India, Brazil, South Africa dialogue forum; Sixth Trilateral Commission Meeting Ministerial Communiqué
1 Sep 2009
The Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, His Excellency Mr SM Krishna and the Minister of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, His Excellency Ambassador Celso Amorim, met in Brasilia on 31 August and 1 September 2009, for the VI India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Trilateral Ministerial Commission.
They recalled the declarations and communiqués issued during the first round of IBSA summits of heads of state or government held to date (Brasilia, 2006; Tshwane, 2007; New Delhi, 2008) and the previous IBSA Trilateral Commissions (Brasilia, 2003; New Delhi, 2004; Cape Town, 2005; Rio de Janeiro, 2006; New Delhi, 2007; Somerset West, 2008).
The Brazilian Minister welcomed the Indian Minister and the South African Minister to the forum and congratulated them for the support received by their respective governments in recently held national elections.
The ministers affirmed that IBSA, as a forum of developing country democracies from three different continents, has become an important mechanism for strengthening co-ordination on international and regional issues, fostering south to south cooperation to amplify the collective voice of the south and deepening mutually beneficial trilateral co-operation, based on common experiences, complementarities and resources. Such cooperation is not confined to governments but includes business communities, civil society, and other people to people contacts. They reaffirmed the three countries’ commitment to further strengthening the role of IBSA.
The ministers emphasised the broad array of issues in which the three countries hold common positions. They stressed that a more democratic and just world order, in which the United Nations (UN) plays a pre-eminent role, must be built through political and diplomatic efforts. In this regard, they underscored the common objective of making international institutions more democratic, representative, legitimate and effective. Recalling their commitment to multilateralism, taking note of the relevant agreements and resolutions concerning the issues mentioned hereunder and lending support to regional organisations where appropriate, the ministers agreed to the following:
1. Global Issues
United Nations reform
Reaffirm their commitment to multilateralism and to increase participation of developing countries in the decision making bodies of multilateral institutions. Also reiterate the need for the UN to be reformed so as to become more democratic and coherent with the priorities of developing countries. Support a reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that includes the creation of new permanent and non-permanent seats, with increased participation of developing countries in both categories.
Such reform is of the utmost importance for the UNSC to have the representation and legitimacy it needs to face contemporary challenges. Commit to closely coordinate with each other and the broader UN membership to achieve substantial progress in the intergovernmental negotiations on UNSC reform presently underway in New York.
International financial and economic crisis
Note that challenges such as the international financial and economic crisis require a co-ordinated approach and partnership response that involves both developed and developing countries. In this regard, they underscore the importance of a global response to address the immediate dangers posed by the crisis, particularly their negative impact on developing countries.
Also note that the global financial crisis has left no country unscathed. The crisis began in the heart of the developed economies; and developing countries like India, Brazil and South Africa, who had no role whatsoever to play in bringing about this crisis, have been seriously affected. Due to the strengths of our own economies, our prudent financial systems, coupled with sound banking practices and proactive steps to provide stimulus, our countries have been able to mitigate the impact of the crisis.
Express deep concern with the consequences of the crisis for the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs). The economic downturn that followed the financial meltdown in the developed countries is now a harsh reality that is affecting international credit, investment and trade flows, with direct impact on economic growth, employment and national revenues. Affirm that a longer term reform of the global financial system cannot be delayed.
There is need for improved regulation and supervision of all financial activities and products. The parameters of regulation must be expanded to cover the non-banking financial sector. There is need to redefine capital requirements and avoid a build-up of excessive leverage. International institutions must be subject to systemic supervision and there is need to develop an effective early warning system, which would be best done by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in consultation with the new financial stability board.
Welcome the work that is being done by the G-20, in particular the commitments agreed upon at the London summit held in April 2009, and look forward to their speedy implementation. In this regard, stress the need to complete the expansion of IMF resources and to accelerate quota, representation and voting right reforms at the Bretton Woods institutions, reflecting current realities.
Also welcome the outcome document of the June 2009 United Nations conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its impact on development and recognise the importance of the conference to address the global financial and economic crisis.
Reiterate that the recovery requires a cleaning of the toxic assets from developed country bank balance sheets. Countercyclical measures such as fiscal and monetary stimulus should be implemented according to countries’ specificities while bearing in mind the impact these stimulus packages may have on the global economy and on developing countries in particular. Stress that revival of growth in developing countries is crucial. Resources promised for this by the G-20 summit must be made available in a focused manner. The flow of investment and trade financing to developing countries must be reinvigorated and protectionism, including that within the financial sector, avoided.
Express that vigorous international trade is an integral part of any solution to the current economic crisis. Accordingly, underline that the international community ought to restrain from resorting to protectionist measures. All countries should, instead, pursue a prompt, balanced and development oriented conclusion of the Doha Round of trade talks on the basis of the modality drafts released in December 2008.
Greet with satisfaction the entry into force of the preferential trade agreement between MERCOSUR and India, as well as the conclusion of the preferential trade agreement between Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU). Look forward to negotiations in order to broaden and deepen these two agreements.
