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UNASUR, ALBA to Hold Panel Discussion


Tuesday 3rd November 7.30 – 10pm
New Crossways
First Floor, 6 Roxburgh Street, Mount Victoria

UNASUR and ALBA – What Are They?

On Tuesday 3 November 2009 LAC is pleased to host a public panel discussion on UNASUR and ALBA, to better inform the New Zealand public about these important Latin American initiatives seeking alternatives to the free market neoliberal model imposed by their northern neighbours.

UNASUR, (the Union of South American Nations)is an organisation of 12 South American countries modeled on the European Union, seeking to develop a common currency, parliament, and passport. UNASUR has integrated the two existing customs unions of Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations. Other initiatives are the creation of a single market, infrastructure and energy co-operation, the creation of the Bank of the South, and the creation of the South American Defence Council to serve as a mechanism for regional security.

ALBA (the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America)seeks social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Unlike free trade agreements, ALBA represents an attempt at regional economic integration that is not based primarily on trade liberalisation but on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid. ALBA’s nine member nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE. Some ALBA members are also members of UNASUR.

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Felipe Cousino from the Chilean Embassy will speak about the history and principles of UNASUR, and its approach to the Latin American economy and regional security, while His Excellency Jose Luis Robaina, Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand, will talk on the history and principles of ALBA, current economic and security issues, and the relationship between ALBA and UNASUR. The difficulties they have encountered, and their hopes and expectations for the future will provide fertile ground for discussion.

Presentations by the panellists will be followed by questions and comments from the audience.

We invite all Wellingtonians interested in hearing about some of the alternatives to free market neoliberalism to come to New Crossways on Tuesday night to participate.

Mulled wine, tea and coffee will be provided.


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