Declaration of Paramaribo
VII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Heads of State and Government of the Union of South American Nations
Paramaribo, August 30, 2013
The Council of Heads of State and Government of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), meeting in Paramaribo, Republic of Suriname, on August 30, 2013, at its VII Ordinary Meeting, reaffirms that South American integration and unity must be established in a flexible and gradual manner, within the framework of cooperation, solidarity and respect for pluralism. The Council also emphasizes its determination to build a South American identity based on shared values such as democracy, the Rule of Law, absolute respect for human rights and the consolidation of South America as a zone of peace.
2. It honors the memory of Commander Hugo Chávez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and shares with the Venezuelan people and with his family, the enduring pain of the void that his absence has left us, in the sense that his life example and Latin American dignity will always be a source of inspiration for the commitment to project his strategic vision in the relentless fight toward the sovereign strengthening of the Latin American and Caribbean union.
3. It firmly declares that President Hugo Chavez is the symbol of a generation of statesmen who led the strategic course and laid the foundation of the South American identity and union, and who was under his visionary motivation in April 2007 when the decision to create UNASUR was taken in Margarita Island, Venezuela. Since then, his unwavering commitment to the South American cause has impressed upon our integrating process a mark inspired by the pursuit of the welfare and social justice of our peoples.
4. The Council of Heads of State and Government highlights the important work carried out by H.E. Ollanta Humala Tasso, President of the Republic of Peru, in exercising the Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR during the period 2012-2013, which has contributed to the ongoing integration process of our continent.
5. It expresses its satisfaction with the acceptance of H.E. Desiré Delano Bouterse, President of the Republic of Suriname, as the Pro Tempore President of UNASUR for the period 2013-2014, wishing him the best of success during his tenure and assuring him of its commitment to contribute to the implementation of the goals established during this phase.
6. It is of the view that the exercising of the Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR by the Republic of Suriname will represent a great opportunity to deepen the union and the integrationist spirit of all the peoples of South America.
7. It applauds the effective administration of Dr. Ali Rodriguez Araque at the helm of the General Secretariat of UNASUR during the period 2012-2013, conveying its thanks for his unquestionable and decisive contribution to building the strategic vision of the Union, based on his tremendous determination to bring to the fore the importance of the sovereign treatment of the sustainable use, defense and protection of natural resources as one of the elements of aforementioned strategic vision of South America. It further recognizes his valuable leadership in the process to strengthen our General Secretariat, especially the legacy represented by the Center for Communication and Information of UNASUR.
8. The Council of Heads of State and Government underscores the fact that South America is rich in natural resources, such as minerals, energy, forests, agriculture and water resources, as well as its vast biodiversity and ecosystems, in addition to the advantages of its geographic location and in particular, the potential offered by its human resources, and considers that these attributes distinguish the region, strengthen its strategic potential and contribute to its sustainable development. It congratulates the General Secretariat of UNASUR on convening the first UNASUR Conference on Natural Resources and Comprehensive Development of the Region in Caracas on May 27-30. Thus, it calls on the organs and Ministerial Councils to consider the results of said Conference, which are elements that should form part of a strategic vision to utilize the natural resources with complete respect for the sovereignty of States.
9. In spite of its natural wealth however, inequality and social exclusion persist in our region. UNASUR must therefore contribute to the identification of types of regional cooperation that would allow its Member States to capitalize on South America’s assets in order to make strides in the fight against historical social problems. Thus, the Council of Heads of State and Government believes that a long-term strategic vision of UNASUR should be based essentially on the following guidelines:
a) the need to strengthen a South American strategy that would project the region in the global context and which would be capable of promoting the common objectives of development and social inclusion, at a time of significant change in the international economy and politics;
b) the priority given to UNASUR to promote forms of cooperation that would allow progress to be made in eradicating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion, as well as overcoming the asymmetries that currently exist. It therefore underscores the approval of the Decision on the Agenda of Priority Social Actions and makes an appeal for its implementation and ongoing evaluation.
c) the importance of evaluating the way in which coordination and cooperation in natural resource management and protection can contribute to the scientific, technological, productive and social development of South America, taking into consideration the diversity of South American biomass, the different characteristics and priorities of each country and the sovereign rights of States in relation to the exploitation of their natural resources.
d) The strengthening of the physical infrastructure and connectivity among Member States to promote the integration of their citizens and encourage the establishment of the South American identity.