Also welcome the ongoing India and SACU trade negotiations. Underscore that these three negotiations form the basis for progress towards the envisaged India, MERCOSUR, SACU trilateral trade arrangement and agreed to grant continued support to this initiative at the highest political level. Recalling the technical trilateral meetings that took place in Pretoria in October 2007 and in Buenos Aires in April 2008; reaffirm the commitment of Brazil, India and South Africa to the scheduling of the first MERCOSUR, SACU, India trilateral ministerial meeting at the earliest convenience of all participants. Emphasise that growing trade cooperation between India, MERCOSUR and SACU will contribute to enhance relations among three important regions in the developing world.
Acknowledge the need to ensure that trade agreements and free trade agreements between countries of the south and north provide the necessary policy space, allowing individual developing countries to construct their own development paths. Also acknowledge the need to forge coherent multilateral policy making and establish mutually supportive systems for governing international trade, monetary and financial relations. Whilst rules are important, existing multilateral governance structures should be reformed to promote development and ensure equity. Development lies at the heart of the future prosperity and stability of the world economy, and, indeed, to the future of globalisation.
Intellectual property rights
Express concerns about recent seizures of generic medicines in transit to developing countries under allegations of possible patent violation in the country of transit. Share the view that those seizures were in contradiction with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on transit of goods and posed a threat to developing country policies on access to medicines. Also warn against attempts at developing new international rules on intellectual property outside the appropriate fora of WTO and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Emphasise the need for an equitable international system of rules governing intellectual property, allowing, among others, for the protection of the indigenous knowledge systems against abuse and for preventing the misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Call upon a faithful implementation of the Development Agenda by WIPO.
Recognise the crucial role of access to energy for sustainable development and for the achievement of the MDGs. Reaffirm the importance of the need to broaden and diversify energy sources and supplies, especially for developing countries. Express, furthermore, their willingness to foster trilateral cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency with a view to, inter alia, deepening coordination in international fora. In this regard, recall the positive social, economic and environmental impacts of increasing cooperation and exchanging of successful experiences in production, generation and use of renewable energy, including technology transfer, will have for sustainable economic growth.
Disarmament and non-proliferation
Renew their support for the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and for the complete, non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. Commit to work in close cooperation in order to help the international community to achieve this goal.
Condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Offer solidarity to those who suffered or are suffering its consequences. The attacks on innocent civilians in Mumbai in November 2008 were a heinous and punishable crime that should be strongly and universally condemned. Note that the prevention of terrorist acts is as important as the repression of terrorism and it’s financing. Also note that the fight against international terrorism must be done with full respect to the UN charter and international law. Emphasise the need for comprehensive and cooperative approach by governments and societies to combat terrorism, including the prevention of the use of their territories by terrorists. Agree on the need for the early adoption by the UN of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
Express the need for IBSA countries to continue to explore mechanisms to further deepen cooperation in international human rights bodies by developing common initiatives aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Draw attention to the importance of strengthening technical assistance and capacity building on human rights as a means to give a more constructive dynamics to the activities within the UN human rights system.
Declare the importance of incorporating a cross-cutting approach of human rights in the other subjects under the responsibility of the UN, such as peace and international security and the promotion of sustainable development.
Welcome the final Document of the Durban Review Conference, held in Geneva in April 2009, as an important foundation to foster international efforts to eliminate racism and all forms of racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and look forward to the adoption of the document by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Also renew their commitment to prevent and combat sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, in line with the Rio Declaration and for Call to Action, adopted as a result of the third World Congress Against Sex Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, held in Rio de Janeiro, in November 2008. Welcome the ratification by their respective countries and the recent entry into force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which represents a crucial opportunity to consolidate and enhance cooperation related in this important area within countries of the South.
Reaffirm their commitment and support to equality and equity between women and men and to mainstream a gender perspective in all policies and programmes of IBSA. Emphasise the importance of enhanced cooperation and partnership between their countries as an effective way of working towards women empowerment. Recognise that autonomy of women and their participation in decision making are both essential for development, allowing for the reversal of the unequal and discriminatory situation in which they live.
Emphasise the significant role women play in economic development and in the eradication of poverty. Stress the need to promote equal pay for equal work or work of equal value and to the recognition of the value of women’s unremunerated work. Also recognise that the current global financial crisis has increased the vulnerability of women and requires special measures to ameliorate its impacts.
Further emphasise the need to create an enabling environment for improving the situation of rural women and ensuring their full participation in the development, implementation and follow-up of socio-economic policies and poverty eradication strategies.
Emphasise that sustainable development must continue to deserve high attention, noting that a new conference in 2012 (Rio+20) would enable the international community to examine and reinforce long term commitments established since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio 92). Reaffirm the need to engage governments, civil society and the private sector to support this initiative and to enhance the implementation of the Rio declaration, the Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg plan of implementation.
