Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni announced Wednesday that the governments of Bolivia and Peru have begun “high-level” actions with other regional governments to reactivate the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).
“This week we are working with the foreign ministers to find consensus” and to resolve the differences that led six of Unasur’s 12 members to temporarily withdraw from the regional integration body.
Two days after Bolivia assumed the pro tempore presidency of Unasur, the governments of Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru submitted a letter to Huanacuni informing him of their decision to withdraw citing discontent over the lack of leadership.
Since January 2017 Unasur countries have been unable to agree on a new secretary general to replace former Colombian President Ernesto Samper who led Unasur between 2014 and 2017.
Peru’s direct involvement in resolving the Unasur impasse was achieved through efforts by Bolivian President Evo Morales, who met with his counterpart Martin Vizcarra on April 28 to plan joint development projects in the border region.
Huanacuni explained Wednesday “both foreign ministers, Peru’s and Bolivia's, received a mandate to work on consensus because the region’s horizon is Unasur.”
Many political analysts fear that Unasur’s impasse is not the product of concerns over the bloc’s operational capacities but is rather ideologically motivated. This suspicion is related to the fact that all the governments that withdrew favor neoliberal economic policies, and pro-United States foreign policies.
Furthermore, in a recent presidential meeting between Chile’s Sebastian Piñera and Argentina’s Mauricio Macri, the two insisted on the possibility of integrating Mercosur which includes Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay with the Alliance of the Pacific (Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru).
Attempts to forward this economic integration agenda started in 2016.