Colombia to Chair South American Defense Council
By Dialogo September 09, 2013
Colombia was chosen as interim head of the South American Defense Council (CSD) with Surinam as co-chair for one year, by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), consisting of 12 countries, in order to lead security cooperation policies in the organization.
With Colombia leading the CSD, the institution will develop four main action plans in the next 12 months, in order to seek clear policies regarding defense, military cooperation, humanitarian action, training and peacekeeping operations, as well as defense industry and technology.
During Colombia’s leadership at the CSD, the South American country will be focused on addressing and promoting common issues, such as peacekeeping operations, academic exchanges, reforming the ministries of defense, the role of civil society in defense matters, creating mutual trust measures and identifying risk factors, among other issues.
The main challenge for Colombia and its interim leadership at the CSD will be to consolidate the unity and reach consensus on defense and security matters and policies with the rest of UNASUR member nations.
UNASUR was created in 2008 as a regional organization that seeks to build a space for integration and union with consensus and participation, in the cultural, social, economic and political fields among its members.
The priorities of the 12 nations that integrate UNASUR (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela) will be political dialogue, social policies, education, energy, infrastructure, funding, and the environment, among others, in an attempt to end socioeconomic inequality, achieve social inclusion and civil participation, strengthen democracy and reduce differences in the process of reinforcing sovereignty and independence of states.