The hard road to a South American Mercosur

Por Kintto Lucas

En su genial novela El año de la muerte de Ricardo Reis, José Saramago señala “A esta ciudad le basta saber que la rosa de los vientos existe, este no es el lugar donde los rumbos se abren, tampoco es el punto magnífico donde los rumbos convergen, aquí precisamente cambian los rumbos”.

Trasladando las palabras de Saramago al sistema mundo, como diría Immanuel Wallerstein, podríamos decir que cambiarán los rumbos el día que construyamos un sistema mundial multipolar que contribuya a crear un mundo democrático, justo y equitativo.

En ese necesario cambio de rumbos, la integración es un objetivo estratégico para lograr la independencia de América Latina. En ese sentido, es importante fortalecer los distintos niveles de integración y consolidar un bloque suramericano y latinoamericano.

América del Sur vive un momento importante en términos de integración regional, capitalizada más claramente en la Unasur (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas). Un bloque que más allá de las diferencias políticas o económicas de los países que lo integran, ha logrado levantarse como espacio de acuerdos y entendimientos desde la diversidad y ha generado un proceso integrador diferente.

Unasur es la propuesta más importante de integración desde toda América del Sur. Las que surgieron antes, además de ser regionales fueron condicionadas por el libre comercio, porque apostaban a eso, no a la integración.

El Mercosur (Mercado Común del Sur), por ejemplo, fue una propuesta surgida desde el libre comercio desde el neoliberalismo. Si bien luego fue procesando cambios positivos con la irrupción de gobiernos progresistas y es una confluencia fundamental, todavía le falta mucho para consolidarse como Mercosur Suramericano, que sea eje de un modelo de integración productiva de Américas del Sur dentro de Unasur.
La CAN (Comunidad Andina de Naciones), en cambio, surgió como una propuesta integradora distinta, pero finalmente terminó absorbida por la hegemonía neoliberal en los años 90.

Unasur surgió de una forma diferente, y se posicionó como una propuesta de integración desde lo político, llevando adelante acciones trascendentes para solucionar conflictos, consolidar una mirada de defensa de la democracia en común, fortalecer políticas de defensa y sociales integradoras, e inclusive posicionándose como un bloque a tener en cuenta a nivel mundial en el desarrollo de un mundo multipolar.

Unasur ha demostrado que, dentro de las diferencias, se puede llegar a ciertos acuerdos que parten de un punto central: para competir, para ser escuchados en un mundo que va a ser de bloques, tenemos que participar como un todo más compacto, que en este caso es el bloque de América del Sur.

Por ejemplo, el acuerdo del Consejo de Defensa en Unasur, de transparentar gastos militares, de parar la instalación de bases militares estadounidenses, son temas que se han resuelto, con discrepancias pero finalmente llegando a ciertos consensos. También a nivel económico, hubo algunos acuerdos, desde los presidentes, quienes creían que Unasur debía jugar un papel importante para enfrentar la crisis económica internacional en conjunto. Lamentablemente los ministros de Economía han desentonado.

Ahora es necesario consolidar Unasur como bloque de poder e interlocución mundial. Y dentro de ese proceso es fundamental consolidar la institucionalidad de Unasur en sus diferentes instancias, y particularmente la Secretaría General.

Néstor Kirchner, cuando fue secretario general, puso las bases políticas de la Secretaría. Ecuador, cuando fue Presidencia Pro Tempore puso las bases materiales y constitutivas, y le dio institucionalidad. Ema Mejía y Alí Rodríguez consolidaron la institucionalidad. Rodríguez, además, aportó una base teórico-práctica a Unasur con su propuesta sobre los recursos naturales como eje integrador. Es necesario consolidar la gestión de Unasur desde la Secretaría, para fortalecer las acciones del bloque a nivel regional y mundial.

Por su parte la Celac (Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños), surgió con la necesidad de consolidar un espacio amplio que promueva un proceso integrador desde la pluralidad latinoamericana, desde procesos más diversos y complejos, pero sin la tutela de Estados Unidos.

Mientras la OEA (Organización de Estados Americanos) surgió como la opción de un determinado momento histórico en que los países vivían sometidos al “liderazgo” de Estados Unidos, que en realidad era una imposición desde ese país, Celac y Unasur surgieron desde los propios países latinoamericanos y suramericanos. La OEA fue un proceso de imposición, Unasur y Celac son, con todas sus dificultades, procesos de integración.

El Alba (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América), que surgió como una propuesta frente a otro intento de imposición estadounidense como el Alca (Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas), ha implementado procesos de complementariedad y solidaridad creando propuestas de integración productiva interesantes. Es necesario establecer un puente entre el Mercosur y el Alba, buscando instancias de cooperación y complementación. Uruguay podría ser un país puente entre el Mercosur y el Alba promoviendo la cooperación y complementación. Uruguay debe fortalecer el Mercosur y fortalecerse en el Mercosur, y paralelamente consolidar su presencia en el Alba y actuar como puente Alba-Mercosur.

Un gran reto en Unasur y en todos los niveles de integración, es involucrar a las organizaciones sociales y a los movimientos sociales en una confluencia desde abajo, desde los pueblos. Obviamente no todas las organizaciones sociales representan al pueblo en general pero sí son instancias importantes que dan base social a los procesos integradores. Si no se produce una integración desde los pueblos, si no hay una integración cultural y de procesos culturales conjuntos de los países, es muy difícil consolidar un proceso integrador de largo plazo.

El mayor enemigo de la integración es el modelo de desarrollo. En este momento los procesos de integración están en medio de dos modelos de desarrollo que se encuentran en disputa. Un modelo de desarrollo que es más soberano, vinculado a la producción nacional, con la idea de cambiar la matriz productiva y dejar de ser solo países primarios exportadores, con una visión desde el sur, desde nuestros países. El otro modelo, por ahora hegemónico, apuesta al libre comercio mal entendido, donde quienes dirigen el mercado terminan siendo las grandes corporaciones, la política comercial se basa en los tratados de libre comercio con las grandes potencias, tratados neocoloniales que van contra la integración y la política económica favorecen la especulación financiera, las importaciones y el consumismo. Ese modelo de desarrollo a veces disfrazado de progresista es el mayor enemigo de la integración. Si no es derrotado a nivel regional y dentro de cada uno de nuestros países no habrá integración y seremos cada día más dependientes. Ahí seguramente recordemos aquella frase del final de Ensayo sobre la ceguera de Saramago cuando dice “Creo que no nos quedamos ciegos, creo que estamos ciegos, Ciegos que ven, Ciegos que, viendo, no ven”.

 

Lee el articulo completo aqui.

Marcelo Saguier

ALAI AMLATINA, 27/07/2012.- Los procesos de integración regional en Sudamérica han dado importantes pasos en la construcción de una comunidad política en base a valores y expectativas comunes. La defensa de la democracia, la resolución de conflictos mediante la diplomacia, el resguardo de la paz y la reivindicación conjunta de la soberanía argentina sobre las islas Malvinas ante los diferendos con el Reino Unido han sido algunos de campos en donde se logró alcanzar un inédito dinamismo y convergencia regional. Muchos de estos consensos acompañaron el surgimiento de nuevas formas institucionales como la UNASUR, ALBA y la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericana y Caribeños (CELAC).

No obstante tales avances, existe otra dimensión del proceso regional en la que es menos evidente que consensos se expresan. Las dinámicas de la región, como espacio socio-político en construcción, actualmente está regida por los patrones de conflictos y cooperación entre gobiernos, empresas y actores sociales en torno a la utilización de los recursos naturales para fines de exportación y de insumos para la industria. Este es el caso de los recursos minerales y del agua de ríos para la generación de energía hidroeléctrica. A diferencia de las avances alcanzados en materia de construcción política regional en otros campos, el lugar que hoy ocupan los recursos naturales en la integración es más inquietante y potencialmente una fuente de tensiones.

Las políticas de utilización de tales recursos, y los conflictos socio-ambientales que se producen por las mismas, en su mayoría son de carácter nacional o sub-nacional. Sin embargo, al mismo tiempo se despliegan algunas iniciativas de carácter regional impulsadas por gobiernos o por actores sociales que regionalizan sus disputas como estrategias de acción frente a la orientación extractivista de algunos proyectos. Es decir que las dinámicas socio-políticas de construcción de un espacio político regional en Sudamérica van más allá de las distintas iniciativas intergubernamentales que se puedan emprender desde los estados. Los recursos naturales constituyen un eje de articulación tanto para iniciativas de cooperación interestatal como también para la movilización social transfronteriza.

La propuesta de este articulo es la de pensar las dinámicas de la construcción política regional desde ésta perspectiva, en la que las interacciones de cooperación y conflicto entre actores públicos, empresariales y sociales moldean el escenario regional, sus posibilidades y limitaciones.

La minería en zonas de frontera es una de las formas que se redefine el escenario social y político regional. El caso más paradigmático de ello es la frontera entre Argentina y Chile. Tradicionalmente, las fronteras internacionales eran zonas en donde no se permitía emprendimientos productivos (o extractivos) dado que constituían lugares sensibles a la defensa del territorio nacional. Los procesos de democratización e integración económica llevados a cabo en la región permitieron desactivar las hipótesis de conflicto que fundamentaron el imaginario geopolítico de gobiernos y sociedades nacionales durante gran parte del siglo veinte. Sin embargo, estos cambios estuvieron asimismo signados por la orientación neoliberal que marcó las políticas de integración durante la década del 90. Una de las características de ello fue el establecimiento de nuevas mecanismos institucionales para atraer y resguardar inversiones. La minería de frontera entre Argentina y Chile es producto de ello, y su expresión más acabada es el acuerdo binacional minero que fuera firmado en 1997 y ratificado en los parlamentos en el 2000.

El territorio comprendido por el acuerdo binacional cubre un área sobre la cordillera de los Andes de más de 200.000 kilómetros cuadrados, lo que equivale al 95% de la frontera internacional de ambos países. El acuerdo concede a las empresas la disponibilidad de minerales y agua para sus procesos de extracción, así como poder de control fronterizo. Pascua Lama es el proyecto binacional de megaminería que fue posible con este acuerdo. Las empresas que desarrollan el proyecto son: Barrick Exploraciones Argentina y Exploraciones Mineras Argentinas, en la Republica Argentina, y Compañía Minera Nevada en Chile. Otros proyectos mineros ya han sido aprobados, amparados en el tratado binacional, se encuentran actualmente en diferentes etapas de desarrollo. Entre ellos, está el proyecto El Pachón en la provincia de San Juan.

El acuerdo minero binacional consiste en un modelo de integración territorial y representa un hito internacional, considerando la extensión del área cubierta, los volúmenes de minerales e inversiones que potencialmente se verían implicados y la posible replicabilidad de este modelo en otras zonas de frontera con comparables condiciones geológicas. Evidentemente, la replicabilidad de este enfoque para la explotación conjunta de depósitos minerales en zonas de jurisdicción nacional compartida está expuesta también a los vaivenes de las presiones sociales frente al extractivismo y al creciente grado de concientización sobre la necesidad de fundar nuevos paradigmas del desarrollo con criterios de sostenibilidad.

La tendencia de minería de frontera se confirma asimismo en otros países latinoamericanos sin que exista necesariamente ningún acuerdo entre los países. Este es caso de los proyectos de exploración minera que actualmente tienen lugar en la frontera de Costa Rica y Nicaragua, de El Salvador y Guatemala y de Perú y Ecuador en la llamada Cordillera del Cóndor – región que en 1995 fue epicentro de un conflicto bélico entre ambos países. En este ultimo caso, desde la resolución del conflicto bélico han habido grandes inversiones mineras atraídas por la riqueza de de yacimientos de oro de este lugar. Incluso sin un acuerdo minero entre ambos países, entre 2005 y 2010 se han triplicado el número de concesiones de exploración a empresas interesadas, en su mayoría del lado peruano de la frontera. Las empresas transnacionales mineras sin duda constituyen actores de creciente influencia en la redefinición del espacio regional y es de suponer que asimismo constituyen factores de influencia en los gobiernos para promover acuerdos mineros internacionales (los gobiernos de Alan García en Perú y Correa en Ecuador habían comenzado a explorar esta posibilidad).

La minería en zonas de frontera contribuye a regionalizar conflictos que se suscitan desde hace años en toda América Latina. Son conocidas las expresiones de resistencia a proyectos mineros llevados a por comunidades rurales en distintas provincias argentinas como Chubut, San Juan, Catamarca, La Rioja y Tucumán. Sin embargo, éstos no son casos aislados sino que se enmarcan en una tendencia generalizada de creciente conflictividad en zonas de exploración minera. Evidencia de ello es que actualmente existen 155 conflictos relacionados a esta actividad en todo Latinoamérica y el Caribe, en las que se ven implicadas 205 comunidades en relación a 168 proyectos mineros. Asimismo, según un informe a cargo del ex Representante Especial del Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, John Ruggie, las industrias extractivas representan el 28 % de los casos de los casos de violaciones a los Derechos Humanos con complicidad de las empresas. Esta tendencia global se profundiza en América Latina. Un elemento común a tales conflictos es la ausencia de debate público sobre los cuáles son los beneficios y costos de estos proyectos – definidos en términos económicos, sociales y ambientales – así de cómo arbitrar equitativamente los derechos y responsabilidades de los principales beneficiarios y damnificados de los mismos. Las comunidades tampoco son consultadas previamente, según lo establece el Convenio 169 de la OIT, sin bien algunos cambios en esta dirección comienzan a promoverse en Bolivia, Perú y Ecuador.

Las resistencias sociales a la minería a cielo abierto, y especialmente en zonas de frontera, se traducen crecientemente en la búsqueda de estrategias de incidencia mediante la movilización transnacional. Ejemplo de ello es la realización de tribunales de opinión, en donde comunidades afectadas por la minería pueden denunciar simbólicamente los estragos de la minería en el ambiente y su impacto sobre los derechos de las poblaciones. Se realizó el primer “Tribunal Ético de Minería de Frontera” organizado por el Observatorio de Conflictos Minero de América Latina en Chile en el 2010. También el “Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos sobre Empresas Transnacionales” sesionó en Austria 2006, Perú/Colombia 2008 y España 2010 para denunciar la complicidad de empresas transnacionales en casos de violación de derechos humanos en Latinoamérica. Muchos de los casos denunciados están relacionados con la minería, además de la explotación de hidrocarburos, agronegocios, etc. Asimismo, se han creado redes de acción global para el intercambio de información y coordinación de campañas conjuntas. Estas son algunas de las formas que adquiere el activismo transnacional en respuesta a la minería y demás instancias de violaciones de derechos humanos en los que estados y empresas se ven acusados. En este sentido, la minería de frontera actúa como catalizador tanto de nuevos relacionamientos entre empresas y gobiernos, así como también de nuevas formas de resistencias sociales que intervienen en la redefinición del debate regional sobre los vínculos entre desarrollo sustentable y derechos humanos.

Además de la minería de frontera, las dinámicas de la integración regional en Sudamérica están regidas también por una serie de proyectos de infraestructura para la generación y transporte de energía hidroeléctrica. La abundancia de agua en la cuenca del Amazonas hace de esta zona el epicentro de una serie de redes interconectadas de represas y líneas de transmisión que se proyecta vincularán lugares de producción y consumo. La creciente demanda de energía esta dada por el crecimiento económico en las economías de los países sudamericanos, y especialmente del sector industrial brasileño y minero (esta actividad es gran demandante de agua para sus procesos de extracción del mineral). Estos cambios están dando lugar a nuevos patrones de la cooperación regional internacional en el que las empresas brasileñas juegan un papel clave como las concesionarias principales de los proyectos de infraestructura de energía hidroeléctrica.

La Iniciativa para la Infraestructura Regional Suramericana (IIRSA), establece la financiación para estos proyectos. IIRSA es un mecanismo institucional creado en 2000 para la coordinación de las organizaciones intergubernamentales acciones con el objetivo de “promover el proceso de integración política, social y económica de América del Sur, incluyendo la modernización de la infraestructura regional y acciones específicas para estimular la integración y el desarrollo de las regiones aisladas de los subsistemas. IIRSA cuenta una cartera 524 proyectos de infraestructura en las áreas de transporte, energía y las comunicaciones, que se agrupan en 47 grupos de proyectos que representan una inversión estimada de dólares EE.UU. 96,119.2 millones de dólares. El Banco Nacional de Desarrollo de Brasil (BNDES) es también un actor regional clave en la movilización de recursos para los proyectos patrocinados por la IIRSA, tanto en territorio brasileño como también en países vecinos.

El Complejo Hidroeléctrico rio Madeira es uno de los proyectos más emblemáticos y la principal iniciativa hidroeléctrica del IIRSA. Una vez terminado, contará con cuatro represas interconectadas y será el de mayor tamaño de la cuenca del Amazonas. El BNDES provee parte del financiamiento para su construcción. Dos de las represas estarán emplazadas en Brasil mientras que una de ellas estará en territorio boliviano y la última en un río que demarca la frontera internacional entre Bolivia y Brasil.

Además, Brasil y Perú procuran la construcción de un mega-complejo hidroeléctrico en la Amazonía peruana financiado por Brasil. El objetivo de esta iniciativa es para generar electricidad en Perú para ser transportada sobre a Brasil para satisfacer su creciente demanda de energía. Para ello, ambos gobiernos negociaron un Acuerdo Energético que establece que Perú se compromete a exportar el 70% de la energía que produzcan sus centrales hidroeléctricas a Brasil durante un plazo de 50 años. Su construcción tendrá un costo de 4.000 millones de dólares e incluye también una línea de 357 kilómetros para tener la electricidad a la frontera brasileña. Una vez terminada la construcción del complejo, este será el mayor proyecto de energía hidroeléctrica en Perú y el quinto más grande en América Latina. Este proyecto y acuerdo energético ha sido objeto de grande críticas en Perú. El acuerdo fue firmado por los gobiernos de Alan García y de Ignácio Lula da Silva en 2010, pero actualmente está pendiente la ratificación del congreso peruano.

El acuerdo y proyecto ha sido objeto de serios cuestionamientos por los impactos ambientales y sociales de estas obras. En octubre de 2011 la principal concesionaria de este proyecto, la brasileña Odebrecht, decidió retirarse de la construcción de dos des las represas proyectadas como consecuencia de la oposición que este mega-proyecto genera en las poblaciones locales, sobre todo de pueblos originarios. El interés del gobierno brasileño por asegurar un acuerdo que le permita proveerse de energía a costos rentables se mantiene. Seguramente veremos nuevos intentos por reflotar el debate sobre este acuerdo, tal vez tomando en consideración las más recientes resistencias sociales que se han manifestado en repudio al mismo. Evidencia de ello es el proceso de revisión que emprenden los ocho países amazónicos de los mecanismos nacionales de consulta a grupos étnicos en el marco del Tratado de Cooperación Amazónica.

En la medida que avanzan las iniciativas de integración sudamericana se pone en evidencia la ausencia de consensos sobre ciertas áreas sensibles como es el caso de los recursos naturales. Muchos cuestionamientos comienzan a aflorar en el debate regional, como las tensiones entre visiones productivistas del desarrollo y de ecología política en las que se propician formas de desarrollo sustentable, vinculadas a los derechos humanos, la armonía ambiental y formas de producción y consumo más inclusivas. Asimismo, se manifiesta la necesidad de nuevos mecanismos de toma de decisión en materia de recursos naturales, no sólo a nivel nacional sino especialmente en lo relacionado a proyectos regionales que involucran acuerdos entre estados e instrumentos de financiamiento regionales. Es fundamental abordar en profundidad las nuevas asimetrías que genera este tipo de integración, no solo entre economías de mayor y menor tamaño, perfiles productivos especializados como industriales y proveerdores de materias primas, sino también en la necesidad de formular marcos regionales regulatorios y de políticas específicamente sobre recursos naturales (coordinación fiscales, normas de protección ambiental, derecho a de consulta a las poblaciones, eficiencia energética, entre otras).

