarte Frutos, Uruguay, Tabaré Vasquez, and Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. Paraguay took over the rotating presidency of the bloc, replacing Brazil.

Also attending the event were the presidents of Bolivia, Evo Morales, of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, of Colombia, ílvaro Uribe, of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and the foreign minister of Peru, Garcí­a Belaúnde. These countries are not full members but associates of Mercosur.

The event was also attended by the prime-minister of Guiana, Samuel Archbald, and the president of Suriname, Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, as well as the undersecretary general for Economic Affairs at the GCC, Mohamed Al-Mazrooei.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

‘Sons of the Jungle’ Vow Fight for Freedom in Brazil

The social movements that participated in the 4th Pan-Amazonian Social Forum (PASF), which took ...

Brazil’s Petrobras Finds Oil Off Coast of the US

Brazilian oil company Petrobras announced the discovery of oil and gas in ultra-deep waters ...

Walk-In Motel

"Men still have a need for a parallel life and for expressing their impulses ...

Brazil: Vehicle Production Up 8%, Agricultural Vehicles Down 18%

Brazil produced 230,755 vehicles in March, 12.3% more than in February (205,534). In comparison ...

Brazil Mehmari’s Latest Release Dances Between Themes

Pianist/composer/multi-instrumentalist André Mehmari has the rare distinction of being one of the most consistently ...

A Rebel’s End of the Road

Don Paulo Evaristo Arns is out of the São Paulo archidiocese. It is the ...

Eight Americans Arrested in Brazil for Making Porno Movies

Police from the Santa Cruz Precinct, in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro, ...

Brazil Exports Zero Hunger

The National Food and Nutritional Security Council (Consea) will accompany the Brazilian government’s initiatives ...

The “Lula” Solution:

Democrats should look south of the border, to Brazil, for an example of how ...

Brazilian Exports Start Year With Fresh Record

Brazil’s exports in January reached a record US$ 9.27 billion. With imports at US$ ...