Colombian Maria Emma Mejia finished her one-year term as secretary general of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) this week and said goodbye to their headquarters in Quito, Ecuador.
This coming Monday a ceremony will be held in Bogota to transfer the post to the incoming secretary general, Venezuelan Electricity Minister Ali Rodriguez. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo will attend the event.
Rodriguez is a former head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and, according to Mejia, is very interested in natural resource issues. She said he will likely try to capitalize on America’s natural endowments since South America is “the richest country in the world in natural resources.”
“With a lot of life we leave this multilateral organization and we believe it is a gain for a continent like ours which is so powerful,” said Mejia after a final private meeting with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.
Although Mejia will return to Bogota, she said she would continue to work for intracontinental cooperation and would be willing to work on “this process of integration from Colombia.”