Today, the decision was announced, adopted unanimously by member states, that Colombia will assume the presidency of CELAC for the first time in the 13 years of the organization’s existence.
The foreign ministers of the 32 countries that are part of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) have decided that Gustavo Petro, the head of state of Colombia, will succeed Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as the pro tempore president of the institution.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that it is “recognition of President Petro.”
The fact that Colombia has never held the presidency of CELAC, and that it is now being offered this opportunity, has been seen by sources in the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “international and regional recognition” of the Colombian president.
Elizabeth Taylor Jay, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs, expressed the country’s satisfaction with the offer, highlighting that “this is thanks to the leadership that the government of change is demonstrating in international affairs, in our international and multilateral policy.”
Latin American and Caribbean Integration
CELAC was created in 2010, with political activities starting the following year. It promotes the integration of countries in the region and encompasses more than 622 million citizens across its 32 member countries, covering an area of 22,500,000 km2.
The first president was Sebastián Piñera of Chile, who held the position from 2011 to 2013. Since then, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bolivia, Mexico, Argentina, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have successively led the organization.
IV CELAC-EU Summit
During Colombia’s presidency, the IV CELAC-EU Summit will be held, aiming to foster coordination between the two regions in structuring and implementing a common agency for cooperation and investment interests and actions.