En un contexto de creación de una comunidad política sudamericana, los conflictos y desafíos del desarrollo sustentable se vuelven invariablemente preocupaciones de todo el bloque regional. Mientras antes podamos avanzar sobre nuevos consensos en materia de recursos naturales, mejor estaremos preparados para avanzar en la profundización de nuevas bases de soberanía.

Nota: Las ideas que aquí se exponen están desarrolladas en un artículo recientemente publicado como: Saguier, Marcelo (2012) ‘Socio-environmental regionalism in South America: tensions in the new development models’, The Rise of Post-Hegemonic Regionalism: The Case of Latin America, Pia Riggirozzi and Diana Tussie, eds., Series United Nations University Series on Regionalism, Springer.

– Dr. Marcelo Saguier es profesor de estudios internacionales e investigador CONICET/FLACSO

Fuente: http://alainet.org/active/56815

by Kintto Lucas

ALAI AMLAT-en, sildenafil 17/07/2013.- In the past few years, case South America has taken some decisive steps toward regional integration. Aware of the challenges of globalization, which have surfaced in international political and economic crises, as well as in the proliferation of transnational illicit activities that are beyond the capacities of individual states to control, some countries have begun to understand that the advantages of greater cooperation and commercial interchange are not the final goal. Rather it is necessary to coordinate responses not only in economic and fiscal policy, but also in social policy, the control of natural resources, environmental issues, defence and other areas, in order to face the threats that impinge on them. Above all, in the world as it is now developing, it is impossible to walk alone. It is essential to walk together.

To reinforce integration we need to increase levels of economic and commercial interdependence in the region. It is a complex but not impossible course. We need to develop a collective vision and cease to contemplate our own navels. The bigger economies must show greater solidarity with the smaller ones, but it is fundamental that the latter look to their own development, stop being parasites and stop hiding behind the farce of re-selling products brought in from other places without any local value-added, but simply adding labels that proclaim the product to be of national industry.

Little by little South America is moving away from a theory of regional integration that supposes a divorce between economics and politics, and which ended up imposing on many countries the fallacy of a “self-regulating market” as a force for development. Nevertheless, it is worrying to see that after the disastrous experiences with the application of market shock theories — in the words of Naomi Klein – these political measures are still being pushed by some OECD countries, multinational financial organizations, rightwing politicians and some businessmen, as a panacea for the economic protection of our countries.

From the North, we are plied with free trade treaties and liberalization and deregulation of financial structures, along with privatization and flexible labour markets as basic mechanisms for international economic integration. In South America there are people who hear these siren songs and defend the urgent need to create a free trade area along the lines of the FTAA/ALCA. With this they propose to cure the failures of the neoliberal model.

The regional integration of South America must retrieve the role of the State over the market, of society over the State and the market. The integrated South American states should take control of an integrated South American market. And Latin American society should play a fundamental role in participating to control States and integrated markets. This integration should open the way for a development model that allows for the advancement of each country as well as common advancement. The efficacy and the ability for channeling regional synergies depend on the ability to understand that this is a collective project, not an individual one, and to understand that this is an institutional fabric that is created through the process of integration.

To expand and strengthen South American integration, Unasur must be strengthened and extended. It is fundamental to move Mercosur towards a South American Mercosur(1). This depends on the capacity of our States to reconfigure their productive structures.

This will be possible if governments can transcend the limits of mere economic rationality and commit themselves to work towards a Common and Inclusive Economic Policy, which can take advantage of the region’s assets in food and hydraulic resources, raw materials and energy resources, generating a productive integration of a complementary character between countries.

In the new world order, the importance of South America for the international economy is undeniable. It is one of the most dynamic economic poles. At the present time, the GDP of the countries of South America represents 73 per cent of that of Latin America and the Caribbean, which in turn represents 8 per cent of world trade. In spite of its economic weight, the productive and export matrix of our countries continues to be centred on the primary sector and on intensive manufactures in primary resources and natural resources. This phenomenon responds to the high prices of commodities in the international market, but also to the concentration of investment, both national and foreign, in the exploitation of primary resources. In consequence, South American countries face the threat of deindustrialization and of economies centred on the primary sector. These processes lead to the emergence of productive enclaves whose wealth creation does not reach the whole economy, given the few productive networks they generate, as well as capital flight in the form of the repatriation of profits and benefits and the unlimited increase in imports. These enclaves in many cases are part of parasitical foreign investment that does not pay taxes and brings very little to our countries.

The way that Latin American countries have conceived their economic development has given rise to productive structures that are engineered to satisfy extra-regional needs. Because of this, the economic dynamics of the countries of the region contribute little or nothing to the collective economic dynamics of the region. Due to this individualist way of thinking of economic growth and the application of commercial policies based on indiscriminate opening to foreign economies, the greater part of South American economies have undergone processes of productive dismantling or the loss of economic dynamism in industrial sectors. At the same time large segments of our populations have experienced a fall in unemployment but growth in precarious employment. Here, if there is a diminishing amount of poverty, inequality is maintained and is at times even more evident.

It is necessary for South American economic integration to move towards the articulation of national economies, and for productive structures to look to satisfying the needs of the people of the region, in a way that allows us to develop our manufacturing sectors and services. In this sense it is important to establish legal and technical conditions to promote regional productive investment. Finally, it is necessary to set up productive conditions that make it possible for each and every one of the economies of the region to reach high levels of competitiveness in order, at a later moment, to be able to compete in the international markets of manufacturing and service sectors of medium and high added value.

In the difficult path towards a South American Mercosur, Mercosur should become the bridgehead to establish a South American commercial bloc, animated by principles of solidarity, complementarity and the consideration of the asymmetries in the levels of social and economic development of different members, that prioritizes the role of the State, and has as its goal the well-being of the population rather than the profits of big capital, and which can serve as an example of a different regionalist model, in the face of traditional schemes that are based on market fundamentalism.
(Translation: Jordan Bishop, for ALAI)

– Kintto Lucas is the Roaming Ambassador of Uruguay for Unasur, Celac, and Alba. Former vice foreign minister of Ecuador.

(1) Unasur: Union of South American Nations. Mercosur: Southern Common Market.

 

Source: http://www.alainet.org/active/65768

States of Sovereignty and Regional Integration in the Andes

by Frederic Janssens

 

The most recent Asean Summit was marked by significant clashes between the Cambodian chair and civil society organisations. Is this a new trend, stomach or just an old habit?

 

It looked like an attempt to force destiny: while Southeast Asian officials gathered in April at the Peace Palace for the 20th Asean Summit in Phnom Penh, try 1,200 civil society leaders from the region convened at the Lucky Star hotel. The two events were situated no further than two kilometres apart, yet the exchanges between NGOs and the Cambodian presidency were characterised by neither ‘peace’ nor ‘luck’.  When Cambodia invited regional governments to select their own civil society representatives to attend a meeting with Asean leaders, hundreds of independent NGOs and grassroots organisations boycotted the dialogue session, setting up their own gathering independent of government bias.
Consequently, two separate Asean Civil Society Conferences (ACSC) were held simultaneously in Phnom Penh: one supported and massively attended by the Cambodian authorities; the other self-sidelined from the official summit and – according to its organisers – forced to cancel workshops on land grabbing and events in Myanmar due to political pressure. An avalanche of mutual recriminations and public name-calling quickly ensued.

“This kind of clash is unfortunate, but it’s nothing new in the history of Asean-civil society relations,” says Consuelo Katrina Lopa, coordinator of the Southeast Asian Committee for Advocacy, a regional NGO coordinating advocacy efforts of Southeast Asian civil society organisations (CSOs). “Since the very first interface dialogue held in 2005 in Malaysia, appointments of ‘friendly’ civil society representatives or exclusion of critical voices occurred at every session, leading to an increased distrust towards the whole interface process.”

According to Lopa, countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia have increasingly imposed their own delegations into civil society meetings, making null and void the very concept of CSO dialogue. “Government-led NGOs were becoming part of the CSO organising committee, making it difficult for independent voices to discuss touchy issues like Myanmar or land evictions,” she says. “In 2010, a workshop on democracy was packed up by the Vietnamese delegation, defending the position of its government. Last year, Myanmar appointed police colonel Sitt Aye as representative of its civil society. It is this increasing government intrusion that pushed independent CSOs to organise their own conference this year.”

The “mirror of differences”

However, Asean is by no means a monolithic bloc, and inter-government tensions on the role CSOs should play in building the Asean Community are present. According to political scientist Thi Thu Huong Dang, author of a study on CSO engagement in the Asean Charter process, three different groups co-exist inside Asean.

“The first consists of the Philippines and Indonesia, which are willing to consult civil society and welcome its input into the Asean decision-making process. The second are Malaysia and Thailand, who have accepted limited interaction. The third group includes mainly the regimes of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, and most of the time Singapore, Cambodia and Brunei. These regimes would wish to stop the Asean-civil society engagement.”

A striking example of these tensions was recently given in the drafting process of the Asean Human Rights Declaration, a long-awaited and major political instrument for the region. While the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines decided to hold national consultation with their civil society, other Asean countries did not see the value in initiating such dialogue.

“CSOs’ role is a mirror image of Asean’s differences in democratisation and regime types,” says Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Bangkok-based Institute of Security and International Studies, and organiser of the CSO-leaders interface during the 2009 Asean Summit in Thailand. “But their impact on Asean policies is also very much dependent on Asean chairmanship. We saw this with Thailand’s chairmanship in 2009 when CSOs had an engaging interface with Asean leaders. It was more limited in 2010 under Vietnam but expanded to full vibrancy under Indonesia’s chairmanship in 2011. Now under Cambodia in 2012, the CSOs’ role is hemmed in.”

Their own worst enemy

If the lack of democratic space and the absence of transparent consultation mechanisms remain major issues, states are not the only ones to bear responsibility for marginalising CSOs from the policy-making process.

“In many cases, CSOs are their own worst enemy,” says Lim May-Ann, contributor of a 2011 study on civil society engagement in Asean. “There’s still poor or no involvement from national CSOs in Asean or on Asean-related issues. Besides, organisational issues are often the bane of many institutions and CSOs are no exception. Building the capacity and professionalism should be one of the first institutional steps that all CSOs should take.”

