The Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), former Colombian minister Maria Emma Mejia, passed on her title to former Venezuelan Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez.
The foreign ministers of member countries were present Monday morning in Colombia’s presidential palace in Bogota to watch the changeover proceedings.
“This (UNASUR) is an enormous political body whose weight we cannot afford to lose in bureaucracies or in reduction of agility and we have achieved this,” Mejia said at the Rodriguez’ inaugural ceremony, according to a presidential press release.
A lot has been accomplished, it’s clear, this morning we approved the institutionalization of UNASUR, stamp it and turn it over to Ali Rodriguez,” Mejia added.
She explained that the institution would be adopting new rules, which include 98 articles and the approval of a $19 million dollar budget for the next two years.
She also announced that the first mission of the Electoral Council will be to observe Venezuelan presidential elections on October 8 at the behest of their government.
“Being there and accompanying the electoral process. The ministers approved doing so this morning and I think that it will reinforce the institution,” said Mejia.
The outgoing official also noted that UNASUR’s Infrastructure Planning Council ins in the process of developing ambitious projects throughout the region.
UNASUR is an intergovernmental union that was signed into being in 2008. It was modeled after the European Union and includes 12 South American nations.