Several of the presidents of South America met on March 22 at the palacio de La Moneda, the seat of the Chilean government in Santiago, and signed the Santiago declaration for the “renewal and strengthening of the integration of South America”, a document that grants the Founding Act to a new regional integration entity: Prosur.
The presidents of Argentina, Mauricio Macri; Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro; Colombia, Iván Duque; Ecuador, Lenín Moreno; Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez; and Peru, Martín Vizcarra, along with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, attended the forum for the advancement and development of Latin America. Among other leftist governments, Nicolás Maduro was missing, whose leadership is considered illegitimate by all of these leaders.
One of the first items on the agenda was the “dialogue for coordination and collaboration in South America”, which was held in public for the media. In private, the heads of State discussed “sectoral challenges and opportunities for regional integration”.
These are the six points of the declaration:
- Our will to build and consolidate a regional space for coordination and cooperation, without exclusions, in order to move towards more effective integration that will enable us to contribute to the growth, progress and development of the countries of South America
- Our appreciation for the proposal to create a space for South American Dialogue and collaboration, The Forum for the Advancement of South America (Prosur), and we instruct the Foreign Ministers to deepen the dialogue in accordance with the terms of this declaration.
- That this space should be implemented gradually, have a flexible, light, inexpensive structure, with clear operating rules and a flexible decision-making mechanism that will allow South America to advance in concrete understandings and integration programs based on the common interests of states and according to their own national realities.
- That this space will address in a flexible manner and as a priority issues of integration in the areas of infrastructure, energy, health, defense, security and fight against crime, prevention and management of natural disasters.
- That the essential requirements for participation in this area will be the full validity of democracy, the respective constitutional orders, respect for the principle of separation of the powers of the state, and the promotion, protection, respect and guarantee of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, with respect to international law.