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UNASUR Defense Summit: Brazil proposed creation of a defensive South American Military Organization..

Last week, twelve ministers of defense of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) met in Lima. The Summit´s objective was to devise a strategy to protect the region´s environment, how to respond to natural disasters and the end of the so called arms race with the advance of arms control measures.

In the agenda, the Defense Minister  of Brazil Nelson Jobim brought an initiative to adopt a united strategy against those who act against the continent, against its diversity, its capacity and resources, as well as protect sovereignty over the vast riches of the region like oil, for example.
Jobim said in his keynote address that “it is necessary that the South American nations adopt a joint strategy that is capable of demolishing any external initiatives against the interests of the subcontinent.”

UNASUR Defense Summit: Brazil proposed a subcontinental military force as deterrent against intervention of other military organizations. Photo Credit to European Pressphoto Agency EPA

Many Defense Ministers said the initiative of Brazil was “very interesting” due to the fact that all countries could design a solid deterrent force and that also means the costs of this military spending will be shared by all south american nations. Experts said that this deterrent force will not only fight against organized crime, but also there is a need to be prepared if any extra territorial military force wants to agresively intervene in South America without the support of the United Nations and breaking international law.

On the other hand, on the issue of defense against natural disasters, the Summit raised the need of having a “special fleet,” as “often it is not allowed by air or by land” to the affected area and nations must have immediate relief alternatives.

Regarding the information on defense budget and spending, the UNASUR Summit agreed that the deadline for all countries to hand over information is  on June 30th.

During the meeting of ministers of UNASUR , they refered to the new Haitian government and the need to continue with the mission to support peace within the United Nations framework.
In regard to TOC´s activities , the Minister of Defense of Colombia, Rodrigo Rivera, proposed in his speech to include cooperation against transnational organized crime TOC “only to the extent that this phenomenon acquires sufficient magnitude to pose a threat to national defense.”

Rivera also said that “Colombia suggests that the proposed South American Defense Council of UNASUR must organize a meeting of Defense Ministers, Ministers of Security and Interior Ministers plus the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in order to discuss courses of action in such emergencies.”

Also, the Colombian minister offered to host this meeting in his country to “discuss the implementation of the instruments of international cooperation against transnational crime.”

The Summit also signed the Declaration of Lima with its progress on the protocol of peace, security and cooperation.