Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) /
Unión de Naciones Suramericanas
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions: Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations, as part of a continuing process of South American integration. It is modelled on the European Union.
The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty was signed on May 23, 2008, at the Third Summit of Heads of State, held in Brasília, Brazil. According to the Constitutive Treaty, the Union’s headquarters will be located in Quito, Ecuador. The South American Parliament will be located in Cochabamba, Bolivia, while its bank, the Bank of the South/Banco del Sur, will be located in Caracas, Venezuela. The Union’s former designation, the South American Community of Nations/Comunidad de Naciones Suramericanas (CSN), was dropped at the First South American Energy Summit on April 16, 2007.
On 4 May, 2010, at an extraordinary heads of state summit held in Campana (75 km north of Buenos Aires), former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner was unanimously elected the first Secretary-general of UNASUR for a two-year term, providing Unasur with a defined political leadership on the global stage. This new office was conceived as a first step towards the establishment of a permanent bureucratic body for the supranational union, eventually superseding Mercosur and CAN political bodies.
As the Constitutive Treaty entered into force on 11 March 2011, UNASUR became a legal entity during a meeting of Foreign Ministers in Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador, where they had laid the foundation stone for the Secretariat Headquarters.
Official website of UNASUR