Brazil to host South American presidential meeting
Lula aims to foster integration among the countries of the continent
Published on 29/05/2023 - 10:09 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília
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President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will host a meeting with 10 South American presidents on Tuesday, May 30, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brasília. The confirmed attendees include heads of state from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The only absence at presidential level is Peru, whose president, Dina Boluarte, will not be able to attend the meeting due to internal legal impediments. However, Alberto Otárola, the president of Peru's council of ministers, will be present on her behalf. French Guiana, being an overseas territory of France, will not participate.
“The primary objective of the meeting is to revitalize dialogue among South American countries, which has been limited in recent years, and is a priority for the Lula government. Despite varying visions and ideological differences among our countries, Lula seeks to revive dialogue based on shared interests and values,” stated Brazilian ambassador Gisela Padovan, Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
While the Brazilian government has not specified a particular proposal, the presidents are expected to discuss tangible measures to enhance integration, including the potential creation or restructuring of a South American cooperation mechanism encompassing all nations in the region. Currently, no bloc with these characteristics exists.
The ambassador stressed the increasing relevance of coordinated action among South American countries considering pressing issues such as health, climate change, high inflation, rising food prices, and the resurgence of poverty and hunger.
Informal proceedings will be employed during the meeting, with an emphasis on identifying common ground and expediting the agenda. This includes combating organized crime, promoting infrastructure projects, addressing environmental and climate change concerns, among other topics. The summit will adopt a non-protocol format to encourage open and relaxed discussions.
The meeting will consist of two sessions. On Tuesday morning, each head of state will deliver a statement on a topic of their choice, followed by lunch. The afternoon session will feature an informal dialogue characterized by a “more relaxed and open working atmosphere,” according to Ambassador Padovan.
Those presidents who remain in Brasília on Tuesday night will be invited to a dinner at Lula's official residence, the Alvorada Palace.
Translation: Mario Nunes - Edition: Marcelo Brandão