Videos – Perspectives on Regional Integration from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe

This series of interviews presents the perspectives of activists from Asia, web Africa, online Latin America and Europe on the issue of regional integration. All interviews were filmed by TNI at the International Conference of Governments and Social Movements – “Regional Integration: an opportunity to face the crises” – between 21 and 22 July 2009 in Asunción, Paraguay


Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India) discusses regional integration and its suitability as an arena for advancing a new development model. Meena states that regional solutions are important as they bring the strengths of individual countries together to complement one-another. Through this approach neighbours begin to have a greater stake in peaceful coexistence and growth. In this respect, she says, Asia now has an opportunity to learn from Latin America.


Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland) gives his perspective on regional integration, focusing on the experience of Europe. In particular, Thomas notes the damaging de-politicisation that has taken place in Europe, arguing that it is now imperative people realise they are “the architects of their own future.”


Ximena Cetellas (Directora General de Gestion Publica, Viceministerio de Coordinacion y Gestion Gubernamental, Bolivia) discusses regional responses to the current crisis. Ximena argues that integration is now more than a principle, it’s an obligation. The crisis, she says, presents people with an opportunity to reclaim power and create a new form of development.

(Interview in Spanish)


Tetteh Hormeku (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana) discusses regional integration, its importance in addressing the current crises and some key issues that should be considered when forging a new type of integration. He argues that African economies are currently fragmented and incorrectly integrated. The way out of this situation is to join together, working with eachother, and producing for the benefit of eachother as oppose to foreign powers.


Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberania Energetica, Paraguay) talks about regional integration, development and the role of energy. He argues for a connected form of integration and a development model that, as in the present case, does not just benefit capital. Energy, he states, is a human right to be used for the benefit of the general population.

(Interview in Spanish)


Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia) discusses regional integration, particularly focusing on the SADC (Southern African Development Community) process. Pezo goes on to explain how SAPSN is attempting to counter this approach by advocating a different type of regional integration.


Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable) gives his perspective on regional integration and outlines some key elements that should form part of a new development/integration model. Pablo argues that an exit from the crisis requires people working together, focusing on many issues and aspects of development. This, he says, has to be regionally based; “It is indispensible, there are no other alternatives.”

(Interview in Spanish)


Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay) gives her perspective on regional integration, alternative forms of production and the role of social movements. Natalia argues that a new mode of production is reguired, one that does not only benefit transnational corporations and consumption in the North. In this respect, she says, social movements have a crucial role to play.

(Interview in Spanish)


Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay) discusses regional integration and the kind of integration and development his organisation is working towards in Latin America. He argues for a development model without the IMF and World Bank that aims to help the majority of the population.

(Interview in Spanish)


Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil) discusses integration in Latin America and new forms of development for the region. She argues that a more autonomous continent is required in which the people control what is produced, and how it is produced, for their own benefit. It is imperative, Nalu says, to create a form of development that embraces the indigenous notion of ‘good life’ as opposed to the primacy of the market under the current system.

(Interview in Spanish)


Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina) discusses regional integration in the context of the current crisis. She argues that we now face a profound crisis of capitalism, from which countries cannot escape alone.

(Interview in Spanish)


Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe) discusses regional integration, its plausibility as a mechanism to change the current economic development model, and obstacles that stand in the way. He contends that the economic development model in Africa is a colonial one that needs to be removed and replaced by a harmonious regional system. Unfortunately, he states, the powerful nations are opposed to genuine regional integration in Africa and, as evidenced by the European Partnership Agreements, are determined to divide the region.


Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina) gives his perspective on regional integration in the South, outlining the important role of the People’s Summiti in constructing alternatives. The people, he says, must have sovereignty over their territory, energy, resources and their model of development.

(Interview in Spanish)


Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, Mexico) gives his perspective on regional integration, a new model of development in Latin America, and the role of social movements. He highlights the need for the region to move away from a subordinary relationship with North America, arguing that it is the right of countries to protect themselves economically in order to develop. Hector also stresses that meaningful change will not be granted by benevolent governments but will be acheived through the stuggle of social movements and other civil society actors.

(Interview in Spanish)


Graciela Rodriguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil) discusses regional integration and the opportunities emerging from the current crises. She argues that the financial crisis represents a crisis in the mode of production. This is an important moment for the southern countries, she says, as it creates the possibility for them to construct alternatives for their respective regions.

(Interview in Spanish)


Gonzalo Berron (Confederacion Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil) discusses regional integration, the climate, energy and the role of the public in the future of development.

(Interview in Spanish)


Francisca Rodriguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile) discusses regional integration. It is not just a way out of the crisis, she argues, but is part of the construction of a new society.

(Interview in Spanish)


Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia) discusses regional integration, social movements and alternative forms of production and development in Latin America.

(Interview in Spanish)


Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay) talks about regional integration and the factors that should be considered when developing new forms of cooperation. He argues that integration must involve the region´s resources being used for the people, in ways decided by the people. There is also a need, he says, for the people to combat the role of transnational corporations and reclaim the subject of regional integration for themselves.

(Interview in Spanish)


Edgardo Lander (Universidad Central de Venezuela/Consejo Hemisferico del Foro Social Mundial, Venezuela) discusses regional integration and the current economic model in Latin America.

(Interview in Spanish)


Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal) gives his perspective on regional integration in the context of the current crises and discusses some key issues involved in creating a new form of regional integration. He argues that regional integration is the only viable response to the crises and outlines the need for food sovereignty, regional institutions, a common defence system and new forms of political institutions.


Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands) discusses regional integration in Latin America and Europe. Brid argues that the current paradigmatic crisis needs to be dealt with at the regional level. In this respect, Latin American movements have already mobilised and placed different models of development and integration at the centre of their struggle. However, Brid warns against the adoption of an approach similar to the European Union, whereby integration is geared towards the interests of transnational corporations.

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