The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States called CELAC, is a regional bloc of 33 sovereign countries in the Latin American and Caribbean with a total of about 600 million people, land area 6 times bigger than India with GDP of US$ 3trillion.
It was created on February 23, 2012. The bloc forms a political dialogue to deepen Latin American integration. CELAC is the successor of the Rio Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC). Chile holds the pro-tempore presidency of the CELAC and Cuba will take over in January 2013.
CELAC chose India as its first dialogue partner because of:
- its size
- similar political positions on most issues and
- New Delhi’s affinity with the causes of the developing countries.
- India’s close association with the Non Aligned Movement (NAM),
- its proactive diplomacy.
CELAC gives India a platform to interact directly with these 33 sovereign countries of this region. Most of the countries are positively disposed towards India. India-CELAC share common democratic values and developmental aspirations; and have common commitment to strengthening South-South Cooperation in the interest of developing countries. Our cooperation with the UN and other multilateral fora has been close and
determined by common interests.