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…Jagdeo praises unity of bloc as new Secretary General appointed Members states of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have agreed to expedite the need for visas to travel within the continent, President Bharrat Jagdeo said yesterday as he appointed a new Secretary General to run the bloc’s affairs.Career journalist and former Foreign Minister of Colombia, Maria Emma Mejia Velez, was installed as the first of two people who will serve as Secretary General, for a two-year period, filling a post that was left vacant following the death of the former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who served as the first UNASUR Secretary General.Former Colombian foreign minister, Maria Emma Mejia Velez,Wholesale Jerseys USA, makes a point to invitees at a ceremony installing her as the new Secretary General of UNASUR. Kirchner died on October 27, last year.Mrs Velez will serve for one year as Secretary General of UNASUR and after that the post will be handed to Dr. Ali Rodriguez, former Energy Minister of Venezuela. They were the two nominees for the office.Mrs Velez received her instruments of office at a ceremony held at Jagdeo’s State House residence. Jagdeo currently holds the presidency of UNASUR.Foreign Ministers of the grouping recently discussed a possible visa waiver for travel within the continent and yesterday Jagdeo announced that member states had agreed to move ahead with the waiver.He said that free movement of people is integral to any integration movement and so member states have agreed to expedite the early entry into force of the agreement to facilitate the movement of citizens of the region without the need for visa and a passport,NFL Jerseys Wholesale, although some form of identification would still be necessary.However, he said that some countries would still, as a matter of preference,China Jerseys Free Shipping, require the presentation of a passport on entry. The President said the visa waiver would represent a tangible demonstration of the desire of member states to forge a South American identity.Coupled with the free movement of people, Jagdeo said, would be the opportunity to work and establish businesses.Towards this end, he urged that member states ensure their social security and health care systems are geared to accommodate such needs of those who travel.With the appointment of a Secretary General,NFL Jerseys Discount, Jagdeo urged wise use of financial and human resources in the staffing of the UNASUR Secretariat and encouraged the use of technology in conducting the business of the bloc.He urged that the various Councils of UNASUR move beyond discussions and make recommendations that could be implemented by the Secretariat. Jagdeo said there was need to eliminate bureaucratic procedures and work towards outcomes that would improve the lives of the region.The President underscored the importance of UNASUR, defending it against criticism that it is just another regional grouping.He said that even if only for the purpose of uniting leaders of South America, like it has, then UNASUR has proved its usefulness.Jagdeo said he was pleased that of the crop of leaders who had the first discussion of UNASUR back in 2000, he and Chavez are the only Heads of State still in place. As he leaves office, Jagdeo said he was pleased to have been there at the start and leaving at a time when he holds the rotating Presidency of UNASUR.He said that before UNASUR, leaders in South America hardly knew each other. Some leaders were even unaware of Guyana and Suriname.Now, he said that leaders in South America enjoy camaraderie and friendship, and have even sung together at one time in Ecuador.Jagdeo said that South American leaders who now know each other, can pick up the phone and call each other, thus sharing a common purpose for the integration of the region. As a result, he said this has led to the reduction of political tension.The new Secretary General agreed with the observation of President Jagdeo that UNASUR has been able to unite its member states.When the interpretation for the ceremony faltered,Cheap NFL Jerseys co, it was Mrs Velez who sat next to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, translating Jagdeo’s speech. She said that a year ago it was unthinkable that such a thing could happen.“That is a symbol that means more than anything else,” Mrs Velez declared.Meanwhile, Jagdeo asserted that the real prospect now exists for Guyana and Suriname to use their physical links on the continent to provide access to markets in the Caribbean and South America.“We have, for years, espoused this concept. It is time for us to put this to the test,” Jagdeo declared.UNASUR, an intergovernmental union integrating two existing customs unions: MERCOSUR (Common Market of the South) and the Andean Community of Nations was established on May 23, 2008 when Constitutive Treaty was signed by the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay,NFL Jerseys China, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, during the third Summit of Heads of State in Brasilia, Brazil.UNASUR is intended to promote integration among South American countries. The rotating presidency of UNASUR is held for one year.Suriname became the eighth country to ratify the treaty setting out rules of establishment for UNASUR.According to the Constitutive Treaty, the Union’s headquarters will be located in Quito, Ecuador. The South American Parliament will be located in Cochabamba, Bolivia, while the headquarters of its bank, the Bank of the South is located in Caracas, Venezuela.
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