Lula da Silva’s Summit will gather 11 South American leaders


Lula da Silva’s Summit will gather 11 South American leaders

Lula Summit Latin America

Amsterdam, 28 may 2023–President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s “retreat” Summit scheduled for May 30 will gather 11 South American leaders, it was confirmed Friday in Brasilia.

The presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela have confirmed their presence. The only absence will be that of Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, who has internal legal impediments, it was reported. Instead, Prime Minister Alberto Otárola will be attending.

The meeting had already been announced at the beginning of the month by the government. A meeting of this size has not taken place for at least seven years. “The main objective of this meeting is to resume the dialogue with South American countries, which has been very truncated in recent years and is a priority of the Lula government. We are aware that there are differences of vision and ideological differences between the countries, but he [Lula] wants to reactivate this dialogue based on common denominators with the countries,” explained Ambassador Gisela Padovan, Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE) during a press conference on Friday.

Although the Brazilian government avoids pointing out a specific proposal, it is expected that the presidents will discuss more concrete ways to expand integration, including the possibility of creating or restructuring a South American cooperation mechanism that brings together all nations in the region. Currently, no such bloc exists.

The Union of South American Nations (Unasur), created in 2008, during Lula’s second mandate, disintegrated over time, amid changes of governments in several countries, and now brings together only seven of them: Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Peru, and Argentina and Brazil who have recently rejoined the group.

“As you know, in recent years there has been a kind of fragmentation in this purely South American concertation. The purpose of this initiative is to unite, once again, the region with the totality of its countries,” emphasized the ambassador.

According to her, issues such as health, climate change, high inflation and food prices, and the return of poverty and hunger make a more coordinated action among South American countries even more relevant.

The meeting’s methodology foresees, first of all, finding common ground from the presidential positions, as well as conducting an agenda that could already be started more quickly. This agenda includes, for example, the fight against organized crime, infrastructure projects, environment and climate change, among others. Because of this, the format of the summit will be as non-protocol as possible.

The invitation mentioned some kind of “retreat” of presidents to deepen dialogue. There will be two sessions. On Tuesday morning, each head of state will make a speech, with a free theme. After that, they will have lunch. In the afternoon, they will resume an informal dialogue, “in a freer and more relaxed working session”, as described by Padovan.

The presidents who remain in Brasilia on Tuesday night will attend a dinner hosted by Lula at the Alvorada Palace. Not even a final declaration of the meeting is planned, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is yet to confirm the bilateral meetings President Lula will have with some of his counterparts at the summit, but they could take place as early as Monday when delegations begin to arrive in Brasilia.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *