UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, is set to discuss the possibility of Colombia and Venezuela sharing the position of secretary general for a two-year term, at a meeting in Quito, Ecuador on Friday, reports Spanish news agency EFE.
The two-year term of the secretary general of UNASUR could be split into two one-year terms to be headed by the Colombian former Foreign Minister Maria Emma Mejia and the Venezuelan Minister of Electricity Ali Rodriguez.
The idea to share the position came from the foreign ministers of Colombia and Venezuela themselves which, according to Ecuador’s Vice Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas, gives the proposal more weight.
“Because it came from them it has a lot of importance, because just like them the other countries will see it with good eyes,” Lucas said. He added that Colombia and Venezuela “at some point had some problems,” but now will sit down and talk about issues.
The proposal would be a solution to the difficulty of finding a candidate who has sufficiently broad support to replace the former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who died in October.
“It has to be seen whether all [member] countries can agree on this choice, this has to be dicussed. It will be seen on Friday,” the Vice-Foreign Minister of Ecuador Kintto Lucas told EFE.
Kirchner’s successor will have a greater operational capacity as the post is set to include a budget, personnel and offices. One of the first tasks of the new secretary general will submit a budget to member countries and define how it should be used.
Lucas said the organization, which until now has focused on political issues and defense, may grow to include issues such as education, infrastructure and the economy.
At a peace forum in Buenos Aires on Monday, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel stated that UNASUR should be involved in any peace process in Colombia in response to Colombia’s stance that it would not allow foreign intervention into its peace process.