India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum: Plan of Action

Transportation (Civil Aviation and Shipping)

1. Recognizing the need for air connectivity between the three nations, so as to facilitate and enhance the movement of passengers and goods and achieve the objectives of the Brasilia declaration, the Ministers emphasized the importance for concrete trilateral co-operation in the Civil Aviation sector.

2. The three countries agreed to the following action plan in respect of Air Transport:
a) The Air Services Agreement between Brazil and India would be finalized in April 2004.
b) A trilateral co-operation Agreement on Air Services would be considered and finalized before the end of 2004, particularly in the areas of broadening fifth freedom rights, identification of routes for increased frequency of air links and possibilities for commercial agreements between airline companies (Code sharing etc.) In the meantime exchange of information and ideas on the nature and content of the Trilateral Co-operation Agreement would take place.
c) The three countries would consider common approaches on matters of mutual interest on Civil Aviation issues in multilateral forums.
d) Efforts through mutual consultation would be made to facilitate efficient cargo transportation, encourage tourism through charter flights and foster exchanges on best practices in areas of Training, Safety, Security, Airport Management, Air Navigation and Communication systems between the three countries taking into account the different national legislations.

3. With regard to cooperation in Maritime Sector, the Ministers agreed that there would be exchange of information and meetings among the officers of Ministry of Shipping and Transport of the three countries with a view to develop a Trilateral Maritime Transport Corridor between India, South Africa and Brazil. The three countries also agreed to cooperate in the fields of maritime training, capacity building and port logistics, inland water transportation; to coordinate stands on issues concerning maritime affairs in multilateral fora.

4. India and South Africa will conclude their bilateral cooperation agreement by the end of 2004.

5. It was agreed to explore in the near future a structure for trilateral cooperation on maritime transportation matters, possibly in the form of a Framework Agreement.
Tourism

6. The Ministers agreed that the product offering of the three countries viz. India -Culture and Heritage, South Africa - Eco Tourism and Nature Conservation and Brazil - Festivals and Sun and Sea, provided opportunities for convergence and integration into unique tourism packages. This necessitated familiarization tours for the leading tour operators, travel agents and travel writers. As a first step, India will take the initiative to structure a meeting of the leading players of the private sector of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry of the three countries.

7. The Ministers agreed to a programme of action in the following areas: Capacity building in Culture/Heritage; Joint Marketing initiatives; Eco-tourism and Nature Conservation and Management of Cultural Festivals and any other areas mutually agreed upon. There will be exchange of information on statistics on tourism related aspects as well as promotion of mutual investment in three countries.

8. The three countries agreed to pursue common approach with regard the activities of World Tourism Organization (WTO) and other relevant multi-lateral fora.

9. Considering that India has bilateral tourism agreements with Brazil and South Africa, the later two will endeavour to conclude an agreement by the end of 2004. The three countries will explore the possibility of a tri-lateral cooperation agreement in tourism.

10. It was agreed that the meeting of the IBSA Tourism Ministers would be held by the end of June 2004 to further strengthen cooperation in Tourism.

Trade and investment

11. The ministers agreed that the IBSA countries can reinforce the economic strength of each other by synergizing their complementarities in areas of industry, services, business and technologies and create a market of 1.2 billion people, 1.2 trillion dollars of GDP and foreign trade of 300 billion dollars. They further agreed to consider signing of a trilateral cooperation agreement to promote and facilitate trade among the three countries.

12. The Ministers agreed:
· To seek convergence between the preferential trade negotiations between the three countries and their regions (Mercosur-SACU, Mercosur-India, SACU-India)
· To increase trade flows between the three countries from US$4.6 billion presently to US$ 10 billion by 2007
· Strengthening business to business links among the three countries
· Holding of IBSA Business Summits on rotation in each country.
· Each country to conduct studies to examine the potential for economic and commercial partnership and suggest ways and means for increasing trade and investment flows among the three countries. The studies should be completed by September 2004.

13. The Ministers welcomed the Brazilian proposal to promote the establishment of a trilateral business council.

Infrastructure

14. The Ministers recognized that there are opportunities for IBSA members to implement projects through, inter alia, State owned enterprises and public/private partnerships in each other's country as well as jointly in other countries. Areas of cooperation could include:
· Civil engineering, project management;
· Construction, roads, highways, airports, ports, and energy sector;
· Telecommunications and Internet.

Job creation and small, medium and micro enterprises

15. The Ministers underlined the importance of job creation, youth entrepreneurship and development of small, medium and micro enterprises. It was agreed:
· To exchange best practices, technology and tools, with an emphasis on youth entrepreneurship and employment.
· To share experiences to better assist the rural and youth populations.
· To create links between entities, federations, etc. responsible for job creations.
· To create links between SMME and promotion institutions.
· To allow for broad participation of government, labour, business, civil society and NGOs.
· To develop joint training programmes for human resources development, including the exchange of students and youth entrepreneurs.