A point that Consuelo Katrina Lopa agrees with candidly. “There is a clear lack of capacity of CSOs to deal with some Asean issues,” she says. “For 30 years, CSOs simply ignored the Asean process as the majority of them were focused on the democratisation of their own societies. An important debate emerged then between those advocating for involvement and those defending opposition to Asean. Today, most CSOs agree on the necessity to engage with Asean, but the disparities in civil society development and the lack of resources for research make it hard to react quickly to policy developments.”

Myanmar chair ahead

Despite the problems and challenges encountered so far, CSOs’ role in shaping Asean policies is definitely growing, little by little. Over the years, Southeast Asian CSOs have managed to build thematic platforms to engage with Asean officials, with some successes on social or humanitarian policies for instance.

But with Brunei and Myanmar assuming the next two Asean chairs, it is easy to fear a rolling back of this trend.

“Brunei is an absolute monarchy, and the space for CSOs’ interface with Asean leaders is likely to be limited,” warns Thitinan Pongsudhirak. “The litmus test for CSOs may be in 2014 when Myanmar assumes the chair. CSOs will press hard as there is a pent-up groundswell of frustration over two decades of military repression in that country. By that time, Myanmar’s democracy will either show signs of solidifying democratic transition or signs of fatigue and disillusion. The CSOs must keep their expectations reasonable for 2014 as Myanmar could be the pivotal player and tipping point for democratisation in Asean which would be beneficial to regional CSOs in the long run.”

 

Source: http://www.sea-globe.com/Regional-Affairs/the-people-vs-asean.html

by Amanda Latimer

The trajectory of trade negotiations between the European Union and the Comunidad Andina de Naciones can be seen as an expression of the contemporary character of dependency between the two regions and of the conflict between competing strategies of integration within the Andean region itself. The first strategy reinforces current patterns of accumulation in the area of three “strategic openings” (primary and raw materials, doctor services, and the state), the expansion of rights for Northern investors, and the state violence that has accompanied the internationalization of Colombian and Peruvian capital over the past few years. The second strategy, while mired in the class-based constraints that accompanied earlier experiments with “inward-looking development,” positions regional integration as an alternative to neoliberalism and integration with Northern blocs dominated by imperialist interests.

Published in Latin American Perspectives, Issue 182, Vol. 39 No. 1, January 2012 78-95

Download full article from: http://lap.sagepub.com/content/39/1/78.full.pdf

Financial Architectures and Development: Resilience, Policy Space, and Human Development in the Global South

Este libro se propone contribuir a la construcción de una visión estratégica de los recursos naturales, discount específicamente de los minerales no combustibles, en la geopolítica de la integración latinoamericana y sudamericana, malady incorporando en el análisis los intereses en disputa en el continente.

 
Autora: Mónica Bruckmann
 
INDICE

 

  • Introducción
  • Capitulo I: Elementos para una nueva visión estratégica: Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

1. Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

2.La centralidad del agua como recurso estratégico

3.Ciclos tecnológicos y recursos naturales: una discusión estratégica

4.Ciclo de minerales y etapas de desarrollo

5.La financierización de los recursos naturales

6.Pensamiento estratégico: hegemonías y emancipaciones

  • Capitulo II: EUA y la disputa por minerales estratégicos

Capitulo III: La Reemergencia de China: Retomando el espíritu de Bandung

 

Publicado en 2012 por Instituto Perumundo; Fondo Editorial J.C.Mariátegui, Lima
Descargar Libro completo

Este libro se propone contribuir a la construcción de una visión estratégica de los recursos naturales, específicamente de los minerales no combustibles, en la geopolítica de la integración latinoamericana y sudamericana, incorporando en el análisis los intereses en disputa en el continente.

 
Autora: Mónica Bruckmann
 
INDICE

 

  • Introducción
  • Capitulo I: Elementos para una nueva visión estratégica: Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

1. Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

2.La centralidad del agua como recurso estratégico

3.Ciclos tecnológicos y recursos naturales: una discusión estratégica

4.Ciclo de minerales y etapas de desarrollo

5.La financierización de los recursos naturales

6.Pensamiento estratégico: hegemonías y emancipaciones

  • Capitulo II: EUA y la disputa por minerales estratégicos

7. Minerales estratégicos y vulnerabilidad de Estados Unidos

8. América Latina como fuente de minerales estratégicos

9. La importancia estratégica del litio

  • Capitulo III: La Reemergencia de China: Retomando el espíritu de Bandung

10. Re Orientalizando la economía mundial

11. La emergencia de China como gran consumidor y productor mundial de minerales

12. El desarrollo de China en perspectiva de los ciclos económicos de minerales estratégicos: Infraestructura; Industria Ligera; Industria Pesada

13. América Latina y la disputa global por minerales estratégicos

14. La Política china para América Latina y El Caribe

  • Conclusiones
 
Publicado en 2012 por Instituto Perumundo; Fondo Editorial J.C.Mariátegui, Lima
Descargar Libro completo

Este libro se propone contribuir a la construcción de una visión estratégica de los recursos naturales, try específicamente de los minerales no combustibles, healing en la geopolítica de la integración latinoamericana y sudamericana, incorporando en el análisis los intereses en disputa en el continente.

 
Autora: Mónica Bruckmann
 
INDICE

Introducción

Capitulo I: Elementos para una nueva visión estratégica: Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

Capitulo II: EUA y la disputa por minerales estratégicos

Capitulo III: La Reemergencia de China: Retomando el espíritu de Bandung

 

Publicado en 2012 por Instituto Perumundo; Fondo Editorial J.C.Mariátegui, Lima
Descargar Libro completo

Entre 22 e 23 de novembro de 2012, store a REBRIP, case o Instituto Equit e a CUT realizaram o Seminário “A Integração Regional frente à Crise Global”

A integração regional tem sido mencionada enfaticamente como objetivo prioritário da política externa de diversos países da região, sickness entre eles especificamente do Brasil. O seminário se propôs a debater as necessárias propostas e medidas que permitam o avanço e fortalecimento do processo regional numa perspectiva democrática e de maior participação da sociedade civil nos rumos e ênfases da integração.

Assistam os vídeos do Seminário: http://www.equit.org.br/novo/?p=913

PROGRAMA

Abertura
– Graciela Rodriguez, Equit
Mesa 1 – O cenário da integração regional no contexto da crise de 2008/2009
– Rafael Freire – Confederação Sindical dos Trabalhadores das Américas
– Maria Regina Soares Lima, do IESP/UERJ
Mesa 2 – A ameaça do livre comercio na região: Transpacific Partnership, Acordo do Pacífico e outras negociações versus MERCOSUL, UNASUL e ALBA.
– Jorge Lara, ex-ministro de Relações Exteriores do Paraguai
– Artur Henrique – Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT)
– Prof. Alexandre Barbosa – IEB/USP sobre a presença da China na América Latina
– Audo Faleiro – Assessoria da Presidência da República, Brasil
Mesa 3 – O Neo-extrativismo em marcha e os eixos da integração da infra-estrutura e da matriz energética.
– Hector Moncayo – ILSA / Colombia
– Hector Mondragón – Aliança Social Continental
– Adhemar Mineiro – DIEESE/REBRIP
Mesa 4 – Os entraves da nova arquitetura financeira regional.
– Pedro Paez, Superintendente de Controle do Poder de Mercado do Equador
– Eduardo Salloum – Coordenador-Geral de Integração Comercial / Ministério da Fazenda
Mesa 5 – Participação social nos cenários da integração, uma tarefa pendente.
– Jefferson Miola – Diretor da Secretaria do Mercosul
– Deisy Ventura – IRI/USP
– Fátima Mello, da FASE/REBRIP

Este libro se propone contribuir a la construcción de una visión estratégica de los recursos naturales, click específicamente de los minerales no combustibles, cheap en la geopolítica de la integración latinoamericana y sudamericana, sildenafil incorporando en el análisis los intereses en disputa en el continente.

 
Autora: Mónica Bruckmann
 
INDICE

 

  • Introducción
  • Capitulo I: Elementos para una nueva visión estratégica: Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

1. Recursos naturales y proceso civilizatorio

2.La centralidad del agua como recurso estratégico

3.Ciclos tecnológicos y recursos naturales: una discusión estratégica

4.Ciclo de minerales y etapas de desarrollo

5.La financierización de los recursos naturales

6.Pensamiento estratégico: hegemonías y emancipaciones

  • Capitulo II: EUA y la disputa por minerales estratégicos

7. Minerales estratégicos y vulnerabilidad de Estados Unidos

8. América Latina como fuente de minerales estratégicos

9. La importancia estratégica del litio

  • Capitulo III: La Reemergencia de China: Retomando el espíritu de Bandung

10. Re Orientalizando la economía mundial

11. La emergencia de China como gran consumidor y productor mundial de minerales

12. El desarrollo de China en perspectiva de los ciclos económicos de minerales estratégicos: Infraestructura; Industria Ligera; Industria Pesada

13. América Latina y la disputa global por minerales estratégicos

14. La Política china para América Latina y El Caribe

  • Conclusiones
 
Publicado en 2012 por Instituto Perumundo; Fondo Editorial J.C.Mariátegui, Lima
Descargar Libro completo

Entre 22 e 23 de novembro de 2012, tadalafil a REBRIP, o Instituto Equit e a CUT realizaram o Seminário “A Integração Regional frente à Crise Global”

A integração regional tem sido mencionada enfaticamente como objetivo prioritário da política externa de diversos países da região, prostate
entre eles especificamente do Brasil. O seminário se propôs a debater as necessárias propostas e medidas que permitam o avanço e fortalecimento do processo regional numa perspectiva democrática e de maior participação da sociedade civil nos rumos e ênfases da integração.

Assistam os vídeos do Seminário: http://www.equit.org.br/novo/?p=913

Entre 22 e 23 de novembro de 2012, cure a REBRIP, store o Instituto Equit e a CUT realizaram o Seminário “A Integração Regional frente à Crise Global”

A integração regional tem sido mencionada enfaticamente como objetivo prioritário da política externa de diversos países da região, entre eles especificamente do Brasil. O seminário se propôs a debater as necessárias propostas e medidas que permitam o avanço e fortalecimento do processo regional numa perspectiva democrática e de maior participação da sociedade civil nos rumos e ênfases da integração.

