UNASUR Council of Delegates meets in Guyana
The Council of Delegates of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) opens a two-day meeting in Guyana today in extraordinary session to discuss the structure and budget for the General Secretariat of UNASUR.
It was at the IV Summit of the Heads of State and Government held on November 26, 2010, the Heads mandated the Pro Tempore Secretariat, with the assistance of Member States, to prepare a structure and budget for the UNASUR General Secretariat.
According to the UNASUR Secretariat, the matter was discussed at the XXIX Meeting of the Council of Delegates held in Georgetown on March 30-31, 2011, where it was agreed that an Extraordinary Meeting be held to address this matter.
With the entry into force of the Constitutive Treaty on March 11, 2011, the Secretariat said there is now the need for more focused attention on the institutional structure of the General Secretariat which will be located in Quito, Ecuador.
Construction work has already commenced on the building which will house the Secretariat.
The meeting today and tomorrow will be attended by officials from the 12 Member States who will examine various proposals for the structure and budget of the Secretariat.
The recently appointed Secretary General, Mrs. Maria Emma Mejia Velez, will also be attending the meeting.
The proposals include the staffing structure, regulations for the functioning of the Secretariat and a budget for its operations.
The outcome of this Meeting will then be submitted to the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs for their consideration.
Career journalist and former Foreign Minister of Colombia, Maria Emma Mejia Velez, was two weeks ago installed as the new UNASUR Secretary General.
Mrs Mejia is serving for one year as Secretary General of UNASUR and after that the post will be handed to Dr. Ali Rodriguez, former Energy Minister of Venezuela.
With the appointment of a Secretary General, President Bharrat Jagdeo had urged wise use of financial and human resources in the staffing of the UNASUR Secretariat and encouraged the use of technology in conducting the business of the bloc.
He urged that the various Councils of UNASUR move beyond discussions and make recommendations that could be implemented by the Secretariat.
UNASUR, an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions: MERCOSUR (Common Market of the South) and the Andean Community of Nations was established on May 23, 2008 when Constitutive Treaty was signed by the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, during the third Summit of Heads of State in Brasilia, Brazil.
UNASUR is intended to promote integration among South American countries. Suriname became the eighth country to ratify the treaty setting out rules of establishment for UNASUR.
According to the Constitutive Treaty, the Union’s headquarters will be located in Quito, Ecuador. The South American Parliament will be located in Cochabamba, Bolivia, while the headquarters of its bank, the Bank of the South is located in Caracas, Venezuela.