Non-Aligned Movement has always strived for South- South Cooperation, and thus it has welcomed the entry into force of the constitutive treaty on the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which was created on March 11 2011 as a successor to the South American Community of Nations (CSN). The final document of the 17th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement Island of Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on 17 – 18 September 2016 hailed the contribution of UNASUR for the cultural, social, economic, and political integration of the region. The Movement has also welcomed the adoption of Resolution 66/ 109 of December 2011 which provides observer status for UNASUR with the objective of promoting cooperation between the grouping and the United Nations.
The idea of UNASUR was mooted in 2004 to further regional integration in South America by bringing together members of Mercosur and Andean community of nations. In May 2008, a constitutive treaty was signed by 12 states creating UNASUR to provide a greater thrust to regional integration, and act with greater consensus on issues including democracy, education, energy, environment, infrastructure, and security and to eliminate social inequality and exclusion. UNASUR’s members are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Panama and Mexico hold observer status.
The objectives of UNASUR are as follows: strengthening the political dialogue and reinforcing regional integration among South American nations, achieve social and economic development targeting poverty, illiteracy, and income inequality, providing access to quality education, achieving energy integration for the sustainable energy use in the region, developing infrastructure, promoting financial integration among Member States, protecting biodiversity, achieving equitable integration in order to overcome asymmetries through the development of concrete and effective mechanisms, progressive recognition of the rights of a Member State citizens residing in any of the other Member States with the aim of attaining a citizenship of the other Member State, equal access to Social Security and health services, unrestricted respect for human and labour rights through migratory regularization and harmonization of policies., economic and trade cooperation to achieve progress and consolidation of an innovative, dynamic, transparent, equitable and balanced process.
Promote growth and economic development in order to overcome asymmetries through the complementation of the economies of all the Member Countries as well as promoting the welfare of all sections of the population, giving attention to small and medium enterprises, cooperative companies, networks and other forms of production organizations with the aim of creating unity in the Industrial and Productive areas, promoting research, innovation, technology transfer and production in order to increase capacity, sustainability and proper scientific and technological development, strengthening of the identities of the peoples of the region of Member States through encouragement of expression of knowledge and memory with the aim of promoting cultural diversity, citizen participation through mechanisms for interaction and dialogue between UNASUR and the various social organizations for the creating of South American integration policies, strengthen the fight against terrorism, corruption, the global drug problem, trafficking of people, trafficking of small guns and light weapons, transnational organized crime and other threats as well as disarmament, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and demining, Promote cooperation between the judicial authorities of the Member States of UNASUR, The exchange of information and experience on defence, Cooperation to strengthen public safety, and promoting sectoral cooperation in order to deepen South American integration through the exchange of information, experience and training.
These objectives strongly echo the founding principles and ideology of the Non-Aligned Movement. Successive UNASUR summits have stressed not only on political and economic cooperation, but also on cooperation in sectors such agriculture, education, health and environment as well as the exchange of experiences and know-how in all these sectors. UNASUR has this emerged as a major institutional mechanism for strengthening the South-South Cooperation.