Buenos Aires- Brazil announced on Friday (7/4) that it was rejoining the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a regional intergovernmental body after a four-year absence.
The decree, signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will take effect May 5, according to a statement from the Planalto, or Office of the Presidency.
It states that UNASUR is a mechanism “to promote integration between South American countries” with Mercosur (Southern Common Market) and the Andean community — a free trade area that goes beyond the economic sphere to the social, cultural, technological-scientific, and political spheres.
The statement said South America’s integration and unity is necessary for sustainable development, the well-being of citizens, and for solving regional problems such as poverty, exclusion and social inequality.
Da Silva signaled his push to reorganize UNASUR in March to Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez while the former union leader has been a vocal supporter of rebuilding UNASUR in recent months.
Brazil left UNASUR in 2019 during the tenure of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
Argentina announced its decision to rejoin UNASUR in March and President Alberto Fernandez emphasized the need for regional unity amidst various challenges.
UNASUR was founded by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2008 amidst the Pink Tide, when the region turned politically to the left. At its peak, the group consisted of 12 Latin American countries.
As the region shifted to the right, several right-wing governments formed the Group Lima in 2017.
After that, several countries withdrew from UNASUR and joined the South American Forum for Progress and Development (PROSUR), another multilateral bloc focused on economic and social partnerships.
Source: Antara News