On 18 April, Argentina assumed the Presidency Pro Tempore of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), created ten years ago, and it intends to give new impetus to the Organization's main purpose: creating a forum for South American integration.
As Presidency-in-Office, Argentina will among other things be in charge of organizing and chairing the meetings of UNASUR's various bodies and fora, among other tasks. In addition, it will represent the Organization at international events and present the annual programme of activities. In this regard, Argentina has already proposed guidelines for the annual plan of action to the other members of the organization.
These guidelines aim to continue and intensify the work done by the South American Council on Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN) and the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), which seek to achieve better interconnection and physical integration across the continent.
Furthermore, taking into account the impact of natural disasters in the region, a special focus will be placed on the work done by the High-Level Group on Disaster Management, as well as on energy projects, including renewable energies, and the formation of inclusive value chains in production, especially by encouraging the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Another area of action will encourage the establishment of guidelines for social development policies, the creation of pilot projects on technical cooperation between countries, and support for agricultural and farming activities with a food security perspective.
In the context of the South American Defence Council, actions will seek to encourage the consolidation of the region as a peace zone and as an international model of defence cooperation, including the strengthening of mutual confidence-building measures and the exchange of information.
In implementing these measures, Argentina's Presidency Pro Tempore will take into account other regional integration fora, so as to reach agreements and avoid the duplication of efforts in the same areas of work.
Specifically, Argentina is convinced that the precepts set forth in the Preface to UNASUR's Constituent Treaty are still applicable today and support its Presidency's proposed drive to achieve productive and realistic regional integration.
The members of UNASUR, apart from Argentina, are Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Presidency Pro Tempore of UNASUR rotates on an annual basis among its Member States, in alphabetic order.