The secretary of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, announced yesterday an agreement to approve the "concept of South American citizenship," which will lay the foundation for a future elimination of barriers to the free movement of South America (a territory of 18 million km2.)

"We approved the concept of South American citizenship. That should be the highest record of what happened" at the summit of UNASUR, which was installed in Guayaquil and Quito said the former Colombian president.

During the meeting, Samper said the South American, within still not fixed, can travel, study and work in the region and standardize professional degrees.

The group of 12 countries, which concentrates major world oil reserves and hydropower, aims to establish itself in this way against other integration initiatives such as Mercosur, the Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Pacific Alliance, which grouped in different combinations turn several members of Unasur.

The host president, Rafael Correa, also noted the agreement of the region to move towards the creation of the "South American citizenship, confirmation of our unity", and the convergence of the various subregional integration initiatives.

Despite profound economic differences between various members, UNASUR seeks to regain lost momentum after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of his mentors, the economic slowdown and the sharp fall in oil prices affecting countries as Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) predicted for this year a meager growth of 1.1% in the region, and just 2.2% in 2015, far below the 6.1% in 2010.

In this context, presidents and representatives of UNASUR seeking to revive plans for economic and financial integration. "That this meeting allows us to move forward with plans to support the welfare of our citizens," said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, upon arrival in Guayaquil.Change of statutes

Correa raised their counterparts a change in the statutes of the Unasur to precisely specify or advance plans as the Bank and the Fund reserves the south, a compensation system changes to minimize the use of the dollar in trade transactions, the and creation "in the medium term" of a regional currency.

"It is necessary to review our bylaws and establish the important points no consensus, yes qualified majorities," he said.

Should also progress "in creating a center of South American arbitration as an alternative to existing courts fully co-opted by international capital," he emphasized.