10. The construction of a South American identity requires the coordination of different dimensions such as economic, political, social, civic, defense and security, cultural, amongst others. That essential plurality of UNASUR issues and bodies also represents an important institutional challenge, which calls for the improvement of the management mechanisms of UNASUR, in such a manner so as to guarantee coherence in the integration process.
11. The Council of Heads of State and Government instructs the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to prepare, having consulted the Ministerial Sectorial Councils, in accordance with the procedure set forth in the Constitutive Treaty and the Regulations, an annual Road Map, to be presented during the Ordinary Summits, which would establish among the strategic objectives and activities outlined in the Plans of Action of the UNASUR bodies, the priority initiatives for the coming year.
12. To ensure an adequate flow of communication between the institutions and political bodies of UNASUR, the Council of Delegates is instructed to invite representatives of the Presidencies of the Ministerial Councils to attend its meetings, when deemed necessary, so as to facilitate the formulation of a half-year report by the General Secretariat regarding the evolution of the work of the sectorial bodies of UNASUR, for the consideration of the Foreign Affairs Ministers.
13. The strengthening of the General Secretariat is imperative in order to guarantee coherence in the integration process and to execute the mandates issued to the UNASUR bodies. The Council calls upon the Secretary General to begin, within a period of six months, a process for the institutional strengthening of the Secretariat, furnishing it with the permanent staff necessary to perform its duties fully, bearing in mind the budgetary aspect and what is established in the Constitutive Treaty and General Regulations of UNASUR, to ensure effective management without undermining the voluntary contributions of the States regarding their diplomatic representatives at the General Secretariat.
14. The Council places strategic importance on the financing of common initiatives within the scope of the Ministerial Sectorial Councils of UNASUR, as a means of producing concrete results in the short and medium term, to the benefit of South American citizens. It is therefore necessary to strengthen the mechanisms for managing the Common Initiatives Fund. The Council instructs the General Secretariat to organize, during the second half of 2013, a meeting to formulate recommendations regarding ways in which to facilitate the selection, design and execution of projects and to present them to the next meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, through the Council of Delegates, for their consideration and approval.
15. They reiterate the importance of civic participation in the integration process, and in that context, they approve the guidelines for the establishment of the Civic Participation Forum, and ratify the convening of the First Forum in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, preferably in 2013. As part of the process for holding the Forum, a preparatory meeting will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the purpose of sharing the guidelines with the citizenry and producing a debate that would help to promote information mechanisms and participation from social stakeholders in the first Forum.
16. It emphasizes that UNASUR has been the ideal space for moving forward in the development of strategic topics, such as the possible development of a shared vision on regional defense, which is outlined in the series of achievements made in the South American Defense Council. Thus, the Ministers of Defense are urged to draft and present a proposal on the strategic guidelines of UNASUR for the progressive and flexible creation of a shared regional defense vision, which shall be presented at the next Ordinary Meeting of this Council.
17. They also highlighted the work of the South American Defense Council as a body for the development of the regional strategic thought by strengthening the Center for Strategic Defense Studies and the initiative to create a South American School for Defense, designed as a center for higher studies and the coordination of networks among the national initiatives of member countries, to train civilians and military personnel in matters related to regional security and defense.
18. It reaffirms its commitment to the defense, protection, promotion and strengthening of the guarantees for the full enjoyment of human rights. With the creation of the High Level Group on Cooperation and Coordination in the area of Human Rights, emphasis is placed on the importance of the cross cutting nature of human rights in the ambit of UNASUR, as well as the significance of promoting and coordinating actions that would have a positive impact on the full enjoyment of human rights in the Member States of the Union.
19. It reiterates the importance of the Union having a common strategy and vision in the area of energy and the Ministers of the South American Energy Council are instructed to present the progress made in the South American Energy Treaty during the next Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Heads of State and Government.
