Officially, Colombia announced this Tuesday that it is returning to the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) after a five-year absence due to the decision of former President Iván Duque.

The Foreign Ministry explained that this is a response “to the country’s commitment to regional unity and follows President Gustavo Petro’s call to strengthen ties of cooperation in South America.”

The South American country already took part in the first meeting of the Council of Representatives and reaffirmed its will in the new phase of participation. Views were also exchanged about the future of the integration mechanism.

Interactive Biodiversity Center will operate in the old Unasur building

“Colombia’s return to Unasur represents a milestone in its regional integration policy by promoting the reactivation of the mechanism and demonstrates the country’s willingness to work hand in hand with the other Member States to address the challenges and opportunities presented in the region shared approach.” Ministry in its statement.

Unasur was founded in Brazil in 2008 but became operational in 2011. Colombia’s withdrawal was due to the fact that it served as a “wild card” for “the purposes of a dictatorship,” according to Iván Duque.

Brazil is determined to reactivate Unasur at an event attended by Guillermo Lasso seeking regional support, analysts said

In 2017, the entity entered crisis after failing to agree on a new general secretary. Between 2018 and 2020, several Latin American states, including Argentina and Brazil, then ruled by right-wing presidents, decided to leave the bloc, arguing that it had been ideologized.

This meant that for many years only five official members remained:

In April 2023, Argentina and Brazil announced the organization’s return. (JO)