Colombian President Highlights Importance of UNASUR Meeting

Bogota,  (Prensa Latina) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos highlighted on Friday the importance of the meeting of Finance ministers of the Union of South American Nations scheduled for today in Lima, Peru.

Santos noted that ministers of member countries of UNASUR will examine challenges faced by their respective economies, including the appreciation of currencies and the weakening of the dollar.

In this regard he said that in an increasingly confused, volatile international economic scene, Latin America cannot remain as a simple indifferent observer and must take joint steps.

All what is happening is affecting us seriously, said Santos in the swear-in ceremony of Carlos Cure as new Colombian ambassador to Venezuela.

Santos said that his country’s initiative to hold this ministerial meeting has been very welcomed, so much so that his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez designated Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro to attend.

He reiterated that the appreciation of local currencies is hitting exporting sectors and the capacity to generate jobs while the weakening of the dollar takes value away from reserves.

Latin America relays on over 700 billion of dollars in reserves, he warned.

He also referred to the impact that concrete, joint measures adopted by Latin America may have on a discussion directly affecting all countries in the region.

He said that countries in the area have the full right to participate in a constructive way in t his type of scene and discussion, as they are harmed by lax monetary policies.

Santos said that the world has changed and Latin America has to play an important role and assert their rights and opinions in a constructive way because this is not about confrontation, but rather about collaboration so that the world can have a more stable economy.

Social objectives to be achieved depend to a great extent on the measures that member countries of Unasur can adopt.

“The economic policy must be oriented to improve the wellbeing of our peoples and reduce poverty,” he said.

“In Latin America we have the awful title of champions of inequality and poverty, and we have to eradicate it; in the case of Colombia, we are striving to do it,” said Santos.

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