20. The Council reaffirms the importance of building South American citizenship, which is one of the greater objectives of UNASUR. It also determines which Member States would continue to work on the proposals presented during the Pro Tempore Presidency of Peru, outlined in a Road Map, a document containing the principles governing the drafting of a conceptual report on South American citizenship and a comparative matrix of national contributions.
21. The Council also welcomes as a UNASUR body for coordination and cooperation, the South American Conference on Tourism, reiterating that tourism activity constitutes a significant contribution to the economies of South American countries, through the generation of business opportunities, the reduction of poverty, the promotion of economic growth and the sustainable development of peoples.
22. It recognizes the need expressed in the processes for rapprochement among our peoples in the pursuit of unity, as included in the first youth Congress of UNASUR held in February 2011 and in the Declaration of the CARICOM-UNASUR Youth of June 2012. In this regard, it expresses its agreement with the proposal put forward by the Republic of Suriname to hold a Youth Congress of UNASUR in November 2013, on a date further to be coordinated through diplomatic channels, for the purpose of evaluating the possibility of establishing a permanent body on the youth in UNASUR.
23. South American integration is an open, plural and common-cause process that stimulates cooperation with other regions and international organizations, especially those in which the Member States of UNASUR participate. In its relations with third parties, UNASUR must strive to establish closer ties with other fora that could help to strengthen and democratize the bodies for global governance.
24. In order to identify the interests of UNASUR in terms of financing, the Council instructs COSIPLAN to analyze, in coordination with the Council on Economy and Finance, the possibility of establishing UNASUR mechanisms to finance infrastructure projects, with participation from regional development Banks and respecting the UNASUR guidelines governing its relations with third parties.
25. UNASUR must also serve as an instrument for the international cooperation between South America and the Latin American and Caribbean region. We accept the request presented by the Haitian Government for support from UNASUR countries for cooperation projects in the area of literacy. The Council instructs the South American Education Council, through its Pro Tempore Presidency, to establish immediate contact with the Technical Secretariat of UNASUR in Haiti and identify methods of cooperation.
26. It expresses its recognition of the work developed by the Technical Secretariat of UNASUR in Haiti and by its Special Representative, Ambassador Rodolfo Mattarollo and that of his team, among others, in the areas of food security, health systems, housing, strengthening of the rule of law and the set of human rights. It highlights in particular, the opening of the Nestor Carlos Kirchner Hospital in the city of Corail. Likewise, it conveys its appreciation to the Republic of Argentina for confirming its willingness to continue executing and financing until the conclusion of the projects underway.
27. The Council of Heads of State and Government endorses the Declaration of Cochabamba dated July 4, 2013 and reaffirms its deep sense of indignation and intense rejection of the unwarranted withdrawal of the flyover and landing rights previously granted by the authorities of some European countries to the aircraft transporting H.E. Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Pluri-national State of Bolivia, in his travels throughout said continent. In that regard, they underscore that such an attitude is contrary to International Law and was a serious offense against the Bolivian President and all South American peoples.
28. It strongly rejects the interception of telecommunications and espionage actions in our countries by the national security agency of the United States Government, or whoever may be engaging in such activities, which constitute a threat to security and serious violations against the human, civil and political rights of international law and of our sovereignties and which damage relations among nations.
29. It instructs the South American Defense Council (CDS) and COSIPLAN, to assess cooperation with other competent Ministerial Councils and to move forward in their respective projects regarding cybernetic defense and the interconnection of the fiber optic networks in our countries, whose objective is to make our telecommunications more secure, strengthen the development of regional technologies and promote digital inclusion. It welcomes MERCOSUR’s interest in improving its coordination with UNASUR on such matters and instructs the CDS and COSIPLAN to maintain regular coordination with the recently created Working Group of MERCOSUR responsible for the matter of telecommunications and to submit to us during the next Ordinary Summit of UNASUR, a report containing the recommendations on possible advancements in this area.
30. It expresses its solidarity with the peoples and countries that have been the targets of defamation campaigns like those developed recently by certain extra-regional transnational groups and corporations against the Republic of Ecuador and against the Republic of Argentina. In that respect, it stresses the need for transnational corporations and groups to respect the national legislation and observe the principles and standards for responsible conduct, consistent with the public policies adopted by the investment receiving States. It also applauds the organization of the First Ministerial Conference of Latin American States Affected by Transnational Interests, held in the city of Guayaquil on April 22, 2013 and the establishment of an International Observatory on Transnational Corporations.
