India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum: New Delhi Agenda for Cooperation

The Minister of External Affairs of India, H.E. Mr. Yashwant Sinha, Foreign Minister of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Celso Amorim, and of South Africa, H. E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma met in New Delhi on 4th and 5th March 2004 for the first Meeting of the Trilateral Commission of the IBSA Dialogue Forum.

2. The Foreign Ministers reviewed developments in the trilateral initiative that began with their meeting in Brasilia in June 2003 and the meeting of the three Heads of State and Government in New York in September 2003. They appreciated the progress achieved so far and stressed the importance of carrying forward the multi-faceted dialogue and of registering tangible results in the operational areas already agreed upon. The Ministers noted the significant steps already envisaged at the trilateral meeting of the Defence Ministers of the three countries (held in Pretoria on 1 February 2004) for stepping up cooperation.

3. The Ministers held a wide-ranging discussion in a friendly and cordial atmosphere and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest as well as on promotion of trilateral cooperation in accordance with the objectives set forth in the Brasilia Declaration. They attached immense value to the beneficial spin-offs from their enhanced trilateral cooperation to South-South cooperation. IBSA aspires to make a significant contribution to the framework of South-South cooperation and be a positive factor to advance human development by promoting potential synergies among the members.

4. The Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their determination to play a constructive role in international affairs and to maintain friendly relations with all countries. Their approach to IBSA dialogue aims at imparting a new synergy to these interactions.

Multilateralism - reforms of UN

5. The Ministers agreed to work together to strengthen the multilateral system. They expressed support for early reform of the United Nations to make it more democratic and responsive to the priorities of its member states, particularly those of the developing countries that constitute the vast majority of its membership. They agreed that their respective delegations to the UN and its specialised agencies as well as other multilateral bodies would remain in close touch with each other and would consult on all issues of significance.

6. The Ministers expressed the view that the UN Security Council, as configured today is not representative of present-day realities. They highlighted the need for reform which would impart greater balance and representativeness to the Council and reflect contemporary reality and emphasised the need for expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories. They reaffirmed that the decisions of the Security Council should be seen as serving the interests of the global community. They agreed to jointly explore innovative solutions to the issues relating to the reform of the Security Council in order to accelerate the decision making process.

Peace and Security

7. The Ministers noted that primary focus on human development, the fight against poverty, and measures to promote a better quality of life, should underpin and provide for greater guarantees for international peace and stability. The three Ministers took stock of the global security situation -concerning disarmament and non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). They took note of avowed commitments of Governments regarding the transfer of technology related to the manufacture of WMDs and expressed hope for observance of these commitments unequivocally. They also underlined that implementation of and compliance with non-proliferation and disarmament commitments suffered from serious inadequacies, which should be redressed through appropriate forward looking multilateral actions. They agreed to intensify their cooperation at the IAEA and other forums with a view to ensuring unimpeded growth and development of peaceful use of atomic energy through supply of technology, equipment and material under appropriate safeguards.

8. On the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the three countries urged an immediate resumption of dialogue on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Arab League Peace Initiative and the Quartet roadmap so as to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution thereby ending the current cycle of violence. They specially affirmed their full support to the vision of the settlement postulated in the UN Security Council Resolution 1397 of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secured and recognised borders. The three countries expressed their willingness to play a constructive role to bring about just, durable and comprehensive peace in the region.

9. The three countries noted the convergence of their views on Iraq. They stressed the maintenance of unity and integrity of Iraq as well as the restoration of security and stability in the country and called for transfer of full sovereignty to the Iraqi people as soon as possible. In this context, they agreed that the UN must play a vital role. They also emphasised the urgency of reconstruction in Iraq under a democratically elected sovereign government.

Terrorism

10. The Ministers agreed that international terrorism was one of the most significant threats faced by the world today and that it can only be tackled collectively. They further agreed that terrorism should only be considered with reference to the terrorist act and its consequences. There can be no justification for terrorism- political, religious or any other. The Ministers emphasised that it was imperative today for the international community to come together to combat terrorism, in a sustained and comprehensive manner, with the ultimate objective of eradication of terrorism in all regions.

11. The Ministers reaffirmed their full support to implementing all the measures to combat terrorism outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1373. They called on the international community to work together in a spirit of cooperation and accommodation with the objective of an early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

Globalisation

12. Recalling their commitment to pursuing policies, programmes and initiatives in different international forums, to make the diverse processes of globalization inclusive, integrative, humane, and equitable, the Ministers noted with concern that the current global economic structures and mechanisms continued to be marked by inequities. The Ministers felt that an important challenge before the international community was to maximise the benefits of globalisation and to ensure that it becomes a positive force for sustained economic growth in all developing countries. They emphasised that developing countries need to have their own agenda which would set out their goals in the context of globalising world. They must carry this agenda into multilateral processes with a view to influencing negotiations and arriving at results which are beneficial to the South. In this context, the Ministers took note with appreciation the conclusions and recommendations of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation which called for steps to achieve a fairer form of globalisation that created opportunities for all.

