By Bala Chambers
BUENOS AIRES (AA) - Argentina announced Tuesday that it will rejoin the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a regional intergovernmental body it left in 2019 during President Mauricio Macri’s administration.
President Alberto Fernandez made the announcement during a meeting at the Casa Rosada, or President's Office, with members of the Puebla Group, a progressive political and academic forum, and the Latin American Council for Justice and Democracy (CLAJUD).
"Argentina has taken the decision to rejoin UNASUR," he said, describing the "revitalization” of the body as "key for us."
Fernandez stressed the need for the regional unity amid various challenges, insisting that no country can stand alone and underscoring that "we must build a united continent."
According to a press release from the Casa Rosada, Argentina will rejoin Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru as members of UNASUR.
UNASUR was set up in 2008 amid the pink tide, when the region pivoted to the left politically, by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and at its height included 12 Latin American nations.
When the region later shifted to the right politically, however, a number of right-wing governments formed the Lima Group in 2017.
Afterwards, a number of countries withdrew from UNASUR and joined the Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR), another multilateral bloc focusing on economic and social partnerships.
Last Thursday, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva underscored his push to reorganize UNASUR to Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez and has also been a vocal champion of rebuilding UNASUR in recent months.