31. It emphasizes that it is strategically important for the countries of UNASUR to coordinate common positions with respect to significant global matters, strengthening the sense of unity in the region. Therefore, it is pleased to accept the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Ms. Rivas Franchini, representing the Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR, during the opening debate on the issue of “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security", in the framework of the United Nations Security Council, during the session led by the Head of State of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Likewise, it promotes greater participation by UNASUR in debates held in international fora.
32. It expresses its support for the legitimate rights of sovereignty of the Argentine Republic over the Falkland Islands, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur and the surrounding maritime spaces.
33. It expresses the commitment to the implementation of effective measures and actions that would allow the Republic of Paraguay to overcome the difficulties that it is facing as a landlocked developing country, satisfying its special needs in order to promote the absolute integration of its economy into international trade.
34. They reiterate the commitment to strengthening multilateralism, with the comprehensive reform of the United Nations and with the democratization of the international decision making bodies. They expressed the importance of intensifying intergovernmental efforts to promote the change required by the Security Council, with a view to transforming it into a body that is more representative, legitimate, efficient, democratic and transparent. In that regard, they deemed it essential to revitalize the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. They also underscored their commitment to the strengthening and effectiveness of the Human Rights Council, the principal organ of the United Nations for the multilateral treatment of Human Rights.
35. They reaffirm that quinoa, given its nutritional value, plays a role in achieving food and nutritional security and in the fight to eradicate poverty and hunger, as a result of which, they express their commitment to participate and assist in the activities of the International Year of Quinoa and to fulfill the series of recommendations arising out of such activities, so as to promote its consumption.
36. It confirms that the full validity of institutions, values, democratic principles and respect for the rules of international law, is an indispensable condition for building the South American integration process, respecting the sovereignty of States, the principle of non-intervention, their right to self-determination, the full exercising of human rights, as well as the legal equality of same, as universal principles and under the terms of the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR.
37. It congratulates the Ecuadorian people on the electoral process that resulted in the election of H.E. Rafael Correa Delgado as President of the Republic of Ecuador and they extended their best wishes for success during his tenure.
38. It congratulates the Venezuelan people on the electoral process developed in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that resulted in the election of H.E. Nicolás Maduro Moros as President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, wishing him success during his term in office.
39. It congratulates the people of Paraguay on the electoral process developed, which resulted in the election of H.E. Horacio Cartes Jara and on his assumption of duties as President of the Republic of Paraguay, and it expresses its best wishes for success in performing the high functions entrusted to him.
40. It conveys its thanks to the Government of the Republic of Ecuador for its efforts undertaken toward the construction of the permanent headquarters of the General Secretariat of UNASUR, as reported by H.E. Rafael Correa Delgado, President of the Republic of Ecuador, and it acknowledges the importance that this infrastructural work will have in the South American integration process.
41. It expresses its appreciation to President Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Pluri-national State of Bolivia, for the presentation of the architectural draft of the headquarters of the South American Parliament and for the announcement of the impending commencement of its construction. In that regard, an appeal is made for agreement to be reached on the final draft of the Additional Protocol that will establish the composition, authority and functioning of the South American Parliament, in accordance with the Constitutive Treaty.
42. The General Secretariat shall provide the Republic of Paraguay with the set of Decisions, Resolutions, Provisions and other regulatory documents and pronouncements adopted by UNASUR between June 29, 2012 and August 15, 2013, for the purpose of the provisions of Paragraph 5, article 13, “Adoption of Policies and Creation of Institutions, Organizations and Programs” of the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR.
43. In view of the fact that the efforts of the Working Group of High Level Experts for the Settlement of Investment Disputes has experienced significant progress, the instruction has been given for this work to be completed as soon as possible, preferably before the end of the year, for the eventual establishment of a Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.
44. It expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the people and Government of the Republic of Suriname for the excellent welcome enjoyed on the occasion of the VII Ordinary Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Union of South American Nations.