13. The Ministers agreed to intensify cooperation in areas of mutual interest in the current round of multi-lateral trade negotiations as exemplified by the G-20 to realise the Doha Development Agenda and enhance trade opportunities commensurate with the development needs of developing countries under a fair, equitable and transparent rules-based multilateral trading system.

Sustainable Development

14. India, Brazil and South Africa have similar concerns with regard to the protection of environment while they march ahead on the path of socio-economic development in their respective countries. In this context the three sides agreed to work together to promote practical cooperation in ensuring sustainable development. The Ministers also agreed to coordinate positions on climate change, bio-diversity, and other related issues at the concerned multilateral fora.

15. The Ministers reaffirmed the validity of the principles contained in the Rio Declaration, particularly on common but differentiated responsibilities, the Programme of Action contained in Agenda 21, and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, and called for the implementation of these outcomes through the mobilization of new and additional financial resources and transfer of environmentally sound technologies within an agreed time-frame. They stressed that an international environment supportive of development would be critical to this process. They called for a specific focus on capacity building and on transfer of financial resources and technology to developing countries.

16. They underscored the importance of the decision taken at the WSSD to negotiate within the framework of Convention on Bio-diversity, an international regime to promote and safeguard the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of utilization of genetic resource. The Ministers agreed on the need for ensuring that the benefits arising out of the commercial use of genetic resources accrue to the countries of origin. They reiterated in this context their commitment for effective implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. They also called for the establishment of a legally binding instrument for protecting intellectual property rights to traditional knowledge and folklore. India, Brazil and South Africa who are also the founding members of the Group of Like-minded Megadiverse Countries, agreed to strengthen cooperation and coordination with emphasis on multilateral negotiations and in fostering activities related to South-South Cooperation.

Social Development

17. The Ministers in the context of the approaching 10th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development, recalled that the Summit had sought to put people at the centre of development. They emphasised the need to have the well-being of people as the focus of efforts to assess and address the gaps in the commitments made and results achieved.

18. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening of cultural ties of the three countries. With that aim in mind, they discussed the possibility of organising a trilateral cultural fair of music, dance and cinema in Brazil as soon as possible and agreed to take the necessary steps.

19. The Ministers reiterated their earlier commitments as contained in the Brasilia Declaration to address issues related to elimination of all kinds of racial discrimination and to promote gender equality and mainstreaming a gender perspective in public policies.

20. Recalling that the Brasilia Declaration had identified trilateral cooperation among the three countries as an important tool for achieving the promotion of social and economic development, the Ministers agreed that the three countries, with rich untapped natural resources and emerging infra-structural requirements, could in a spirit of South-South cooperation, share expertise in several areas. With this view, working level discussions for enhancing trilateral cooperation in the spheres of S&T, Information Technology, Health, Civil Aviation and Shipping, Tourism, Trade and Investment, Defence, Energy and education took place during the Meeting. Specific programmes of action for trilateral cooperation in each of these sectors were identified based on these discussions and endorsed by the Ministers. These are annexed in the Plan of Action.

21. The Ministers reaffirmed the determination of their Governments to contribute actively and concretely to the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, particularly that of combating hunger and poverty. Following the Heads of State/Governments announcement in September 2003, they reviewed and approved the Guidelines for Operationalisation of the IBSA Facility for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation contained in the Plan of Action. The Ministers decided that a meeting be held before the end of March 2004, to consult with UNDP on certain operational issues. The meeting would also finalise operational guidelines for the Board of Directors and commence discussions on projects for implementation under the Facility.

22. The Ministers also reiterated the invitation for the participation of interested parties in the South-South initiative, including the private sector and civil society. To stress their political commitment, Brazil, South Africa and India announced that they have made fiduciary contributions to the Facility.

23. The Ministers also endorsed the proposal by Brazil to host a seminar on "Economic Growth with Social Equity" with the aim to promote better knowledge among IBSA members of their national policies and strategies to promote economic and social development and exchange views on international development challenges. The organisation of the seminar would be jointly coordinated by the three countries.

24. The Foreign Ministers of Brazil and South Africa thanked the Minister for External Affairs of India for convening the first Meeting of the Trilateral Commission. The three Ministers agreed that the next meeting would be held in South Africa in the first quarter of 2005.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa