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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Former Ecuador president Borja accepts S. America Union presidency

People's Daily Online, May 10, 2007

Rodrigo Borja, president of Ecuador from 1998 to 1992, said on Wednesday he has accepted the presidency of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), a post the region's rulers offered him last month.

"It gives me great pleasure to make public my decision to accept the 12 leaders' proposal to accept the post of Executive Secretary at the nascent Unasur," he told a press conference at Quito's International Center for Higher Communication Studies in Latin America.

He said that Unasur will increase economic and political integration in the region, taking advantage of the achievements and frustrations of regional integration processes.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa told media that Borja had been a unanimous choice for the post on April 17 at the end of the South American Energy Summit on Venezuela's Magarita Island. Correa did not say who had been consulted. He added that Unasur would be headquartered in Quito.

Borja said the Unasur headquarters would be in Quito's Mitad del Mundo neighborhood, and will be designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed part of the United Nation's building in New York and inspired Brazil's capital Brasilia.

"Unasur must be a small austere entity, that does not repeat the inflation of many international entities, and that uses Spartan language, distant from the frothy rhetoric we have become used to," Borja said.

He said that Unasur would be multinational with experts from across the continent, that everything had to built from scratch and that he hoped that the next meeting of the region's presidents, due in Colombia, will give the go ahead for the secretariat.

Source: Xinhua

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