Mercosur Social Summit. Photo: Itamaraty

The Mercosul Social Summit began this Monday (4), in Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The event held at the Museum of Tomorrow and the Rio Art Museum (MAR), continues until Tuesday (5) and brings together civil society from the countries that make up the bloc, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as associated countries such as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname. Venezuela is temporarily suspended from the group and Bolivia was accepted by the Brazilian Senate to join the bloc last month.

The meeting focuses on strengthening the integration of civil society in decisions made in Mercosur. Since 2016, meetings have not taken place in person.

Read too: Bolivia’s entry into Mercosur is approved by the Senate

According to the government, “The effective participation of civil society in decisions about the present and future of Mercosur strengthens the integration process and reflects the regional nature of common challenges faced by the populations of the Southern Cone”.

The opening ceremony was attended by the ministers of Women, Cida Gonçalves, and of Racial Equality, Anielle Franco, the substitute ministers of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, Maria Fernanda Coelho, and of the Ministry of Agrarian Development, Fernanda Machiavelli, as well as the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes.

The Summit features a discussion table on “Social Participation for Democracy in the Southern Cone”; group work on five fronts 1. Right to work with rights 2. Fighting hunger and poverty 3. Citizenship and human rights 4. Development and environment 5. Strengthening social participation in Mercosur; and visit to the exhibition “FUNK: A cry of boldness and freedom”.

According to the General Secretariat of the Presidency, around 300 people participate in the event. The results of the Summit will be forwarded to the meeting of heads of state to be held on December 7th.

Check out the complete schedule by clicking here.

Mercosur and G20

In addition to holding the ‘pro tempore’ presidency of Mercosur, Brazil also occupies the leadership of the G20, a group of countries that brings together the largest economies in the world.

In this prominent position in both groups, President Lula has increased the country’s representation on the international stage.

Read too: At the head of the G20, Brazil debates the environment and economy with Germany

One of the recommendations made by Lula is to also bring society into the debate on G20 decisions.

In this way, in the same way that it worked for the resumption of the Mercosur Social Summit that takes place this week, it has already announced that beforehand the 19th Summit of heads of state and government of the G20, which will take place on the 18th and 19th of November 2024, also in Rio January, a Civil Society Summit of the group’s countries should take place.


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