The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty, officially the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations, was signed on May 23, 2008 during the extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) held in Brasília, Brazil.[1] It officially established the Union of South American Nations, a intergovernmental continental union of twelve South American nations.


The twelve signatory states of the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty.
On behalf of Signed by Ratified Date of ratification
 Argentina Cristina Kirchner Yes Yes 2 August 2010[2]
 Bolivia Evo Morales Yes Yes 11 March 2009[3]
 Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Yes Yes 14 July 2011[4]
 Chile Michelle Bachelet Yes Yes 22 November 2010[5]
 Colombia Álvaro Uribe Yes Yes 28 January 2011[6]
 Ecuador Rafael Correa Yes Yes 15 July 2009[7]
 Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo Yes Yes 12 February 2010[8]
 Paraguay Nicanor Duarte Yes Yes 9 June 2011[9]
 Peru Alan García Yes Yes 11 May 2010[10]
 Suriname Ronald Venetiaan Yes Yes 5 November 2010[11]
 Uruguay Rodolfo Nin Novoa Yes Yes 9 February 2011[12]
 Venezuela Hugo Chávez Yes Yes 13 March 2010[13]


The Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations came into force on March 11, 2011,[14] thirty days after the date of receipt[15] of the ninth instrument of ratification.

Treaty content

The treaty consists of 27 relatively short sections, and is the constitution of the new union. It outlines its structure and organs, and assumes that additional documents fill in the details.


The treaty declares the establishment and objects of the Union (in §§ 1-3), its organs (§§ 4-10 and 17), juridical foundation (§§ 11-13 and 22-27), and financial foundation (§ 16). It regulates the acceptance of new associate or full members and the right of cessation from the union in §§ 19, 20, 24, and 26, and the rules for adopting amendments to the treaty in § 25. Finally, §§ 14, 15, 18, and 21 declare the intent to employ dialogue among the member states, with its citizens, with third parties, and as the means for conflict resolution.


The 12 original signatories of the document have presented documentation of ratification to the Ecuadorian government. Other Latin American and Caribbean states may be admitted as associated members. An associated member may apply for and be granted full membership, but only after having been associated for at least four years, and only after five years have elapsed since the treaty came into force. This implies that no new full members outside the original twelve can be admitted before March 11, 2016.

A full or associated member state may unilaterally withdraw from the union. To do so, the state must deposit their cessation documentation in a similar manner as the ratification, and the cessation will take effect six months after the deposition. However, cessation of membership will not free states from any financial debts to the Union for unpaid membership fees or otherwise.

At the time the treaty came into force on March 11, 2011, it had been ratified by Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The two other original signatories, Brazil and Paraguay, had not yet completed the ratification process by that date. By December 14, 2011, when Colombia deposited its instruments of ratification of the Constitutive Treaty with the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, the process was complete.[16]


Any member state may suggest amendments to the constitutional treaty. In order to be adopted, an amendment must be approved by the Council of Heads of State and Government, and then ratified by at least nine member states.

Additional Protocol

On November 26, 2010, during the 2010 South American Summit, representatives introduced a democratic clause to the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations. The amendment specifies measures to be taken against member-states whose political processes are not respected. The clause establishes sanctions, such as shutting down borders and the suspension of trade against the country that suffers an attempted coup.

The decision to include a democratic clause was made after the recent upheaval in Ecuador that briefly threatened the administration of President, Rafael Correa.[17] The additional protocol was signed by all member-states of UNASUR.[18]

Entering into force

On March 11, 2011, when the Constitutive Treaty entered into legal force, establishing the Union of South American Nations as an international legal personality, the Foreign Ministers of the UNASUR member states met at Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador, to celebrate the event and lay the foundation stone of the UNASUR Secretariat headquarters.[19]

See also


  1. ^ South America nations found union BBC, accessed on May 23, 2008.
  2. ^ Argentina ratified UNASUR Constitutive Treaty Unasur. Retrieved on 2010-11-25.
  3. ^ Bolivia ratifica el tratado constitutivo de la UNASUR El Ciudadano. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  4. ^ "Brasil promulga aprovação do tratado da Unasul e vira membro pleno" (in Portuguese). Correio do Brasil. Archived from the original on 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2011-07-14. 
  5. ^ Santiago ratifico el tratado constitutivo de la unasur Yahoo! Noticias. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  6. ^ "Colombia se integra al Unasur" (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 2011-02-17. .
  7. ^ Ecuador segundo país en ratificar Tratado Constitutivo de UNASUR Flacso. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  8. ^ Guyana ratificó tratado constitutivo de Unasur Como tu quieras. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  9. ^ Paraguay approved UNASUR Constitutive Treaty on 6-9-2011. (in Spanish).
  10. ^ Perú ratifica Tratado Constitutivo de UNASUR Flacso. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  11. ^ Surinam ratifica el Tratado Constitutivo de Unasur El Ciudadano. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  12. ^ Entrada em vigor do Tratado Constitutivo da UNASUL Brazilian Foreign Ministry. Retrieved on 2011-02-14. (in Portuguese).
  13. ^ Venezuela ratificó el Tratado Constitutivo de Unasur El Universal. Retrieved on 2010-11-25. (in Spanish).
  14. ^ Entrada em vigor do Tratado Constitutivo da UNASUL ("Entry into force of the Unasur Constitutive Treaty") Ministry of External Relations of Brazil. Retrieved on 2011-02-15. (in Portuguese).
  15. ^ Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations Ministry of External Relations, accessed on May 25, 2008.
  16. ^ "Colombia y Ecuador acordaron mejorar seguridad y transporte en la frontera" (in Spanish). 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  17. ^ UNASUR Summit condemned attempt of coup d´etat in Ecuador and reasserted commitment to democratic institutions Telam. Retrieved on 2010-11-27.
  18. ^ Additional Protocol to the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations on Commitment to Democracy Guyana: Government Information Agency. Retrieved on 2010-11-27.
  19. ^ "Sede de Unasur llevará el nombre de Néstor Kirchner" (in Spanish). telesur. 09-03-2011. Archived from the original on September 1, 2011.  Check date values in: date= (help)

External links