South American Community of Nations
The South American Community of Nations (SACN) (Spanish: Comunidad Sudamericana de Naciones (CSN), Portuguese: Comunidade Sul-Americana de Nações (CSN)) will be a continent-wide free trade zone that will unite two existing free-trade organizations—Mercosur and the Andean Community—eliminating tariffs for non-sensitive products by 2014 and sensitive products by 2019. Complete integration between these two trade blocs is expected by 2007.
At the Third South American Summit, on 8 December 2004, presidents or representatives from twelve South American nations signed the Cuzco Declaration, a two-page statement of intent, announcing the foundation of the South American Community. Panama attended the signing ceremony as observer.
Leaders announced their intention to model the new community after the European Union, including a common currency, parliament, and passport. According to Allan Wagner , Secretary General of the Andean Community, a complete union like that of the EU should be possible by 2019.
The mechanics of the new entity should come out at the First SACN Summit, to be held in Brazil, in March of 2005. A constitution is also expected to be drafted in 2005. The Second Summit will be held in Bolivia. No new institutions will be created in the first phase, so as not to increase bureaucracy, and the community will use the existing institutions belonging to the previous trade blocs.
Simón Bolívar—known as El Libertador ("The Liberator"), directly responsible for the independence of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in the early years of the 19th century, and honored with statues in the capital cities of all the American nations—had the goal of creating a federation of Spanish American nations to ensure prosperity and security after independence. Bolívar never achieved this goal, and died an unpopular figure because of his heavy-handed attempts to establish strong central governments in the nations he led to independence.
The 12 community members:
- Andean Community members:
¹ Guyana and Suriname will not immediately join the community. They are currently members of CARICOM and are to enter its common market in 2005. It is unknown how simultaneous SACN and CARICOM membership will be accomplished.
The only South American area not participating is French Guiana which is a département d'outre-mer of France and is therefore part of the European Union.
Comparison with other blocs/countries
millions of $US
During 2003. Cyan for largest value, green for smallest, among the blocs compared.
Source: CIA World Factbook 2004, IMF WEO Database
1 Member of NAFTA
We are here to make Simón Bolívar's dream real. [...] Sooner, rather than later, we shall have a single currency, a single passport... Sooner, rather than later, we shall have a parliament with directly elected representatives for this new nation that we are creating today. — Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, 8 December 2004.
Step by step CAN and Mercosur will converge becoming the South American Community, but gradually disappearing at the same time. But in spite of the haste there’s no rush, because we could end with an empty declaration. [...] My idea is that in a few months time CAN should be known as South American Community-CAN and Mercosur, South American Community MS, so we have time to get in touch with the new initials. —Former Argentine president Eduardo Duhalde, president of the Mercosur Representatives Committee.
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13