June 30, 2000


Buenos Aires, Argentina
June 30, 2000

The 23rd Presidential Summit Meeting of MERCOSUR was held in Buenos Aires on June 30, with the participation of the President of Chile and the Foreign Minister of Bolivia, representing President Banzer. It was preceded on June 29 by a meeting of the Council of the Common Market, Bolivia, and Chile.

At that Summit, the Presidents signed the "Charter of Buenos Aires on Social Commitment in MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile," a fundamental document the purpose of which is to strengthen the social dimension of MERCOSUR through the implementation of strategies and joint efforts of the six countries to combat poverty and other social ills affecting the region, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable sectors of society.

The operative portion of the Charter of Buenos Aires requests the Political Consultation and Coordination Forum to monitor the guidelines and actions contained in the Charter, and to establish an institutional basis for meetings of authorities responsible for social development.

The Presidents also signed a joint communique in which they reaffirmed the importance of greater participation by Chile and Bolivia in MERCOSUR forums, reiterated their adherence to the democratic commitment adopted in Ushuaia and the declaration of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and Chile as a zone of peace, agreed on the need to strengthen the social dimension of MERCOSUR and to make further progress in coordinating macroeconomic policies and, among other declarations, pointed to the concrete progress achieved in the Political Consultation and Coordination Forum on behalf of the citizens of the area.

The Foreign Ministers, meeting in the Common Market Council, adopted the following decisions forwarded from the Political Consultation, and Coordination Forum:

  1. Decision CMC/33/00: creation of a Working Group on Non-Commercial Road Transport, under the aegis of the Political Consultation and Coordination Forum (FCCP). The objectives of this working group are to facilitate travel by persons and vehicles throughout MERCOSUR, Bolivia, and Chile, to improve the safety of road travel in the region, and to promote highway education and tourism by harmonizing and publicizing traffic rules. Questions of commercial transport (freight and passengers) were excluded from its scope, and technical representatives of the responsible agencies are to participate in the various matters within their competence, coordinating their efforts with those of SGT 5 (Transport and Infrastructure) and other technical groups on related issues.

  2. Decision CMC/34/00: creation of a Working Group on Consular and Juridical Affairs, under the aegis of the FCCP. Given the scope and importance of the tasks entrusted to this group, which has operated on an ad hoc basis since 1998, it is now to become a permanent body as a means of ensuring the regularity and continuity of its work. Several areas of this foreign office are involved in the group (in particular DIGAC and DIAJU), as well as representatives of various governmental organizations (the National Migrations Branch, the Civil Registry Branch, the Federal Police, the Ministry of Justice).

    Among other tasks, the Working Group on Consular and Juridical Affairs is to study proposals for the elimination of visas, simplified legalization procedures and a bilingual format for public documents. It will also arrange seminars on legal organization within MERCOSUR.

  3. Decision CMC/35/00: Consular Cooperation Mechanism among countries of MERCOSUR, Bolivia; and Chile. Through this mechanism, consular protection and assistance are to be provided to the nationals of any one of the six countries in places where their own country has no diplomatic or consular representation, in cases of emergency and on the basis of humanitarian considerations. This cooperation, the procedures for which will be reported separately, will come into effect on August 1, 2000, and will involve a standard communication to the receiving state where it is to be exercised.