Science and Technology

16. The Ministers noted the existence of functional science and technology bilateral agreements among the three countries. They also outlined a process to shape the relationship among the IBSA countries towards a mutually agreed outcome, which includes:

· the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing concrete modes and areas for engagement;
· the establishment of a trilateral working group to formulate a detailed programme of action and meet regularly to review progress on its implementation.

17. The first meeting of the working group will take place in South Africa, in May 2004, to prioritize projects for the programme of action.

18. The Ministers agreed to establish IBSA Technology Days, which will be organized annually, on rotational basis, for the purposes of showcasing the IBSA science and technology capabilities and progress.

19. South Africa also offered to host a science and technology implementation meeting, to be held in conjunction with the South African Science and Technology Fair, in Johannesburg during November 2004.

20. The modes of science and technology cooperation will include:
· short-term exchange of young scientists;
· trilateral workshops on mutually agreed themes;
· exchange of science and technology information;
· specialized training in areas of national strength;
· development of lecture series; and
· research and development collaboration and cooperation.

21. The mutually agreed areas for cooperation and collaboration in the short to medium term include:
· biotechnology, including agricultural biotechnology, and bioinformatics;
· alternative and renewable energies;
· astronomy and astrophysics;
· meteorology and climate change;
· oceanography, fisheries science and Antarctic research;
· indigenous knowledge; and
· information technologies.

22. In addition, the three countries agreed to share information on best practices in technology transfer and to engage on intellectual property rights issues related to the protection of biodiversity and traditional knowledge.

23. Further, the three countries agreed to network their research and development institutions in order to strengthen and further develop the trilateral science and technology relationship.

24. Brazil's offer to host a meeting of Ministers of Science and Technology in the third quarter of 2004 was welcomed, as well as South Africa's offer to host the First IBSA Technology Day and a Technology Fair.

Information Society

25. The Ministers highlighted the strategic role of information and communication technologies in the promotion of social and economic development. India, Brazil and South Africa, as three large developing countries, regard information technologies as essential tools to job-creation, economic growth, and poverty eradication.

26. The strengthening of national information technology industries is essential to promote competitiveness of the three national economies and to boost national capabilities in exportation.

27. The Ministers emphasized the need for joint action and urgency in combating the fast growing Digital Divide not only between developed and developing, but also within, countries. The Digital Divide widens other social divides, such as the income, educational, scientific and cultural.

28. Taking into account the outcomes of the Brasilia Meeting of 12 and 13 February 2004, the Ministers agreed to synergise the capacities of the three countries in the following project areas:

29. Projects On E-Governance
· Develop Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and applications aimed at improving public administration at different levels of government, taxation management, public financing and delivery of public services.

30. Projects On Capacity Building
· Using ICTs to impart literacy skills
· Harnessing Human Computer Interaction Technologies to address development challenges, especially those related to illiteracy and disability.
· Increase research on using wireless technologies to extend access to computers and provide affordable connectivity, especially to poor people and those located in rural and remote areas.
· To develop innovative solutions aimed at extending public access to computers and ICT skills to under-privileged people.
· Extend Cyber infrastructure by harnessing technologies such as grid and cluster (blade or middle range) computing, High Performance Computing and broadband communication networks for advancing research, development and competitiveness and thereby developing solutions to larger and more complex problems.

31. Projects On Local Content Development
· Developing a universal networking language so that people in one part of a country or the world, speaking different languages, can communicate without the need to know each other's language.

32. Projects On E-Health
· Increasing tele-medicine infrastructure to enable patients to receive health services such as medical diagnosis and advice to which they would not ordinarily have access due to distance and/or limitation in the availability of specialists.

33. Modes of cooperation
· Coordination of initiatives in the area
· Sharing of experience and expertise through inter alia exchange of technical missions and information in areas of national strength
· Joint piloting of projects, development of testbeds and possible planning of full scale implementation
· Human resource development in the identified areas of cooperation
· Joint evaluation of projects.

Trilateral Memorandum on cooperation on the Information society

34. Brazil, India and South Africa, as founders of the World Summit on the Information Society Like-Minded Group of countries, decide to continue their coordination of positions in order to contribute effectively towards the development of an inclusive Information Society.
35. They also re-iterated their commitment to contributing to the success of the Tunis Phase of the Summit.

