UNASUR Is South America’s Imperfect Crisis Manager

UNASUR foreign ministers at a press conference at the end the UNASUR regional foreign ministers meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela, Quito, Ecuador, March 14, 2015 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).
UNASUR foreign ministers at a press conference at the end the UNASUR regional foreign ministers meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela, Quito, Ecuador, March 14, 2015 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).

Despite its short existence, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) has already developed into an important tool of South American crisis management. It assumed a leadership role in de-escalating the ongoing border dispute between Venezuela and Colombia, following earlier efforts to diffuse regional crises—again between Venezuela and Colombia but also between Colombia and Ecuador and in Bolivia. It has generally done so without taking sides or holding leaders to account when they ignore established regional norms. In large part this is due to the fact that UNASUR gives priority to the absolute sovereignty of its member states, rather than […]

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