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For Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, this model of integration was created under the principle of democracy for the peoples. In his speech, the Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo announced that his country would undertake the Pro Tempore General Secretariat of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) until the next Meeting of South American presidents in the first semester of 2005.

The Cuzco Declaration establishes that the access to better standards of living and the promotion of economic development can not be limited only to sustained economic growth policies. The idea contained in the declaration is to adopt strategies that, along with environmental responsibility and acknowledgement of the different levels of development among countries, may assure a more equitable distribution of income, access to education, and social inclusion and cohesion. The CSN will propitiate political and diplomatic coordination in order to make of the region a distinct and dynamic factor in its external relations.

The convergence of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the Andean Community of Nations(CAN), and Chile, will become stronger through the improvement of the free trade zone -subscribed under resolution Nº59 of the Latin American Integration Association (Aladi), on October 18th of 2004- and through its evolution into further social, economic, and institutional integration.

The integration of the South will also encourage policies that promote rural and agricultural development, transference of technological know-how, and horizontal cooperation in all fields of science, education, and culture.

The South American union will gradually establish its levels and areas of joint participation, promoting convergence based on the existing institutional structures and avoiding overlapping of efforts and further financial expenses.

Chávez

“The South American Community of Nations has been born, but it is only a baby. We must nurture it and lead it in the right direction”, said president Higo Chávez, who pointed out the characteristics of the debate in which they agreed to “carry the social flag ahead and work to create, in the short term, a social emergency fund that was proposed by Venezuela and supported by all”.

“We have spoken about development models, of how to fight poverty, . It has been a good birth”, he said. He added that the CSN will have to focus on social, political , and economic issues. “We must work very hard, I would say that for the following 20 years, on our way towards the 200th anniversary of Ayacucho”. Commercial and Energy agreement with Panama

Chávez informed that he will soon sign a bilateral agreement with Panama, to reactivate trade between both nations. This agreement will include guidelines for integration in tourism and on social, cultural, scientific, technological, and energy issues.

“We will be very happy the day we can supply Panama with oil derivatives for its consumption and well being. We will also reactivate production, and the exchange of manufacture and services”, said the Venezuelan president.

Venezuela has agreed with Panama to analyze the possibility of laying a pipeline that can convey Venezuelan oil from the Caribbean to the Pacific. “There is much interest in this project in countries like China and Japan, among others”.

The Panamanian president, Martín Torrijos commented that he was very pleased with the renewal of commercial and cultural interchange, and added that there were many plans for the future. He explained that the ministers of Commerce and Energy of both countries will meet as soon as possible to begin to work on the agreement.

Published in Quantum N.44