The Union of South American Nations, Unasur will celebrate this Friday its eighth anniversary with the official opening of the South American Defense School (Esude) created to instruct on defense and security issues, both at civil and military level, following 'the principles of a regional strategic vision'.
It's a shared doctrine in terms of defense for South America which is considered a zone of peace, democratic stability and where differences are not addressed through 'interventionism' or violence, according to Ecuador minister of Defense Fernando Cordero.
The region's defense philosophy does not prepare for war but rather emphasizes the significance of dissuasive instruments when faced with the global 'new threats' such as drugs trade, people trafficking and other challenges, added Cordero.
Ecuador is the seat of Unasur headquarters which was recently inaugurated in the geographical equator in a place called Mitad del Mundo or Middle of the World City, a few miles from the capital Quito. The HQ is named after former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner who was the organization's first secretary general.
One of the issues of special interest for Esude, and which will be financed by all member states is cyber-defense, a demand from all countries, and for that purpose alliances with other regions will be established to improve the teaching on the subject.
Esude will have as chairman a candidate to be proposed by Brazil, based on a previous agreement with all twelve Unasur members, that will finance the school proportionately.
The opening of the defense school on Friday will be one of the main events of the eighth anniversary of the grouping which targets political, social, economic, environment and infrastructure integration. Unasur is the brain child of Brazilian diplomacy wanting to create an independent body, far from US influence such is the case in the Organization of American States, OAS.
Another important milestone on Friday is the inauguration of the Unasur Library which will be named after the great Colombian writer and Nobel prize, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The library will have an initial inventory of 1,700 books mostly on South American history and economy, but also of more leisure and light reading for the local community and schools.
On Friday Unasur Secretary General and former Colombian president Ernesto Samper, will present the first 'state of the group' balance, titled From Vision to Action, as well as a paper on Integration and convergence in South America plus the publication (former Uruguayan president) Jose Mujica in his own words.
The ceremony will include performances by a children's choir and the Ecuador Symphonic Orchestra and a night concert at Quito's cathedral.
Unasur is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela.