Xinhua News Agency, Brasilia, May 30th(International Observation) Refusing to be the “backyard” of other countries, South America unites and cooperates for development
Xinhua News Agency reporter Bian Zhuodan
The one-day meeting of leaders of South American countries was held in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, on May 30, realizing a long-lost “reunion” of leaders of South American countries.
Analysts pointed out that the leaders attending the meeting focused on rebuilding the regional dialogue and cooperation mechanism, discussed important common issues in the region, and joined hands to restart the South American integration process, reflecting the efforts of South American countries to eliminate external interference, strengthen internal unity, and seek independent development under the new international situation. trend of the times.
South American countries “reunion”
The meeting was held at the initiative of Brazilian President Lula. Among the 12 countries in South America, all the heads of state except Peru were invited to attend the meeting, and the President (Prime Minister) of the Peruvian Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) Otaarola attended the meeting. The total number of participating countries and the high level of participants are rare in South America in recent years.
This is a file photo of Brazilian President Lula attending a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 23. Published by Xinhua News Agency (Photo by Martin Sabara)
Affected by factors such as domestic political turmoil, interference from foreign forces, and foreign policy swings, Brazil and other major countries in the region have successively “retired” from regional organizations such as the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in recent years, which has affected the development of these organizations to varying degrees. normal operation. South America currently lacks an effective coordination mechanism among regional countries, and the Union of South American Nations established in 2008 was once on the verge of collapse. Brazil and Argentina announced their return to the group this year.
Gisela Padovan, secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean at Brazil’s foreign ministry, told reporters that the main goal of the meeting was to restore a dialogue among regional states that had been severely weakened in recent years, amid “fragmentation of purely South American collaboration.” The occasion once again unites all countries in the region.
According to an official from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to create a “freer and more relaxed” dialogue atmosphere, the format of this meeting is closer to a “retreat”. On the morning of the meeting, the leaders of each country delivered their own speeches on the theme in turn, and an informal dialogue took place in the afternoon.
Padovan said that the first meeting of leaders of South American countries held in Brasilia is the “starting point” rather than the end point. “For the Brazilian government, what matters more is that South American countries are beginning to approach each other, and there is more progress in the discussion of South American affairs.” More pragmatism and less internal politics”.
In his speech at the conference, Lula pointed out that the task of regional development in South America is urgent and the integration mechanism needs to be restarted. He called for “building a strong, confident and politically organized South America”, and put forward a number of proposals for this purpose, including restarting the construction of the Union of South American Nations, designing a “South American Integration Roadmap”, and establishing a high-level political discussion mechanism, etc.
After a day of communication and exchanges, the participating leaders signed the “Brasilia Consensus” and decided to restart the regional integration process that had been interrupted for many years. The “Brasilia Consensus” pointed out that all parties agreed to take “the value of the rule of law, institutional stability, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs” as the basic principles of regional progress, and reiterated the vision of regional development, that is, to build South America into a country committed to democracy, human rights, Areas of Sustainability and Social Justice. The “Brasilia Consensus” identified trade and investment as a key area of regional development, and pointed out that South American countries will strive to increase trade among regional countries, improve infrastructure and logistics, and promote financial integration, so as to create an “effective South American Free Trade Area”. “.
This is the Brazilian Capitol building taken in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, on May 22. Published by Xinhua News Agency (photo by Lucio Tavola)
Marcos Pires, director of the Institute of Economics and International Studies at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, pointed out that under multiple global challenges such as the climate crisis, security issues, food and energy supply chain pressure, and social inequality, leaders of South American countries have realized that regional Integration is critical to addressing these common problems.
Some Brazilian media pointed out that under the “Brasilia Consensus” and the new South American integration mechanism, South American countries can jointly discuss cooperation measures in the fields of health, security, education, environmental protection, food, and combating organized crime to jointly promote integration process.
In hosting the meeting, Lula was sharply critical of US policy in Venezuela. Lula told the media after meeting with Venezuelan President Maduro on the 29th that the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela. He said it was “inexplicable” for a country to be sanctioned multiple times just because another country didn’t like it.
This is a profile photo of Venezuelan President Maduro delivering a televised speech at the Presidential Palace taken on March 15, 2020. Published by Xinhua News Agency (Photo provided by Venezuelan Presidential Palace)
Lula said that Venezuela is a “victim of anti-democratic and authoritarian narratives”, which has led to a very large perception of Venezuela in the world, and even in some places, “people don’t know where Venezuela is, but they ‘know’ Venezuela. There are problems with democracy.” He believes that Venezuela should build its own narrative to change perceptions.
In addition, Lula, who had clearly expressed his desire to “de-dollarize” before, mentioned this issue again. In a plan for regional cooperation presented on behalf of Brazil, Lula proposed “creating a common regional currency that can be used for trade payments” to reduce dependence on foreign currencies. He also said that the BRICS countries are studying the creation of their own single currency along the lines of the euro for trade among member countries, “so that we can do business without relying on the dollar.”
Analysts pointed out that Lula, as the leader of Brazil, a major South American country, made remarks that indicated that, against the backdrop of the continuous advancement of multi-polarization in the world and the rise of developing countries, South American countries are increasingly unwilling to be hegemonic by the West, especially the United States. Therefore, China is seeking a more independent foreign policy and development path.
Editor: Zheng Jianlong