Assistam os vídeos do Seminário: http://www.equit.org.br/novo/?p=913

PROGRAMA

Abertura
– Graciela Rodriguez, Equit
Mesa 1 – O cenário da integração regional no contexto da crise de 2008/2009
– Rafael Freire – Confederação Sindical dos Trabalhadores das Américas
– Maria Regina Soares Lima, do IESP/UERJ
Mesa 2 – A ameaça do livre comercio na região: Transpacific Partnership, Acordo do Pacífico e outras negociações versus MERCOSUL, UNASUL e ALBA.
– Jorge Lara, ex-ministro de Relações Exteriores do Paraguai
– Artur Henrique – Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT)
– Prof. Alexandre Barbosa – IEB/USP sobre a presença da China na América Latina
– Audo Faleiro – Assessoria da Presidência da República, Brasil
Mesa 3 – O Neo-extrativismo em marcha e os eixos da integração da infra-estrutura e da matriz energética.
– Hector Moncayo – ILSA / Colombia
– Hector Mondragón – Aliança Social Continental
– Adhemar Mineiro – DIEESE/REBRIP
Mesa 4 – Os entraves da nova arquitetura financeira regional.
– Pedro Paez, Superintendente de Controle do Poder de Mercado do Equador
– Eduardo Salloum – Coordenador-Geral de Integração Comercial / Ministério da Fazenda
Mesa 5 – Participação social nos cenários da integração, uma tarefa pendente.
– Jefferson Miola – Diretor da Secretaria do Mercosul
– Deisy Ventura – IRI/USP
– Fátima Mello, da FASE/REBRIP

Entre 22 e 23 de novembro de 2012, ask a REBRIP, pharmacy o Instituto Equit e a CUT realizaram o Seminário “A Integração Regional frente à Crise Global”

A integração regional tem sido mencionada enfaticamente como objetivo prioritário da política externa de diversos países da região, entre eles especificamente do Brasil. O seminário se propôs a debater as necessárias propostas e medidas que permitam o avanço e fortalecimento do processo regional numa perspectiva democrática e de maior participação da sociedade civil nos rumos e ênfases da integração.

Assistam os vídeos do Seminário: http://www.equit.org.br/novo/?p=913

Author: Ilene Grabel
Working Paper, ampoule Political Economy Research Institute, prescription University of Massachusetts,
June 2012

Abstract:

The current crisis is proving to be productive of institutional experimentation in the realm of financial architecture(s) in the developing world. The drive toward experimentation arose out of the East Asian financial crisis of 1997?98, which provoked some developing countries to take steps to insulate themselves from future turbulence, IMF sanctions, and intrusions into policy space. I argue that there are diverse, unambiguous indications that the global financial architecture is now evolving in ways that contribute to a new institutional heterogeneity. In some policy and institutional innovations we see the emergence of financial architecture that is far less US- and IMF?centric than has been the norm over the past several decades. Moreover, the growing economic might, self? confidence and assertiveness on the part of policymakers in some developing countries (and, at the same time, the attendant uncertainties surrounding the economies of the USA and Europe) is disrupting the traditional modes of financial governance and dispersing power across the global financial system.

In making these arguments it is important not to overstate the case. It is far too early to be certain that lasting, radical changes in the global financial architecture are afoot, or that the developments now underway are secure. Nor am I arguing that all regions of the developing world either enjoy the opportunity and/or have the means to participate in the process of reshaping the global financial architecture. Rather, my goal is more modest. I show here that today there are numerous opportunities for policy and institutional experimentation, and there are clear signs that these opportunities are being exploited in a variety of distinct ways. As compared to any other moment over the last several decades, we see clear signs of fissures, realignments and institutional changes in the structures of financial governance across the global South. I have elsewhere characterized this current state of affairs as one of “productive incoherence.” I use this term to capture the proliferation of institutional innovations and policy responses that have been given impetus by the crisis, and the ways in which the current crisis has started to erode the stifling neo?liberal consensus that has secured and deepened neo?liberalism across the developing world over the past several decades.

The productive incoherence of the current crisis is apparent in the emergence of a denser, multi-layered and more heterogeneous Southern financial architecture. The current crisis has induced a broadening of the mission and reach of some existing regional, sub?regional, bilateral, and national financial institutions and arrangements, and has stimulated discussions of entirely new arrangements. In some limited cases these institutions and arrangements substitute for the Bretton Woods institutions. This substitution is most pronounced in cases when the Bretton Woods institutions have failed or have been slow to respond to calls for support, or when they have responded to such requests with conditionality that has been overly constraining of national policy space. But in most cases, the institutions and arrangements that I discuss here complement the global financial architecture. I will argue in what follows that recent changes in the Southern financial landscape increase its potential to promote financial stability and resilience, support the development of long-run productive capacities, advance aims consistent with human development, and expand national policy space. Moreover, the emergence of a vibrant Southern financial architecture is not simply additive. Rather it may prove transformative, insofar as the Bretton Woods institutions are pushed to respond to long?standing concerns regarding their legitimacy, governance, and conditionalities.

Author: Ilene Grabel
Working Paper, sales pharm Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts,
June 2012

Abstract:

The current crisis is proving to be productive of institutional experimentation in the realm of financial architecture(s) in the developing world. The drive toward experimentation arose out of the East Asian financial crisis of 1997?98, which provoked some developing countries to take steps to insulate themselves from future turbulence, IMF sanctions, and intrusions into policy space. I argue that there are diverse, unambiguous indications that the global financial architecture is now evolving in ways that contribute to a new institutional heterogeneity. In some policy and institutional innovations we see the emergence of financial architecture that is far less US- and IMF?centric than has been the norm over the past several decades. Moreover, the growing economic might, self? confidence and assertiveness on the part of policymakers in some developing countries (and, at the same time, the attendant uncertainties surrounding the economies of the USA and Europe) is disrupting the traditional modes of financial governance and dispersing power across the global financial system.

In making these arguments it is important not to overstate the case. It is far too early to be certain that lasting, radical changes in the global financial architecture are afoot, or that the developments now underway are secure. Nor am I arguing that all regions of the developing world either enjoy the opportunity and/or have the means to participate in the process of reshaping the global financial architecture. Rather, my goal is more modest. I show here that today there are numerous opportunities for policy and institutional experimentation, and there are clear signs that these opportunities are being exploited in a variety of distinct ways. As compared to any other moment over the last several decades, we see clear signs of fissures, realignments and institutional changes in the structures of financial governance across the global South. I have elsewhere characterized this current state of affairs as one of “productive incoherence.” I use this term to capture the proliferation of institutional innovations and policy responses that have been given impetus by the crisis, and the ways in which the current crisis has started to erode the stifling neo?liberal consensus that has secured and deepened neo?liberalism across the developing world over the past several decades.

The productive incoherence of the current crisis is apparent in the emergence of a denser, multi-layered and more heterogeneous Southern financial architecture. The current crisis has induced a broadening of the mission and reach of some existing regional, sub?regional, bilateral, and national financial institutions and arrangements, and has stimulated discussions of entirely new arrangements. In some limited cases these institutions and arrangements substitute for the Bretton Woods institutions. This substitution is most pronounced in cases when the Bretton Woods institutions have failed or have been slow to respond to calls for support, or when they have responded to such requests with conditionality that has been overly constraining of national policy space. But in most cases, the institutions and arrangements that I discuss here complement the global financial architecture. I will argue in what follows that recent changes in the Southern financial landscape increase its potential to promote financial stability and resilience, support the development of long-run productive capacities, advance aims consistent with human development, and expand national policy space. Moreover, the emergence of a vibrant Southern financial architecture is not simply additive. Rather it may prove transformative, insofar as the Bretton Woods institutions are pushed to respond to long?standing concerns regarding their legitimacy, governance, and conditionalities.

 

 

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Author: Ilene Grabel
Working Paper, pharm Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts,
June 2012

Abstract:

The current crisis is proving to be productive of institutional experimentation in the realm of financial architecture(s) in the developing world. The drive toward experimentation arose out of the East Asian financial crisis of 1997?98, which provoked some developing countries to take steps to insulate themselves from future turbulence, IMF sanctions, and intrusions into policy space. I argue that there are diverse, unambiguous indications that the global financial architecture is now evolving in ways that contribute to a new institutional heterogeneity. In some policy and institutional innovations we see the emergence of financial architecture that is far less US- and IMF?centric than has been the norm over the past several decades. Moreover, the growing economic might, self? confidence and assertiveness on the part of policymakers in some developing countries (and, at the same time, the attendant uncertainties surrounding the economies of the USA and Europe) is disrupting the traditional modes of financial governance and dispersing power across the global financial system.

In making these arguments it is important not to overstate the case. It is far too early to be certain that lasting, radical changes in the global financial architecture are afoot, or that the developments now underway are secure. Nor am I arguing that all regions of the developing world either enjoy the opportunity and/or have the means to participate in the process of reshaping the global financial architecture. Rather, my goal is more modest. I show here that today there are numerous opportunities for policy and institutional experimentation, and there are clear signs that these opportunities are being exploited in a variety of distinct ways. As compared to any other moment over the last several decades, we see clear signs of fissures, realignments and institutional changes in the structures of financial governance across the global South. I have elsewhere characterized this current state of affairs as one of “productive incoherence.” I use this term to capture the proliferation of institutional innovations and policy responses that have been given impetus by the crisis, and the ways in which the current crisis has started to erode the stifling neo?liberal consensus that has secured and deepened neo?liberalism across the developing world over the past several decades.

