South American Nations Create Defense Council, Bank of the South

The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) is further consolidating its organization and mandate through the creation of new entities focused on regional autonomy in defense and economics.


South American defense ministers met on Tuesday in Caracas to advance the organization and authority of the Unasur Council of Defense. At the meeting, Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolas Maduro additionally announced that the cooperation agreement to create the Bank of the South will enter into force in the coming months.

“There are solid signs indicating that the agreement to create the Bank of the South will enter into force this year, in addition to the Council of Defense of Unasur”, Maduro said.

Maduro, who attended the Second International Seminar of the South American Council of Defense held in Caracas, said that a meeting will take place in the coming months, and “could be definitive for the South American energy agreements. That’s big news for the present and future of the continent”, said the highranking official.

Maduro also highlighted that “the powerful bloc of nations”, Unasur, now has a Ministerial Energy Council, whose aim is to draft an agreement which will become the energy axis to guarantee “energy stability and security” for the region for the next 100 years.

The Unasur Economic and Finance Council was recently installed in Buenos Aires, Argentina last month, “with key proposals to build a South American monetary and trade system”, Maduro said.

“Debates on that issue are ongoing and there are diverse perspectives, but we are sure that sooner or later the presidents [of Unasur member countries] will deliver a report and make decisions on this vital issue which also affects the world economy”, he explained.

Unasur has also a social development council to address health and education issues, Maduro recalled.


The Defense Council was established to ensure South America remains a territory of peace, where regional conflicts can be resoved through diplomacy and non-invasive methods. In the past few years, Unasur nations have successfully mediated conflicts between Venezuela and Colombia, Ecuador and Colombia, as well as aided in impeding coup d’etat attempts in Bolivia and Ecuador.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro announced that soon Unasur member countries would sign a declaration of regional peace, rejecting the use of force and military power against governments or peoples in South America.

Unasur is a regional bloc formally created on May 23, 2008, in Brasilia, Brazil, to foster political, social, economic, cultural, environmental and infrastructure integration among member states. It is comprised of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Surinam, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.