Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks to the press after a summit of South American leaders, at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia on May 30, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
BRASILIA – Leaders of the South American countries reached the Brasilia Consensus on Tuesday at the regional summit in Brasilia convened by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, seeking to facilitate regional integration.
Twelve leaders of the former and current member states of the regional bloc the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) attended the summit with the aim of relaunching the languished organization.
"What brings us together today in Brasilia is the sense of urgency to collectively look at our region again," the Brazilian president noted at the summit.
The South American leaders reaffirm in the Brasilia Consensus the common vision of South America as a region of peace and cooperation, underlining the rule of law and institutional stability, the upholding of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.
The leaders pledged to work towards increasing trade and investment among the countries of the region, improving infrastructure and logistics, strengthening regional value chains, and effectively implementing trade facilitation and financial integration measures, with the aim of reaching an effective South American Free Trade Area
Based on dialogue and on respect for the diversity of our peoples, they are committed to democracy and human rights, sustainable development and social justice, said the consensus.
ALSO READ: Brazil's Bolsonaro denies tampering of his vaccination records
"Regional integration should be part of the solution to the common challenges of building a peaceful world," the consensus said, where the leaders concurred that the world is facing multiples challenges such as climate crisis, threats to peace and international security, pressure on food and energy chains, the risk of new pandemics, increase in social inequalities and threats to institutional and democratic stability.
The leaders pledged to work towards increasing trade and investment among the countries of the region, improving infrastructure and logistics, strengthening regional value chains, and effectively implementing trade facilitation and financial integration measures, with the aim of reaching an effective South American Free Trade Area.
The consensus also recognized the importance of maintaining regular dialogue, with a view to furthering the integration process in South America and projecting the region's voice in the world.
READ MORE: Runoff election declared in Greece for June 25
Founded in 2008, Unasur has been languishing as some heads of member states, including Brazil's former president Jair Bolsonaro, withdrew from the bloc.
Present at the summit were the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela, and an official of Peru representing its president.