10:05 | Lima, Dec. 01 (ANDINA).
A regional summit of South American leaders concluded Friday with a call to create a single South American citizenship, similar to what the European Union has.
The call was made at the end of the 6th Summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), held in Peru's capital Lima.
"We are taking major steps towards the goal of having one South American citizenship, so we are expanding several accords on residency for all South America," Unasur member states said in a final declaration.
The Lima Declaration signed by the bloc's members touches on a range of common issues, from regional integration to peace and security, poverty reduction, disaster management and development projects.
The member states called for integration and greater unity to help fight cross-border organized crime and terrorism, and strengthen democratic institutions.
They also called for "eradicating chronic infant malnutrition, promoting the social welfare system for the most vulnerable population, greater access to public services, and generating greater economic and productive opportunities for the poorest, especially in border regions."
Earlier, Peru's President Ollanta Humala inaugurated the meeting with a call to eradicate poverty as part of a two-year action plan.
"Unasur as a region has the responsibility to contribute to the development of a new international order with more solidarity and tolerance, where development is not incompatible with happiness, on the contrary, where (happiness) is the goal," Humala was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Regional countries must work together to build more just societies based on economic development, said Humala.
According to a report released earlier this week by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Peru has made steady progress in reducing poverty, going from a poverty rate of 54.7 percent in 2001 to a rate of 27.8 percent in 2011.
Unasur members, the declaration states, will also adopt measures to make medicine more widely available, via the Internet, to all corners of the continent.
The heads of state pledged to prioritize 31 key infrastructure projects, valued at some 17 billion U.S. dollars, to both boost interconnectivity between countries, especially in rural and border regions, and drive regional economies. Five of those joint projects are in Peru.
Unasur is a 12-nation bloc composed of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay, which is currently suspended until presidential elections are held in April 2013.