President to attend UNASUR Summit in Suriname tomorrow
Georgetown, GINA, August 29, 2013
President Donald Ramotar is scheduled to join his colleague Latin American Heads of State in Suriname for the Summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on August 30.
Ahead of the engagement is a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the 12- member group who are meeting today to discuss a number of important issues.
The gathering of UNASUR leaders at the Royal Torarica Conference Room in Paramaribo will focus on the reinstatement of Paraguay to the group and homage to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Paraguay’s membership in UNASUR was suspended after the controversial ousting of its four-term President Fernando Lugo by the Paraguayan senate in June last year, and only a satisfactory outcome of the country’s April 2013 elections could have determined whether or not a return to the Group was imminent.
The elections ended with Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara of the Colorado Party being elected. He is expected to be in attendance as the UNASUR Summit of Heads of State gets underway.
Among the other issues to be addressed are the development of a strategic vision for UNASUR, the institutional strengthening of the secretariat, the establishment of work groups on human rights and youth affairs, statements of the Falklands/Malvinas Argentine claim, the Middle East situation and the peace process in Colombia.
UNASUR is an intergovernmental union integrating two South American trade blocs; Mercosur (a regional trade agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Andean Community of Nations (a trade bloc comprising countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).
Participating nations of UNASUR are Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and Chile.
Guyana chaired UNASUR for the first time after hosting a summit of Heads of State in November 2010. Six months after Columbia’s Maria Emma Majia Velez was installed to the Secretary General position which had been vacant since the passing of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, late husband of Cristina Kirchner, the incumbent President.