Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
History. Established in May 2008 in Brazil, it is anticipated that the Union of South American Nations will eventually supersede MERCOSUR and the Andean Community, creating an enlarged customs union with a single market, parliament, secretariat and central bank, based on the European Union structure. UNASUR is the successor body to the now defunct South American Community of Nations (CSN/SACN), founded in 2004. Despite initial problems, progress was made at UNASUR’s fourth Summit in Nov. 2010 culminating in the ‘Georgetown Declaration’, with the attending heads of state and government and foreign ministers highlighting their commitment to working together to achieve a better South America. The Treaty establishing UNASUR became effective on 11 March 2011.
Organization. There is a permanent secretariat based in Quito, Ecuador. A proposed South American parliament is planned for Cochabamba, Bolivia. The heads of state of member nations meet annually.
Members. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay (suspended following the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo in June 2012 but then readmitted in Aug. 2013 following the swearing-in of Horacio Cartes as its new democratically-elected president), Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Official languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English.
Headquarters: Av. Manuel Córdova Galarza, Mitad del Mundo, 170311 Quito, Ecuador.
Secretary-General: Ernesto Samper Pizano (Colombia).