The UNASUR Treaty and EHS: Towards an Integrated Regional Approach in South America

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The regional approach to environmental, health and safety (EHS) matters has become a growing trend among companies. The signature of the Treaty establishing the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on 23 May 2008 rings the bell for companies operating in South America, as it creates a harmonized and integrated economic system impacting states and shareholders. Although UNASUR has not entered into force yet, some of the twelve signing countries have already implemented local EHS measures. Nevertheless, UNASUR faces a series of political difficulties and other obstacles that hinder its implementation. The repercussions that UNASUR might have on EHS remain uncertain; however, the current EHS developments in South American countries can shed light on the regulatory effects that, if adopted, UNASUR’s enforcement could trigger.

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