36. Accordingly, the Ministers agreed on the establishment of a tri-lateral Consultative Group to coordinate this work, and in particular, ensure effective contribution to the Working Group on the Digital Solidarity Fund and the Working Group on Internet Governance to be established by the UN Secretary General.

37. The IBSA Working Group on the Information Society shall meet to work on a Trilateral Memorandum of cooperation on Information Society during the First IBSA Technology Day Workshop due to take place in South Africa in May 2004.

38. Brazil announced the that it will be organising a Congress on Public Informatics (CONIP) which is the main Brazilian event on modernising public administration at different government levels and enhancing public participation in decision making using ICTs.

39. This Congress, within which SERPRO- the Federal Data Processing Services Enterprise- intends to organise an IBSA workshop, is due to take place in Sao Paolo from 22-24 June 2004.

40. The Ministers decided to recommend an IBSA Ministerial on the Information Society as soon as possible.

Health

41. In the area of the health related issues, in its meeting held in Brasilia on Feb.12-13, 2004, the working group on health, discussed the following six areas of common interest: -
1. Intellectual property rights and their impact on access to medicine;
2. Traditional medicine;
3. Integration among laboratories / sanitary regulation;
4. Epidemiological survey;
5. Vaccines;
6. Research and development of products of the pharmaceutical sector.

42. In the meeting at Brasilia, it was agreed that: -
a) Each country would present a paper on the impact of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on Public Health and access to medicines in their own country in a workshop to be held in New Delhi in the first week of March so that common strategies could be developed to ensure universal access of medicines and innovation.
b) India would prepare a paper on organization and management of Traditional Medicines to be discussed at a conference so that a common Plan of Action for their greater use could be developed.

43. In addition it was also agreed that at a mutually convenient date after the New Delhi meeting, each country would present their own assessments of the strengths and weaknesses in disease surveillance, which would facilitate the development of strategies for effective disease surveillance with emphasis on the strengthening of national laboratory network.

44. The representatives of the three countries met in New Delhi on March 3-5,2004 and presented a paper each on the impact of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on Public Health and access to medicines with a view to evolving common strategies to ensure universal access of medicines and innovations.

45. In the course of discussions, which followed the presentations, the following points of agreement emerged-
a) The national statutory frameworks of the three countries should reflect all the flexibilities allowed for by the WTO TRIPS Agreement, Doha Ministerial Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, as well as the further decisions on Para 6 of the said declaration. Further, IBSA agrees to make efforts to urge other countries, particularly developing and least developed countries, to consider taking similar steps to reflect all the above mentioned flexibilities in their national legislations.
b) (ii)The bilateral / multilateral trade agreements, which are "TRIPS Plus" should be opposed. The three countries should also take lead in sensitizing other developing countries in this regard.
c) (iii)To take all steps, including exchange of technical experts and collaborative efforts, to strengthen the indigenous manufacturing capacities and to make available low cost, low priced, effective, safe and quality pharmaceutical products.
d) (iv) To leverage the opportunity provided by the setting up of WHO Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (WHA 56.27) to put across the commonly agreed point of view of the three countries. For this purpose, the Health Sub group of IBSA identified focal points to prepare a draft document to be submitted to the Commission by mid July 2004. A meeting in this regard would be convened on the sidelines of the 57th WHA at Geneva.

46. A status paper on organization and management of Traditional Medicine was presented on behalf of India. Keeping in view the wide scope for cooperation in this area, it was agreed that the three countries would identify focal points to pursue the matter further.

47. It was agreed that Brazil would circulate a paper on their disease surveillance programme and the status of national laboratories network and make a presentation on the sidelines of the 57th WHA at Geneva.

Energy

48. The Ministers proposed the institution of a programme of reciprocal visits with the purpose of exchanging ideas, experience and practices in the energy area. These exchanges may include: research and development, storage and distribution, technology transfer, practical application of technological knowledge, and organization and regulation.

49. The following areas were identified for initial cooperation: (i) access to affordable energy in rural areas with emphasis on non-conventional energy; (ii) exploring bio-diesel as a commercially viable energy source by exchanging knowledge and experience; and (iii) research and development in the areas of hydrogen energy and fuel cells.

50. The Brazilian side has proposed to host the first meeting of the Energy Working Group in the third quarter of 2004.

Defence

51. The Ministers recalled the meeting of the Defence Ministers of South Africa, Mr. M.G.P. Lekota, Mr. George Fernandes of India and Mr. Jose Viegas Filho of Brazil in Pretoria on February 1, 2004 at the invitation of the South African Minister of Defence to discuss areas of common concern and potential trilateral cooperation in areas of defence and mutual security.

52. In their first meeting, IBSA Defence Ministers, in accordance with the objectives set out in the Brasilia Declaration, exchanged views on common security concerns with specific reference to the security situation in their separate regions. They also discussed themes related to security on the international agenda and underlined the importance and necessity of a process of dialogue amongst developing nations and countries of the south on security-related issues of mutual interest.

53. The Ministers recognized the primacy of the role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace. They also recognized and appreciated the efforts of the African Union in regional peacekeeping. The Ministers agreed to initiate steps for joint peacekeeping training/exercises.

54. They agreed that in the interests of promoting international security, the three countries would cooperate towards promoting maritime and air safety, including combating illegal weapons and narcotics traffic and maritime transit of toxic chemicals and radioactive waste across Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

55. The Ministers agreed that it would be mutually beneficial to foster interaction amongst them, noting that their defence industries had developed excellence in diverse areas, which could offer a broad range of potential opportunities - capitalizing on each others' respective strengths - for cooperation in defence production, co-development, trade and joint marketing.

56. The Ministers agreed to explore coordination among the defence research institutions in the three countries and of their respective defence industries to provide inputs for the identification of concrete cooperation projects.

57. Training was identified as another area with a significant potential for mutually beneficial cooperation and the Ministers agreed to institutionalize exchanges among the respective defence institutions.

58. The Ministers agreed to continue a regular trilateral dialogue on an annual basis. Next meeting shall take place in Brazil in 2005.

Education

59. The three Governments of India, Brazil and South Africa assigned priority, in the Brasilia Declaration, to the promotion of social equity and inclusion and have agreed that education is a powerful instrument for achieving those goals. The three Governments have a rich experience and expertise on a variety of areas and aspects of education. Each country stands to benefit from sharing of such expertise, and from collaboration. The three countries also share areas of common concern over access to and quality of education at all levels. These concerns have greater significance in the context of globalization.

60. The Ministers decided that major areas of collaboration will be open and distance education, higher and professional education and universal mass education with special emphasis on quality and gender equity. The detailed mechanism and framework for collaboration will be worked out in round table conferences in each area, preferably before the next IBSA Dialogue Forum. Each country may host one round table conference on one of the selected themes.

IBSA Facility for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger

Background

1. Following announcements made at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2003, the Governments of India, Brazil and South Africa decided to establish a trust fund, within UNDP, aimed at contributing, in a concrete manner, to poverty and hunger alleviation, in a framework of improved international cooperation, including towards the implementation of the millennium development goals.

2. The trust fund will be used to implement identified replicable and scaleable projects to be disseminated in interested developing countries as examples of best practices in the fight against poverty and hunger, including actions in the areas of improved access to health, education, sanitation and food security.

3. The IBSA facility for poverty and hunger alleviation will be a dedicated trust fund within UNDP.

Governance

4. UNDP will provide the facility with adequate administrative support free of charge.

5. A Board of Directors will be appointed to govern the facility. The Board of Directors will be composed of the designated representatives of the governments of India, Brazil and South Africa as originators of facility. The administrator of UNDP or his designated representative will serve ex-officio on the board.

6. The Board of Directors will set the strategic direction of the facility. It will also identify projects within the focus areas, review project submissions and decide on resource allocation. On an annual basis, UNDP will present to the Board of Directors a report on the operations of the facility. The Board of Directors will be responsible for fund raising for the facility, including with the assistance of UNDP.

7. The Board of Directors or their designated representatives will engage donor and interested parties on a project by project basis on the implementation of projects.

Funding Sources

8. The facility will benefit from initial contributions from India, Brazil and South Africa to facilitate the start-up phase. The UNDP contribution will consist of in-kind office space and administrative support and oversight for the operations of the facility.

9. It is expected that the facility will be financed through contributions from donor countries, additional to ODA, as well as through non-traditional sources, such as contributions from individuals, civil society organisations, including businesses and NGOs, and philanthropic foundations.

Operations

10. The facility will be dedicated to the development and replication of best practices, as pioneered in India, Brazil and South Africa, to be identified by the Board of Directors.

11. The Board of Directors will transmit project and programme concepts which are examples of best practices in their countries to the UNDP. UNDP will disseminate this information and will communicate to the Board of Directors expressions of interest from governments.

12. On the basis of such a matching exercise, the UNDP will seek additional funding as necessary for each individual project from Governmental and non-Governmental sources.

13. UNDP country offices will disburse funds and manage the project cycle, reporting to the Board of Directors on an annual basis on the use of these funds.

Eligibility for funding

14. All developing countries are eligible for receipt of funding from the facility.
Awareness raising

15. UNDP undertakes to support awareness raising activities for the Facility, including through meetings at Headquarters, and inclusion in its annual report and on its website as part of its administrative support.

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