The productive incoherence of the current crisis is apparent in the emergence of a denser, multi-layered and more heterogeneous Southern financial architecture. The current crisis has induced a broadening of the mission and reach of some existing regional, sub?regional, bilateral, and national financial institutions and arrangements, and has stimulated discussions of entirely new arrangements. In some limited cases these institutions and arrangements substitute for the Bretton Woods institutions. This substitution is most pronounced in cases when the Bretton Woods institutions have failed or have been slow to respond to calls for support, or when they have responded to such requests with conditionality that has been overly constraining of national policy space. But in most cases, the institutions and arrangements that I discuss here complement the global financial architecture. I will argue in what follows that recent changes in the Southern financial landscape increase its potential to promote financial stability and resilience, support the development of long-run productive capacities, advance aims consistent with human development, and expand national policy space. Moreover, the emergence of a vibrant Southern financial architecture is not simply additive. Rather it may prove transformative, insofar as the Bretton Woods institutions are pushed to respond to long?standing concerns regarding their legitimacy, governance, and conditionalities.

 

 

Download full report

Video Documentary "Global Crises, Regional Solutions"

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

Gonzalo Berrón.

Haga click aqui para ver la entrevista realizada por el Centro de Investigaciones para el desarrollo (CID) con Gonzalo Berrón, remedy investigador del FES, pills y al profesor Carlos Martínez, try investigador en economía de la UN, para hablar sobre integración regional en America Latina.

 

Haga click aqui para ver la entrevista realizada por el Centro de Investigaciones para el desarrollo (CID) con Gonzalo Berrón, try investigador del FES, and y al profesor Carlos Martínez, investigador en economía de la UN, para hablar sobre integración regional en America Latina.

 

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, patient climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you liked the video, please share with others! 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Declaration of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean

It’s probable that the political and economic integration of South America will still be a distant dream after 11 presidents and one vice president representing the nations of South America signed the Constituent Treaty of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on May 23rd in Brasilia. The potential of the organization lies in its 400 million inhabitants, in its being one of the largest freshwater reserves on the planet, in having the Amazon which regulates global ecological equilibrium, website and in its oil and gas reserves for the next 100 years, not to mention its enormous biodiversity.


Read the full article here.

Es probable, there que la integración política y económica de América del Sur sea todavía un sueño lejano después de que el 23 de mayo, drugstore en Brasilia, cheap once presidentes y un vicepresidente, en representación de los países de América del Sur, firmaran el Tratado Constitutivo de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR)[1]. El potencial de la organización está repartido en sus 400 millones de habitantes, en ser una de las mayores reservas de agua dulce del planeta, en una Amazonía reguladora del equilibrio ecológico global, reservas de petróleo y gas para los próximos 100 años, así como una enorme biodiversidad.


Lea el articulo completo aqui

Es probable, que la integración política y económica de América del Sur sea todavía un sueño lejano después de que el 23 de mayo, en Brasilia, once presidentes y un vicepresidente, en representación de los países de América del Sur, firmaran el Tratado Constitutivo de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR)[1]. El potencial de la organización está repartido en sus 400 millones de habitantes, en ser una de las mayores reservas de agua dulce del planeta, en una Amazonía reguladora del equilibrio ecológico global, reservas de petróleo y gas para los próximos 100 años, así como una enorme biodiversidad.

 

Lea el articulo completo aqui

Es probable, drugstore que la integración política y económica de América del Sur sea todavía un sueño lejano después de que el 23 de mayo, doctor en Brasilia, once presidentes y un vicepresidente, en representación de los países de América del Sur, firmaran el Tratado Constitutivo de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR)[1]. El potencial de la organización está repartido en sus 400 millones de habitantes, en ser una de las mayores reservas de agua dulce del planeta, en una Amazonía reguladora del equilibrio ecológico global, reservas de petróleo y gas para los próximos 100 años, así como una enorme biodiversidad.


Lea el articulo completo aqui

En la ciudad de San Francisco de Quito, República del Ecuador, sale a los 3 días del mes de febrero de 2012, Nosotros, las Ministras y Ministros de Medio Ambiente y Jefas y Jefes de Delegación, en su XVIII Reunión del Foro de Ministras y Ministros de Medio Ambiente de América Latina y el Caribe, y que acogió  la Primera Reunión de las Ministras y Ministros de Medio Ambiente de Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños -CELAC-.

 

Lea el articulo completo aqui

En la ciudad de San Francisco de Quito, cure
medical República del Ecuador, a los 3 días del mes de febrero de 2012, Nosotros, las Ministras y Ministros de Medio Ambiente y Jefas y Jefes de Delegación, en su XVIII Reunión del Foro de Ministras y Ministros de Medio Ambiente de América Latina y el Caribe, y que acogió  la Primera Reunión de las Ministras y Ministros de Medio Ambiente de Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños -CELAC-.

 

Lea el articulo completo aqui

In the city of San Francisco of Quito, medicine order Republic of Ecuador, on 3 February 2012, We, Ministers of Environment and Heads of Delegation, in this Eighteenth Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, which hosted the First Meeting of Ministers of Environment of the Latin American and the Caribbean Community of States, -CELAC-.. read the full article here.

ALBA advances towards “Alternative Economic Model”, pursues anti-imperialist agenda

sapsn

Para más información sobre SAPSN: http://www.sapsn.org

sapsn

La red de Solidaridad de los Pueblos del de África meridional (SAPSN), sovaldi sale es una red de organizaciones de la sociedad civil que promueven políticas socioeconómicas en favor de los pueblos a nivel nacional, stuff regional, continental y mundial.

SAPSN se formó en 1999. Su secretaría es rotatoria. Funciono en Sudáfrica, en el Centro de Desarrollo de Información Alternativo (AIDC) entre 2000-2003. Desde entonces, la Secretaría de SAPSN fue coordinada por ZIMCODD en Zimbabwe hasta 2011 cuando se trasladó a Malawi, alojada en la Red de Justicia Económica de Malawi (MEJN).

Visión: SAPSN busca equidad y justicia económica, ambiental, social y política para el sur de África.

Misión: Movilizar la solidaridad regional, fortalecer las capacidades de los miembros y apoyar la cooperación regional centrada en los pueblos. As tambien, apoya la unidad en la lucha contra la crisis de la deuda, las injusticias del comercio mundial y las políticas neoliberales en el sur de África.

Los miembros provienen de organizaciones de la sociedad civil, sindicatos, organizaciones religiosas, organismos estudiantiles y las redes de la justicia económica entre otros.

Para más información sobre SAPSN: http://www.sapsn.org

 

By Rachael Boothroy, buy February 6th 2012

Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, medicine the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met in the Venezuelan capital this weekend in order to discuss the advancement of the organisation at its 11th official summit.
 
Following a meeting on Friday to draft proposals and set an agenda, the presidents discussed a series of themes relating to ALBA’s role within the regional economy and various foreign policy issues. The body also approved several declarations relating to global political concerns, including pronouncements on Syria and the current diplomatic altercation between the UK and Argentina with relation to the Falkland Islands.
 
Bank of the ALBA
 
At the end of the summit’s first day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that member countries had agreed to contribute 1% of their international reserves towards the bloc’s main bank in order to create a reserve fund.
 
The Bank of the Alba was established in 2008 with the intention of providing economic support to people-centred regional projects and to contribute to sustainable social and economic development across the region. The Bank is also cited as acting as a continental alternative to the International Monetary Fund.
 
At the summit, ALBA member countries agreed that the financial reinforcement of the bank would be pivotal to the development of the bloc. Chavez also reaffirmed Venezuela’s commitment to funding regional development projects by announcing his intention to increase petroleum production in the Orinoco Belt to that end.
 
“We should increase oil production from 3 to 3.5 million barrels a day, and by 2014 we should be at 4 million barrels. This is going to allow us greater flexibility in all of these projects,” said the head of state.
 
According to Chavez, Venezuela’s contribution to the bank will amount to around US$300 million.
 
Regional Currency
 
The heads of state also discussed the possibility of increasing the commercial use of the sucre, the bloc’s virtual currency. The sucre is currently used for direct trading between the ALBA countries, allowing them to circumvent the U.S dollar and minimise the foreign-exchange risk.
 
According to Ricardo Menendez, Venezuelan Vice-minister of Production and Economy, 431 financial transactions using the sucre were carried out between ALBA countries last year, amounting to over US$216 million worth of trade. However, Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, called for the use of the currency to be increased.
 
“Those free trade agreements, free markets, [with]…zero indemnity, annihilating the weak, that’s suicide for our countries…We should encourage fair trade; unite our reserves and financial capacity in the Bank of the Alba and avoid using foreign currencies,” he urged.
 
Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, also expressed his desire to boost the use of the bloc’s currency. In statements, Ortega said that he hoped to begin using the sucre within the next few weeks, subject to approval from Nicaragua’s national assembly.
 
Anti-imperialist Agenda
 
As well as condemning what it referred to as the “systemic policies of destabilisation and interventionism” currently being implemented in Syria, the bloc also signed a document in support of Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination and full independence.
 
Further, ALBA reiterated its support for the Argentinean government in its diplomatic dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands. In a special communication, the bloc called for a negotiated settlement to the Falkland’s question which does not violate the United Nation’s 31/49 resolution. The ALBA’s statements come as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also expressed his solidarity with the Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner on Saturday, stating that the South American nation would “not be alone” in the event of a conflict.
 
Correa suggested that the bloc should move to impose sanctions against the UK government due to its unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Argentinean government to resolve the issue. Last week, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, revealed that he had sent a warship to the Falklands as a “routine” measure.
 
Chavez has confirmed that the ALBA group will now review what sanctions may be taken in response to the “negative dialogue” and “ridiculous military threat” from David Cameron’s coalition government.
 
The ALBA also struck out against the Organisation of American States for its exclusionary stance with regards to Cuba. In accordance with a proposal from Correa, the bloc said it would consider not attending the Summit of the Americas, due to be held in Colombia this April, if Cuba were not invited.
 
“We could take this to the host country, which is the Colombian government, with whom we have re-established political and commercial relations… I am in agreement with Rafael Correa, if Cuba isn’t invited, we will consider not attending, it’s a matter of dignity,” concluded Chavez.
 
Helping Haiti
 
As part of the summit, the ALBA agreed to step up its humanitarian assistance to Haiti through the formation of an ALBA-Haiti work plan. The project will be aimed at providing emergency relief and facilitating reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean nation, which is still suffering the effects of the earthquake of January 2010.
 
Member countries also agreed to establish a Haiti fund in order to execute the projects and provide the country’s energy plants with fuel. Details will be finalised at a foreign ministers meeting in Haiti at the beginning of March.
 
In comments to the Venezuelan press, Haitian President Michel Martelly thanked the ALBA for its continued efforts to help the Caribbean nation in the wake of its humanitarian catastrophe. He added that the new ALBA plan would go towards alleviating extreme poverty in Haiti. Venezuela and Haiti also signed an independent bilateral agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries.
 
ALBA Expands
 
In the final act of the summit, the ALBA ratified St. Lucia and Surinam as two new honorary members to the bloc and confirmed that soon both countries would be full members of Venezuela’s energy integration organisation, Petrocaribe.
 
Other proposals that the group will now pursue include the creation of regional schools for social movements and the establishment of a communications secretary general; as well as the proposal to create a “defence counsel” for the bloc, which was submitted by Bolivian President Evo Morales.  
 
Formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, the ALBA is an alternative to U.S free trade agreements in the region and seeks to address unjust terms of trade by engaging in commerce on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. ALBA nations currently include; Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda. The governments of Haiti, Surinam and St. Lucia also attended the event as “participant observers”.
 

 

New regional organization is a big step forward for the hemisphere

sapsn

Para más información sobre SAPSN: http://www.sapsn.org

sapsn

La red de Solidaridad de los Pueblos del de África meridional (SAPSN), sovaldi sale es una red de organizaciones de la sociedad civil que promueven políticas socioeconómicas en favor de los pueblos a nivel nacional, stuff regional, continental y mundial.

SAPSN se formó en 1999. Su secretaría es rotatoria. Funciono en Sudáfrica, en el Centro de Desarrollo de Información Alternativo (AIDC) entre 2000-2003. Desde entonces, la Secretaría de SAPSN fue coordinada por ZIMCODD en Zimbabwe hasta 2011 cuando se trasladó a Malawi, alojada en la Red de Justicia Económica de Malawi (MEJN).

Visión: SAPSN busca equidad y justicia económica, ambiental, social y política para el sur de África.

Misión: Movilizar la solidaridad regional, fortalecer las capacidades de los miembros y apoyar la cooperación regional centrada en los pueblos. As tambien, apoya la unidad en la lucha contra la crisis de la deuda, las injusticias del comercio mundial y las políticas neoliberales en el sur de África.

Los miembros provienen de organizaciones de la sociedad civil, sindicatos, organizaciones religiosas, organismos estudiantiles y las redes de la justicia económica entre otros.

Para más información sobre SAPSN: http://www.sapsn.org

 

By Rachael Boothroy, buy February 6th 2012

Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, medicine the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met in the Venezuelan capital this weekend in order to discuss the advancement of the organisation at its 11th official summit.
 
Following a meeting on Friday to draft proposals and set an agenda, the presidents discussed a series of themes relating to ALBA’s role within the regional economy and various foreign policy issues. The body also approved several declarations relating to global political concerns, including pronouncements on Syria and the current diplomatic altercation between the UK and Argentina with relation to the Falkland Islands.
 
Bank of the ALBA
 
At the end of the summit’s first day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that member countries had agreed to contribute 1% of their international reserves towards the bloc’s main bank in order to create a reserve fund.
 
The Bank of the Alba was established in 2008 with the intention of providing economic support to people-centred regional projects and to contribute to sustainable social and economic development across the region. The Bank is also cited as acting as a continental alternative to the International Monetary Fund.
 
At the summit, ALBA member countries agreed that the financial reinforcement of the bank would be pivotal to the development of the bloc. Chavez also reaffirmed Venezuela’s commitment to funding regional development projects by announcing his intention to increase petroleum production in the Orinoco Belt to that end.
 
“We should increase oil production from 3 to 3.5 million barrels a day, and by 2014 we should be at 4 million barrels. This is going to allow us greater flexibility in all of these projects,” said the head of state.
 
According to Chavez, Venezuela’s contribution to the bank will amount to around US$300 million.
 
Regional Currency
 
The heads of state also discussed the possibility of increasing the commercial use of the sucre, the bloc’s virtual currency. The sucre is currently used for direct trading between the ALBA countries, allowing them to circumvent the U.S dollar and minimise the foreign-exchange risk.
 
According to Ricardo Menendez, Venezuelan Vice-minister of Production and Economy, 431 financial transactions using the sucre were carried out between ALBA countries last year, amounting to over US$216 million worth of trade. However, Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, called for the use of the currency to be increased.
 
“Those free trade agreements, free markets, [with]…zero indemnity, annihilating the weak, that’s suicide for our countries…We should encourage fair trade; unite our reserves and financial capacity in the Bank of the Alba and avoid using foreign currencies,” he urged.
 
Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, also expressed his desire to boost the use of the bloc’s currency. In statements, Ortega said that he hoped to begin using the sucre within the next few weeks, subject to approval from Nicaragua’s national assembly.
 
Anti-imperialist Agenda
 
As well as condemning what it referred to as the “systemic policies of destabilisation and interventionism” currently being implemented in Syria, the bloc also signed a document in support of Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination and full independence.
 
Further, ALBA reiterated its support for the Argentinean government in its diplomatic dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands. In a special communication, the bloc called for a negotiated settlement to the Falkland’s question which does not violate the United Nation’s 31/49 resolution. The ALBA’s statements come as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also expressed his solidarity with the Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner on Saturday, stating that the South American nation would “not be alone” in the event of a conflict.
 
Correa suggested that the bloc should move to impose sanctions against the UK government due to its unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Argentinean government to resolve the issue. Last week, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, revealed that he had sent a warship to the Falklands as a “routine” measure.
 
Chavez has confirmed that the ALBA group will now review what sanctions may be taken in response to the “negative dialogue” and “ridiculous military threat” from David Cameron’s coalition government.
 
The ALBA also struck out against the Organisation of American States for its exclusionary stance with regards to Cuba. In accordance with a proposal from Correa, the bloc said it would consider not attending the Summit of the Americas, due to be held in Colombia this April, if Cuba were not invited.
 
“We could take this to the host country, which is the Colombian government, with whom we have re-established political and commercial relations… I am in agreement with Rafael Correa, if Cuba isn’t invited, we will consider not attending, it’s a matter of dignity,” concluded Chavez.
 
Helping Haiti
 
As part of the summit, the ALBA agreed to step up its humanitarian assistance to Haiti through the formation of an ALBA-Haiti work plan. The project will be aimed at providing emergency relief and facilitating reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean nation, which is still suffering the effects of the earthquake of January 2010.
 
Member countries also agreed to establish a Haiti fund in order to execute the projects and provide the country’s energy plants with fuel. Details will be finalised at a foreign ministers meeting in Haiti at the beginning of March.
 
In comments to the Venezuelan press, Haitian President Michel Martelly thanked the ALBA for its continued efforts to help the Caribbean nation in the wake of its humanitarian catastrophe. He added that the new ALBA plan would go towards alleviating extreme poverty in Haiti. Venezuela and Haiti also signed an independent bilateral agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries.
 
ALBA Expands
 
In the final act of the summit, the ALBA ratified St. Lucia and Surinam as two new honorary members to the bloc and confirmed that soon both countries would be full members of Venezuela’s energy integration organisation, Petrocaribe.
 
Other proposals that the group will now pursue include the creation of regional schools for social movements and the establishment of a communications secretary general; as well as the proposal to create a “defence counsel” for the bloc, which was submitted by Bolivian President Evo Morales.  
 
Formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, the ALBA is an alternative to U.S free trade agreements in the region and seeks to address unjust terms of trade by engaging in commerce on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. ALBA nations currently include; Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda. The governments of Haiti, Surinam and St. Lucia also attended the event as “participant observers”.
 

 

By Rachael Boothroy, ask February 6th 2012

Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, shop the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met in the Venezuelan capital this weekend in order to discuss the advancement of the organisation at its 11th official summit.
 
Following a meeting on Friday to draft proposals and set an agenda, the presidents discussed a series of themes relating to ALBA’s role within the regional economy and various foreign policy issues. The body also approved several declarations relating to global political concerns, including pronouncements on Syria and the current diplomatic altercation between the UK and Argentina with relation to the Falkland Islands.
 
Bank of the ALBA
 
At the end of the summit’s first day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that member countries had agreed to contribute 1% of their international reserves towards the bloc’s main bank in order to create a reserve fund.
 
The Bank of the Alba was established in 2008 with the intention of providing economic support to people-centred regional projects and to contribute to sustainable social and economic development across the region. The Bank is also cited as acting as a continental alternative to the International Monetary Fund.
 
At the summit, ALBA member countries agreed that the financial reinforcement of the bank would be pivotal to the development of the bloc. Chavez also reaffirmed Venezuela’s commitment to funding regional development projects by announcing his intention to increase petroleum production in the Orinoco Belt to that end.
 
“We should increase oil production from 3 to 3.5 million barrels a day, and by 2014 we should be at 4 million barrels. This is going to allow us greater flexibility in all of these projects,” said the head of state.
 
According to Chavez, Venezuela’s contribution to the bank will amount to around US$300 million.
 
Regional Currency
 
The heads of state also discussed the possibility of increasing the commercial use of the sucre, the bloc’s virtual currency. The sucre is currently used for direct trading between the ALBA countries, allowing them to circumvent the U.S dollar and minimise the foreign-exchange risk.
 
According to Ricardo Menendez, Venezuelan Vice-minister of Production and Economy, 431 financial transactions using the sucre were carried out between ALBA countries last year, amounting to over US$216 million worth of trade. However, Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, called for the use of the currency to be increased.
 
“Those free trade agreements, free markets, [with]…zero indemnity, annihilating the weak, that’s suicide for our countries…We should encourage fair trade; unite our reserves and financial capacity in the Bank of the Alba and avoid using foreign currencies,” he urged.
 
Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, also expressed his desire to boost the use of the bloc’s currency. In statements, Ortega said that he hoped to begin using the sucre within the next few weeks, subject to approval from Nicaragua’s national assembly.
 
Anti-imperialist Agenda
 
As well as condemning what it referred to as the “systemic policies of destabilisation and interventionism” currently being implemented in Syria, the bloc also signed a document in support of Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination and full independence.
 
Further, ALBA reiterated its support for the Argentinean government in its diplomatic dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands. In a special communication, the bloc called for a negotiated settlement to the Falkland’s question which does not violate the United Nation’s 31/49 resolution. The ALBA’s statements come as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also expressed his solidarity with the Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner on Saturday, stating that the South American nation would “not be alone” in the event of a conflict.
 
Correa suggested that the bloc should move to impose sanctions against the UK government due to its unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Argentinean government to resolve the issue. Last week, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, revealed that he had sent a warship to the Falklands as a “routine” measure.
 
Chavez has confirmed that the ALBA group will now review what sanctions may be taken in response to the “negative dialogue” and “ridiculous military threat” from David Cameron’s coalition government.
 
The ALBA also struck out against the Organisation of American States for its exclusionary stance with regards to Cuba. In accordance with a proposal from Correa, the bloc said it would consider not attending the Summit of the Americas, due to be held in Colombia this April, if Cuba were not invited.
 
“We could take this to the host country, which is the Colombian government, with whom we have re-established political and commercial relations… I am in agreement with Rafael Correa, if Cuba isn’t invited, we will consider not attending, it’s a matter of dignity,” concluded Chavez.
 
Helping Haiti
 
As part of the summit, the ALBA agreed to step up its humanitarian assistance to Haiti through the formation of an ALBA-Haiti work plan. The project will be aimed at providing emergency relief and facilitating reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean nation, which is still suffering the effects of the earthquake of January 2010.
 
Member countries also agreed to establish a Haiti fund in order to execute the projects and provide the country’s energy plants with fuel. Details will be finalised at a foreign ministers meeting in Haiti at the beginning of March.
 
In comments to the Venezuelan press, Haitian President Michel Martelly thanked the ALBA for its continued efforts to help the Caribbean nation in the wake of its humanitarian catastrophe. He added that the new ALBA plan would go towards alleviating extreme poverty in Haiti. Venezuela and Haiti also signed an independent bilateral agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries.
 
ALBA Expands
 
In the final act of the summit, the ALBA ratified St. Lucia and Surinam as two new honorary members to the bloc and confirmed that soon both countries would be full members of Venezuela’s energy integration organisation, Petrocaribe.
 
Other proposals that the group will now pursue include the creation of regional schools for social movements and the establishment of a communications secretary general; as well as the proposal to create a “defence counsel” for the bloc, which was submitted by Bolivian President Evo Morales.  
 
Formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, the ALBA is an alternative to U.S free trade agreements in the region and seeks to address unjust terms of trade by engaging in commerce on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. ALBA nations currently include; Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda. The governments of Haiti, Surinam and St. Lucia also attended the event as “participant observers”.
 

 

by Mark Weisbrot, rx December 2011

Although most Americans have not heard about it, a historic step toward changing this hemisphere was taken three weeks ago.  A new organization for the region was formed, and everyone was invited except the U.S. and Canada. The new organization is called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

There was a reason for the exclusion of the two richest countries, including the world’s largest economy. In fact there were many reasons, but they went mostly unnoticed in the major media.  The existing regional grouping, the Organization of American States (OAS), is too often controlled by the U.S. State Department, with Canada as junior partner.

In 2009, there was a big eye-opener for the rest of the hemisphere, especially those governments that thought President Obama would break with tradition and support democracy in the hemisphere.  The democratic government of Honduras was overthrown in a military coup in June of that year. Although the U.S. role in the coup itself is still unclear, there is no doubt that Washington did quite a bit to help the coup government succeed and establish itself. And one of the things that the Obama administration did was to block the OAS from taking more effective action against the coup government.

The OAS was also used by Washington to overturn election results in the first round of Haiti’s presidential election of last year.  An OAS “expert verification mission” changed the results without even so much as a recount or any statistical basis for its actions, and the U.S. and its allies threatened Haiti’s government until it accepted the result. This was a sequel to the OAS role in the de-legitimizing of Haiti’s elections in 2000, which played a vital role in the U.S.-organized coup against the democratic government there in 2004.

Clearly the OAS cannot be trusted with regard to issues of democracy or election monitoring in the hemisphere. But there are many more reasons for forming a new organization for the region.  Over the past 15 years there has been a “Latin American spring,” with left-of-center, democratic governments being elected in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, and others. It is no coincidence that this tectonic shift at the ballot box has brought with it a burst of economic growth, historic reductions in poverty, increased access to health care and education, and a reduction in income inequality.

And it is no coincidence that Latin America’s worst long-term growth failure in more than a century – from 1980-2000 – took place during the era of the “Washington Consensus,” when economic policy in the region was heavily influenced by Washington-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  In fact, the Latin American spring was mainly driven by this economic failure and a desire for alternatives.

The new CELAC reflects this new reality – Latin America has become politically independent of the United States, there have been many changes in economic policy as a result, and these changes have brought higher living standards.  CELAC will continue to advance these positive changes, including regional economic integration, co-ordination around foreign policy, and conflict resolution.  Although it will take time, CELAC will eventually displace the OAS, which will become increasingly irrelevant to Latin America – just as the mostly Washington-controlled IMF, which 15 years ago had enormous influence in Latin America, is now irrelevant to most of the region.

Americans should welcome these changes and ignore the pundits’ whining about so-called “anti-Americanism” in this independence movement.  We, the 99 percent of Americans who did not benefit from decades of harmful intervention from Washington in the region, have everything to gain from a more independent and prosperous Latin America, and nothing to lose.


Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.

 

Financial Governance Beyond the Crisis: Creating an Innovative Financial Architecture in Latin America.

This paper seeks to understand the theoretical backgrounds that underlie the System, rx while raising the main issues the region faces with respect to trade and external dependency. The argument will unfold as follows: first, we discuss the main issues that need to be tackled regarding regional integration in the midst of this initiative; second, we give a theoretical account of Keynes’ proposals as they relate to SUCRE; we then summarize details of the operation of the mechanism; and finally we draw some perspectives for SUCRE in its regional environment for the discussion on economic integration.

This paper seeks to understand the theoretical backgrounds that underlie the System, check while raising the main issues the region faces with respect to trade and external dependency. The argument will unfold as follows: first, prescription we discuss the main issues that need to be tackled regarding regional integration in the midst of this initiative; second, we give a theoretical account of Keynes’ proposals as they relate to SUCRE; we then summarize details of the operation of the mechanism; and finally we draw some perspectives for SUCRE in its regional environment for the discussion on economic integration.


read full article here


Source: http://researchonmoneyandfinance.org/media/papers/RMF-31-Rosales-Cerezal-Molero.pdf

This paper seeks to understand the theoretical backgrounds that underlie the System, nurse while raising the main issues the region faces with respect to trade and external dependency. The argument will unfold as follows: first, sickness we discuss the main issues that need to be tackled regarding regional integration in the midst of this initiative; second, we give a theoretical account of Keynes’ proposals as they relate to SUCRE; we then summarize details of the operation of the mechanism; and finally we draw some perspectives for SUCRE in its regional environment for the discussion on economic integration.


read full article here

An interview with Pedro Paez, illness seek ampoule rx Plenipotentiary Ambassador for the Ecuadorian Government on the New International Financial Architecture and Chair of the Ecuadorian Presidential Technical Commission for the design of a New Regional Financial Architecture – Banco del Sur. Read the full interview here.

Sucre: a monetary tool toward economic complementarity

Las conmemoraciones, case si se sabe aprovecharlas, pilule pueden constituir coyunturas fértiles para la reflexión histórica y para los ejercicios prospectivos. Por muchos motivos, los 20 años de la firma del Tratado de Asunción que se cumplirán el próximo 26 de marzo de 2011, pueden configurar una ocasión propicia para esa perspectiva de aportes. Desde esa convicción, el Centro de Formación para la Integración Regional (CEFIR) convocó este año a un grupo diverso de académicos, expertos y dirigentes de la integración regional dentro del MERCOSUR para impulsar ese objetivo. Se trataba de elaborar un libro colectivo que compilara distintas perspectivas de abordaje sobre el itinerario de estas dos décadas de historia del MERCOSUR, desde un perfil que combinara la reconstrucción histórica, el análisis de los principales aspectos de la situación actual y el relevamiento de los factores más destacados o señalados en la perspectiva de futuro.


lea el articulo completo aqui

Las conmemoraciones, medicine si se sabe aprovecharlas, nurse pueden constituir coyunturas fértiles para la reflexión histórica y para los ejercicios prospectivos. Por muchos motivos, nurse los 20 años de la firma del Tratado de Asunción que se cumplirán el próximo 26 de marzo de 2011, pueden configurar una ocasión propicia para esa perspectiva de aportes. Desde esa convicción, el Centro de Formación para la Integración Regional (CEFIR) convocó este año a un grupo diverso de académicos, expertos y dirigentes de la integración regional dentro del MERCOSUR para impulsar ese objetivo. Se trataba de elaborar un libro colectivo que compilara distintas perspectivas de abordaje sobre el itinerario de estas dos décadas de historia del MERCOSUR, desde un perfil que combinara la reconstrucción histórica, el análisis de los principales aspectos de la situación actual y el relevamiento de los factores más destacados o señalados en la perspectiva de futuro.


lea el articulo completo aqui

This paper seeks to understand the theoretical backgrounds that underlie the System, troche while raising the main issues the region faces with respect to trade and external dependency. The argument will unfold as follows: first, cheap we discuss the main issues that need to be tackled regarding regional integration in the midst of this initiative; second, we give a theoretical account of Keynes’ proposals as they relate to SUCRE; we then summarize details of the operation of the mechanism; and finally we draw some perspectives for SUCRE in its regional environment for the discussion on economic integration.


read full article here


Source: http://researchonmoneyandfinance.org/media/papers/RMF-31-Rosales-Cerezal-Molero.pdf

“The moment for Caribbean integration & CARICOM – a new era and regional outlook”

Latin America took another historic step forward this week with the creation of a new regional organization of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The United States and Canada were excluded.

 

Read the full article here.

Statement by the Caribbean Movement for Civil Empowerment to the newly appointed Secretary General of CARICOM, cure Mr. Irwin La Rocque

 

Read the statement here