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On 20 December, President Dilma Rousseff will take part in the 42nd Presidential Summit of Mercosur Member and Associated States. The meeting will be preceded by the 42nd Ordinary Meeting of the Common Market Council (CMC).

Total trade among Mercosur Member States continued to rise in 2011 – it is expected to reach 20% over the US$ 44.55 billion recorded in 2010.

The Free Trade Agreement between Mercosur and Palestine is expected to be signed, an event in which Foreign Minister Riadi Malki will participate as a special guest.

The Foreign Ministers of the Member and Associated States are expected to sign the Montevideo Protocol on the Commitment to Democracy, which will update the 1998 Ushuaia Protocol on Democratic Commitment within Mercosur. The new Protocol brings additional mediation and sanction mechanisms in case of breaches or attempted breaches of democratic order.

Mercosur is expected to declare 2012 as the “Year to Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger within Mercosur”.

At the end of the Summit, the Mercosur Pro Tempore Presidency will be passed on to Argentina.

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