South American foreign ministers are scheduled to meet next Friday in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to decide the name of the next Unasur secretary general, according to an official release from the main office in Quito.
The release says the meeting will have as one of its main objectives defining “the possible nomination of a new secretary general” for the Union of South American Nations. The meeting is to take place at Chile’s diplomatic offices in New York.
The group, brain child of Brazilian diplomacy to counter the Washington based Organization of American States, OAS, was created in 2008, and during the latest Unasur summit held in Suriname it was decided to postpone the decision because of lack of consensus.
Venezuela’s Ali Rodriguez period as secretary general of the group expired at the Suriname summit.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said that since Unasur decisions are on consensus, the fact that both Bolivia and Peru had presented candidates for the post, it was agreed to postpone the naming while negotiations try and work out a name.
Ali Rodriguez actually completed half the two year period because during the first half the chair was occupied by Colombia’s Maria Emma Mejia Velez. The first Secretary General was former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner who was inaugurated in May 2010, but he died in October of that same year.
Colombia and Venezuela wanted to fill the vacant chair and after much negotiations and taking into account the fact that the two neighbouring countries after a long period of tension were back on track it was decided that that they should share one year each.
Ms Mejia Velez had the jog from May 2011 to June 2012 and Ali Rodriguez from then on.