Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, upon inviting presidents of the South American countries to sign the Constitutional Treaty that creates the Unasur (Union of South American Nations), last Friday, May 23. in the Brazilian capital BrasÀlia, stated that the organization is going to influence international political relations.
"A united South America is going to change positions in the chessboard of global power, not to the benefit of one or the other, but to the benefit of all."
According to Lula, Unasur should now forge ahead with innovative projects in areas of priority such as, for instance, financial and energetic integration, improvement of regional infrastructure, and of highway and railway connections. The president also cited cooperation in social and educational areas.
To the heads of state gathered in the capital of Brazil, Lula stated that South America has become increasingly important, given the need for sharing energy supplies and preserving the environment. Regarding the global food crisis, the Brazilian president claimed that food scarcity threatens social peace.
Lula defended the democratic process in South America and mentioned the democratic way in which leaders were elected. "The fact that some regard our continent as unstable is a sign of political life, there is no democracy without the people on the streets, without confronting different ideas and proposals."
The creation of the South American Defense Council was brought up by Lula. According to him, a concept of defense must be devised for the region based in common values and principles, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each nation. Lula invited the countries to hold a meeting in Brazil in the second half of the year to discuss the aims and workings of the council.
Lula also summoned all Latin American and Caribbean countries to become members of the union. "Thus the Unasur is born, open to the entire region," he asserted.
The meeting was attended by the presidents of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, of Chile, Michele Bachelet, of Bolivia, Evo Morales, of Brazil, Lula, of Colombia, ílvaro Uribe, of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, of the Guiana, Bharrat Jagdeo, of Paraguay, Nicanor Duarte Frutos – and the elected president Fernando Lugo, of Peru, Alan Garcia, of Suriname, Ronald Venetiaan, of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and the vice-president of Uruguay, Rodolfo Nin Novoa.