11.8.2020 : 12:24 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)


Quito, Ecuador

Web site

Short description

UNASUR’s objective is to build, in a participatory and consensual manner, an integration and union among its peoples in the cultural, social, economic, and political fields.


Contributions by member states to the regular budget of the General Secretariat are based on ‘their economic capacity, shared responsibility and the principle of equity’. The budget for 2013 was adopted in March 2012: Brazil will be the main contributor with 39 per cent, while Argentina, Peru, and Venezuela will each contribute between 10 and 16 per cent.

By signing the Cuzco Declaration in 2004, 12 founding states established the South American Community of Nations, which included members of CAN and MERCOSUR, as well as Chile, Guyana, and Suriname. The name changed to its current form in 2007 and the General Secretariat was formalized in 2008. Paraguay has been suspended since June 2012.


12 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

UNASUR members represent:

  • 4 of 4 CAN members (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are CAN members)
  • 2 of 15 CARICOM members (Guyana and Suriname are CARICOM members)
  • 4 of 4 MERCOSUR members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay are MERCOSUR
  • 12 of 35 OAS members

* Information accurate as of 5 July 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Claudia Carolina Acosta Velásquez
  • Head of Public Relations, Pro Tempore Presidency of the CDS

+511-625-5959   (ext. 4501)

PoA-related activities

In its Constitutive Treaty, UNASUR members commit to strengthen the fight against the global drug problem, corruption, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, terrorism, transnational organized crime, and human trafficking. In 2009 UNASUR agreed to establish a new platform for military exchange and defence policy information, the South American Defence Council (CDS). This instance aims to consolidate South America as a zone of peace and to facilitate coordination for humanitarian and peace missions. Furthermore, it established the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CCED) in Buenos Aires, which is the region’s think tank on defence issues. In 2010 UNASUR played a key role in mediating the Colombia–Venezuela diplomatic crisis and proved its potential to be an important stakeholder in stabilizing regional relations. Under the initiative of Peru, a working group is in charge of developing a future peace, security, and cooperation protocol structured around the idea of reducing expenditures on armaments and redirecting the money to development, education, and health. To date, UNASUR’s work on security matters has been on traditional agendas of military and territorial defence. However, since 2012 member states have sought to agree on the creation of a joint body to help the region combat transnational organized crime and address human security issues.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

Article 15 of the Constitutive Treaty stipulates strengthened cooperation mechanisms with other regional groups. However the Council of Heads of State has yet to define these elements of cooperation.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • South American Union of Nations Constitutive Treaty (2008) 

Other official documents of interest

  • Decisión para el Establecimiento del Consejo de Defensa Suramericano de la UNASUR (2008)
  • Estatuto del Centro de Estudios Estratégicos de Defensa (CEED) del Consejo de Defensa Suramericano (2010)


This profile is also available in other languages:


Share this content
Share this content: