STATUTE OF UNASUR SOUTH AMERICAN DEFENSE COUNCIL
The Heads of State and Government assembled at the III Ordinary UNASUR Meeting,
Reaffirming the principles agreed in UNASUR Constitutive Treaty signed in Brasilia.
Considering the need of UNASUR to have an agency for consultancy, cooperation and coordination in Defense matters.
Article 1. The South American Defense Council is hereby created as an agency for consultancy, cooperation and coordination in Defense matters in concert with the provisions of the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty in Articles 3, letter s, 5 and 6.
Article 2. The Council shall be subject to the principles and purposes established in the Charter of the United Nations, and in the Charter of the Organization of American States, as well as in the Mandates and Decisions of the UNASUR Council of the Heads of States and Government.
Article 3. The Defense Council shall act in conformity with the following principles:
- Unrestricted respect for the sovereignty, integrity and territorial inviolability of the States, non-intervention in their internal affairs and self determination of peoples.
- Ratifying the full validity of democratic institutions, unrestricted respect for human rights and the exercise of non-discrimination in defense issues in order to reinforce and guarantee the rule of law.
- Promoting peace and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
- Strengthening dialogue and consensus in defense matters by promoting confidence and transparency measures.
- Safeguarding the full force of International Law in conformity with the principles and standards of the Charter of the United Nations, the Charter of the Organization of American States and UNASUR Constitutive Treaty.
- Preserving and strengthening South America as an area free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, promoting disarmament and the culture of peace throughout the world.
- Recognizing constitutional subordination of defense institutions to the legally appointed civil authority.
- Affirming the full recognition of national defense institutions appointed by the Constitutions of the Member States.
- Promoting the reduction of asymmetries existing in the defense systems of UNASUR Member States in order to strengthen the region’s capacity in the defense field
- Strengthening the sovereign defense of natural resources in our nations.
- Promoting, in accordance to the constitution and laws of member states, responsibility and citizen participation in defense issues as a public good that involves society as a whole.
- Recognizing the principles of gradualness and flexibility for the institutional development of UNASUR and the promotion of cooperation initiatives in the defense field with recognition of different national situations.
- Reaffirming the peaceful coexistence of peoples, the full force of democratic government systems and protection of the same in defense matters in the event of threats, external or internal actions in the framework of national legislation. In keeping with the same, rejection of the presence or actions of illicit armed groups that exercise or promote violence of any nature.
Article 4. The South American Defense Council has the following general objectives:
- The consolidation of South America as a zone of peace, a base for democratic stability and the integral development of our peoples and a contribution to world peace.
- The creation of a South American identity in defense issues that incorporates the sub regional and national characteristics and contributes to the strengthening of unity between Latin America and the Caribbean
- The Generation of consensus to strengthen regional cooperation for defense issues
Article 5. The specific objectives of the South American Defense Council are the following:
- To make gradual headway in the analysis and discussion of shared components for a joint defense outlook.
- To promote the exchange of information and analysis on regional and international status in order to identify risk factors and threats which may affect regional and world peace.
- To contribute to the articulation of joint positions in the region for multilateral defense forums within the framework of article 14 of the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty.
- To make headway in the construction of a joint outlook regarding defense tasks and to promote preferential dialogue and cooperation with other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- To strengthen the adoption of measures to promote confidence and disseminate lessons learned
- To promote interchange and cooperation in the defense industry arena.
- To promote military training and instruction interchange, facilitate training processes between the Armed Forces and promote academic cooperation with defense study centers.
- To share experience and support humanitarian actions such as demining, prevention, mitigation and assistance to the victims of natural disasters.
- To share experience in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
- To share Ministries of Defense and Armed Forces modernization process experience.
- To promote the mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the defense arena.
Article 6. The South American Defense Council shall be made up of Ministers of Defense, or the equivalent authority, from UNASUR member countries.
Article 7. Delegations shall be made up of senior Foreign Affairs and Defense representatives, as well as other consultants considered necessary by the Member States.
Article 8. The Council shall have an executive board presided over by the Vice Ministers of Defense or their equivalents.
Article 9. The country that has the Pro Tempore Council Presidency shall also be in charge of the South American Defense Council Presidency. The Presidency shall be responsible for coordinating Council activities.
Article 10. The Council shall be entitled to set up working groups in order to examine specific issues and to formulate suggestions or recommendations.
Article 11. The powers and duties of the South American Defense Council Presidency are the following:
- To take on the tasks of Council secretariat and all other levels of work, including communication with Member States and the sending of information of interest regarding Council work.
- To formulate the proposed agenda and work organization for regular and special South American Defense Council meetings, which shall be proposed for the consideration of all other Member States.
- To formulate, after consulting with the Member States, invitations for specialists to participate at South American Defense Council meetings.
Article 12. The Council shall hold regular annual meetings according to the turnover criteria for the UNASUR Pro Tempore Presidency.
Article 13. Council agreements shall be made by consensus, in accordance with Article 12 of the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty.
Artículo 14. La instancia ejecutiva del Consejo sesionará cada seis meses, sin perjuicio de reuniones extraordinarias, y elaborará el plan de acción anual.
Article 15. The Presidency shall schedule special Council meetings upon request by half of the Member States.
Article 16. The Council and its Member States shall process documents delivered in conformity with the treatment established by the country of origin.
Article 17. The incorporation of New States into the South American Defense Council shall be executed in conformity with the provisions of articles 19 and 20 of the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty.
Article 18. The Council shall act in conformity with articles 6, 7 and 15 of the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty for dialogue and cooperation initiatives with other similar regional or sub regional organizations.