The first meeting of Ministers of the South Bank, which aims to become an alternative to multilateral public financing in the region, began today in Caracas.
“It is a historic event for the life of South America and Latin America and also (…) the doors of the South Bank are open for other neighboring countries (…) to join” the institution,” said Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, at the opening ceremony of the meeting. “Progress in Latin America will be tremendously enhanced by the birth of this wonderful institution,” he added.
The initiative to create the institution was born of the deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Argentine president Nestor Kirchner. To the initiative of Venezuela and Argentina subsequently joined Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay, all represented at today’s meeting except the latter, which was suspended from participation in regional mechanisms behind the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo in 2012.
It is expected that in the course of the day the ministers will approve the rules of procedure of the Council of Ministers and the schedule of money contributions, and initiating the process of appointment of bank officials.