On the occasion of Tabaré Vasquez’ inauguration as president of Uruguay on March 1st, 2005, the president of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; the president of the Republic of Argentina, Néstor Kirchner; and the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, held a meeting during which, in a fraternal atmosphere of complete mutual understanding, they set forth the following joint declaration:

  1. Considering the government program that the new Uruguayan president has set forth during his electoral campaign, and the important decisions he has announced upon being sworn into office, Tabaré Vásquez’ victory in the Uruguayan presidential elections represent another great step forward for democracy in Latin America. We welcome Uruguay’s renewal of relations with the brother Republic of Cuba, as well as the announced support of the South American integration processes.
  2. Considering that the greatest problem currently faced by our nations is poverty, which contrasts with the abundance of our resources, we have agreed on the need for the establishment of joint plans and programs intended to overcome this reality.
  3. The bilateral agreements, first between Venezuela and Brazil, and later between Venezuela and Argentina, are concrete and positive steps for which it is advisable to subscribe to trilateral agreements, under integrationist guidelines that have been expressed by the South American countries with the creation of the South American Community of Nations. The presidents pointed out that as of May, there will be a summit of the South American Community of Nations with the Arab League of States. This trilateral effort should also strengthen the integration process with the rest of the South American nations.
  4. The processes of integration are, furthermore, necessary for South American nations to develop unified positions before regional and international multilateral organizations, in order for our countries to have more leverage than they do when speaking individually in these scenarios.
  5. The presidents decided to arrange, within 30 days, several meetings among:
     Ministers of Economy and/or Treasury
     Ministers of Energy or Petroleum
     Ministers of Social Affairs
     Presidents of Central Banks
    They also discussed the creation of the Mercosur (Common Market of the South) Structural Fund, and the full adherence of Venezuela to the to the Customs Union.
  6. The results of these meetings will be evaluated in a new trilateral presidential reunion, parallel to the Summit of the South American and Arab countries. Discussions will include general aspects related to integration as well as concrete issues, such as the consolidation of Telesur (a new alternative Latin American television network) and Petrosur (a Latin American petroleum corporation), the creation of a non-returnable Fund to address the most acute problems stemming from poverty, a South American Bank for Development, and others. This agenda will be elaborated with the cooperation of our Foreign Affairs ministries, with adequate technical support, within 30 days after the publication of this declaration.
  7. Finally, since Brazil and Venezuela have agreed to hold a new presidential summit that will include the ministers who are in charge of areas related to social development, the presidents of both countries have decided to rearrange this event as a Trilateral Presidential Summit, in order to guarantee broader participation and farther reaching accomplishments. The ministers of Foreign Affairs will be in charge of the programmatic, technical, and logistical preparation of the summit, for which they will assign the corresponding technical teams, and all other support teams that are necessary for the complete success of this event.