Meaning of UNASUR

What is UNASUR:

The acronym for the Union of the South American United Nations is known as Unasur, an international organization endowed with legal personality with purely political and economic objectives among the countries that comprise it.

Unasur is made up of 12 member countries from South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

On December 8, 2008, the Heads of State and Government of the countries named above decided to form the South American Community of Nations. However, on December 17, 2007, at the summit held on Margarita Island, they decided to change the name to the Union of the United Nations of South America (Unasur).

On May 23, 2008, Unasur was legalized in the city of Brasilia, through the signing of its Constitutive Treaty, by its members.

The headquarters of Unasur is located 14 km north of the city of Quito, in the complex of the Middle of the World City, in the building that bears the name of the late former president of Argentina, and the first to assume the General Secretariat of Unasur, Nestor Kirchner,


Unasur's main objective is to build a space for cultural, social, economic, and political integration among its peoples, in order to achieve social inclusion, strengthen democracy, and reduce inequalities within the framework of strengthening the sovereignty and independence of the States.

However, Unasur to carry out its main objective must establish the following points as a priority:

  • Strengthening of political dialogue among member countries.
  • Access to education, social security, health.
  • Human development with equity and inclusion to eradicate poverty.
  • Infrastructure developments for the connection between towns.
  • The protection of biodiversity, water resources and ecosystems ..
  • Energy integration for its sustainable use.
  • Financial, industrial and productive integration.

Among other essential points to create the South American identity, as well as an integrated space.


The organs of Unasur are:

  • Council of Heads of State and Government, whose function is to establish guidelines, programs, and political proposals for the South American integration process.
  • Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, among some of its functions, is in charge of proposing projects, implementing political guidelines, approving the annual program and activities, as well as the annual budget; prepare the meetings of the Council of Heads of State and Government, create working groups, among others.
  • Council of Delegates, is in charge of coordinating Unasur initiatives, preparing meetings of the Council of Ministers, coordinating working groups, preparing projects, resolutions, and regulations for the consideration of the Council of Ministers, promoting spaces for dialogue, among other functions. .
  • The General Secretariat's function is to support the previous bodies, prepare and present the Annual Report and reports, prepare the annual budget, celebrate all legal acts, in accordance with the regulations, and so on.

It is important to mention that the Pro Tempore Presidency is exercised by the countries, in alphabetical order, for annual periods, and its function is to preside over the meetings of the Unasur bodies, as well as represent Unasur in international events, assume commitments and sign Declarations with third parties, with the consent of the other Unasur bodies.

Advantages and disadvantages

AdvantageDisadvantagesIt proposes a political dialogue capable of producing solutions and proposals to guarantee peace in the region, defend human rights and democracy.Coexistence with other integration schemes such as CAN (Andean Community of Nations), MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market).It seeks to combat poverty and social inequality that exists in Latin America, through trade and economic agreements between countries.It competes with integration schemes in terms of Human Resources, financing as well as managerial personnel.The creation of a South American Defense Council, to avoid possible warlike conflicts, through dialogue and peace processes.The lack of officials specialized in integration matters who carry out important tasks in the organization.The presence of armed conflicts makes it attractive for foreign investment in the region.The absence of cohesion with the other models of integration and decision-making that are mandatory for the member nations.

Unasur and Mercosur

Unasur and Mercosur (Southern Common Market), are two integration organizations, which experts in the field consider that Mercosur is seen as a rigid and institutionalized organization, for its part, Unasur is a little more flexible, but Despite this, he has faced different problems in an unprecedented way.

On the other hand, Mercosur has a more economic purpose, which allows the integration of the economies of the countries that make it up to improve the lives of the inhabitants. On the other hand, Unasur is more concerned with social integration than the commercial sphere.

However, Unasur and Mercosur, despite being clear about their main objective, also presents other aspects such as political, civic, economic, among others. Likewise, both integration processes contemplate as values ​​and principles: social and economic development, strengthening and stability of democracy, and physical integration in the region.

For more information, see the Mercosur article.

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