The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) has advanced its plans for the establishment of a South American passport and the promotion of the free movement of all South American citizens throughout the continent. Towards this end, on June 28-29, the Working Group on South American Citizenship met in Ecuador, where representatives of the 12 member-nations discussed a variety of ideas on how the process should proceed. These ideas included the methodology to hasten the removal of visa restrictions on travel within the continent.
The meeting also dealt with the development of the plan for South American citizenship through the use of a common passport, mobility of citizens across borders, and the rights of citizens in another South American country other than their own.
South American governments are currently considering the results of this meeting, and so far details of its final report have not been released to the general public.
The UNASUR secretariat (based in Ecuador) on its website reports briefly on the citizenship program: “The building of the South American citizenship promotes free intra-regional mobility; and the creation of a South American education space and common identity, which will contribute to deepening the regional integration process. In addition it will guarantee civil, political, labor and social rights for all natives of the member-states who are at present residing in any country of South America.”
The citizenship program forms part of the broader objective of the 12 South American nations to achieve full political and economic integration. Together, they now have a total population of more than 400 million people with a territory of 17 million square kilometers.
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