Peru became the fifth country to ratify the Union of South American Nations founding treaty, which means the organization is now only four short for the nine to become legally effective.
Ecuador Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patiño said on Wednesday that he received from Lima the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) ratification instruments, which he described an important and encouraging step forward.
“This is very important because it is the fifth ratification. We need nine for the treaty to become enforceable, although we can say that UNASUR is already on the move: we have seven working councils. Even without the treaty, UNASUR is very much alive,” said Patiño.
The UNASUR treaty was subscribed 23 May 2008 in Brasilia, and currently Ecuador holds the pro tempore chair. The other four countries which have ratified the treaty are Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Venezuela.
On Wednesday, Argentina’s Lower House Foreign Relations Committee held a session to debate a Senate-sent bill to consider the UNASUR treaty which was “unanimously approved.” The bill is to be passed as a law in the next Lower House session.
In related news, the Spanish Ambassador in Venezuela said that the attendance of all UNASUR presidents to the Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union Summit in Madrid next week is virtually confirmed. “As far as we know, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa and Bolivia’s Evo Morales will be present,” said ambassador Damaso De Lario.
President Chávez so far has not officially confirmed he will be travelling to the Madrid summit which is held every two years.
Last week, several UNASUR presidents, including Brazil’s Lula da Silva, Rafael Correa from Ecuador and Chávez, said they would boycott the meeting if Honduran President Porfirio Lobo was among the invited.
However, Lobo who confirmed he had been invited by the Spanish diplomacy said he would only be going to the EU–Central America summit, but not to the main meeting of Latam and EU leaders to avoid “conflicts.”