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OAS Secretary General Highlights the “growing role that MERCOSUR will play in the new developments of the international system”

  December 20, 2011

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said today at the Summit of Heads of State of MERCOSUR in Montevideo, Uruguay, that this integration is “urgent for a region with the natural and human resources to play a growing role in the new developments of the international system.” Insulza greeted the presidential meeting in Montevideo, in a speech in which he praised the “permanent disposition for dialogue of its members, who have successfully overcome each difficult obstacle and actively maintain the flame of integration.”

In his remarks, he emphasized that “beyond the limitations and the differences that sometimes arise, it is a fact that its principal objectives, the development of an internal market and the search for agreements for an improved international role have seen impressive progress,” and he summarized: “we need but to look at the trade figures inside MERCOSUR to verify this simple statement, which allows us also to feel optimistic about its possibilities for expansion.”

The head of the OAS held that “a subcontinent of this size, with a surplus of foods and raw materials and at the same time with an important technical and industrial capacity, has the possibility of becoming the main supplier of foods and strategic minerals in the world and, at the same time, develop a much more advanced productive capacity, if it overcomes its limitations on infrastructure, education, and technical scientific progress and, at the same time, integrates more deeply its internal markets and its international role.”

That is why, he said, MERCOSUR “constitutes one of the greatest expressions of the will for integration in South America, and I believe it is destined to play an even greater role in the near future.” “Those of us who have followed the evolution of MERCOSUR in the last two decades can give testimony of what has been its principal characteristic: the permanent disposition for dialogue of its members, who have successfully been able to overcome each difficult obstacle and actively maintain the flame of integration,” he added.

Finally, Secretary General Insulza said he was “convinced that this is the best moment for South America in many years,” while he warned that “we must not have excessive illusions: already we have had similar opportunities, wasted throughout our history.”

“The unity of this region, beyond the political differences that exist, strengthened by a common and permanent democratic will and by a spirit of solidarity to fully incorporate its weakest members, along with overcoming our internal endemic inequalities, can make it so that history is different this time around,” said the head of the OAS. “The survival for so many years and so many hardships of the ideals of MERCOSUR allow us to be optimistic in this respect,” he concluded.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-1020/11