Underline the importance of continuing participation and close cooperation in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, with a view to enabling the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) now, up to, and beyond 2012. Also underscore the need to fully implement the commitments under the convention in accordance with its principles, especially that of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Reaffirm that developed country parties shall not resort to any form of unilateral measures including countervailing border measures, against goods and services imported from developing countries on grounds of protection and stabilisation of climate as such unilateral measures would violate the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC, including, in particular, those related to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, trade and climate change, and the relationship between mitigation action of developing countries and provision of financial resources and technology by developed country parties.
Reinforce the crucial importance of reaching a common understanding and a universal agreement on effective measures to prevent bio piracy and further recognise the value of genetic resources and of traditional knowledge associated with their use, as a means to promote sustainable development. In this regard, stress their commitment to the conclusion by 2010 of the negotiations within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of a legally binding international regime on access to genetic resources, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilisation of such resources, their derivatives or associated traditional knowledge.
Affirm that developed countries' agricultural subsidies and excessive, uncontrolled speculation in agricultural commodities, as well as other restrictive and trade distorting practices, can no longer be tolerated, due to their severe impact on agricultural markets, with negative effects on nutrition in developing countries.
RecogniSe that the existence of hunger is related to poor access to food. In addition to increase in agriculture production, due consideration should be given to public policies related to rural development and access to and availability of land, as well as to research and development, market creation and storage.
Urge the developed countries to honour their commitments to increase support to developing countries to address challenges related to food security and agricultural development, in a spirit of international cooperation and partnership, which could ultimately contribute to the alleviation of poverty and the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Amongst others, the recent L'Aquila joint statement on global food security, adopted in Rome in July 2009, is welcomed.
Recommend the strengthening of multilateral fora on food security, particularly the Committee on World Food Security of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Expanded participation of developing countries, international organisations and civil society would help in addressing the important issue of global food security. The proposed World Summit on Food Security, scheduled to take place in Rome in November 2009 is therefore welcomed.
Recommend the sharing of best practices in humanitarian assistance amongst their countries. In this regard, recognise the role played by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Concerned that the current global financial and economic crisis is impacting negatively on the ability of developing countries to respond effectively to humanitarian emergencies, call on the international community to take measures to ensure adequate resources for international cooperation in the provision of humanitarian assistance.
2. Regional issues
Welcome the peaceful presidential election and the respect shown for the constitution. Taking into account the socio-economic challenges facing Guinea-Bissau, as well as the need for security sector reform (SSR), call for a concerted effort by all the relevant actors in the country as well as the international community to address them. In that context, express their support for the work being carried by the UN Peace building Commission.
Stress that IBSA countries have the potential to significantly contribute to the stabilisation and growth of Guinea-Bissau. In this context, recall the project supported by the IBSA Fund in Guinea-Bissau, aimed at agriculture development, as an example of their commitment to this country.
Note the progress in the implementation of the global political agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe. In order that the development process can resume following the progressive normalisation of life in the country, encourage the parties to the GPA to work towards the full implementation of their agreement. Further urge the international community to support the economic recovery of Zimbabwe. Also call for the lifting of all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe and all constraints that hamper its relationship with other countries, particularly concerning aid and trade issues. Recognise and appreciate the humanitarian assistance that the international community continues to provide to the people of Zimbabwe.
Middle East peace process
In line with their support for a peaceful, negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable, united and democratic state of Palestine living within secure and recognised borders, side by side and at peace with Israel, as endorsed in the UN Security Council Resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab League Peace Initiative, the Road Map for Peace and as advocated by the Annapolis Conference, the ministers underline the necessity of continued, accelerated and comprehensive progress in the peace process. Call upon all parties to resume negotiations without delay and declare their support to the initiatives of mediation aimed at achieving this goal. Emphasise the contribution new actors can make to invigorate the process. Also welcome efforts aimed at restoring Palestinian unity.
Renew calls to end the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. Condemn the recent forcible eviction of Palestinians from the Sheik Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Also stress the importance of the parallel tracks of the Peace Process to end Israeli occupation of all Arab territories.
Salute progress made in the establishment of the IBSA Multipurpose Sports Centre in Ramallah, following the contribution agreed upon at the Paris conference, as a concrete gesture reflecting their political commitment. Instruct the IBSA Fund Board of Directors and their representatives to implement, in coordination with international organisations that work locally, the proposal to rehabilitate a school in the Gaza Strip, announced during the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm El-Sheikh in March 2009. Also highlight the importance of the above mentioned conference.
Considering that the Syrian-Lebanese reconciliation process is vital for peace in the region, greet with satisfaction the establishment of diplomatic relations between these two countries and the holding of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, which indicates the strengthening of the country’s democratic institutions.
Reaffirm their long term commitment to a democratic, pluralistic and stable Afghanistan. Express concern at the continuing deterioration of the military and political situation in Afghanistan, the growth of terrorism, including cross border terrorism promoted by Taliban and al Qaeda, and its links with international terrorism. Reiterate, in this context, that a coherent and a united international commitment, both in its developmental and security and military aspects, remained of paramount importance. Agree to continue to cooperate and coordinate their efforts to impart greater strength to the process. Underline the centrality of the regional aspect in the reconstruction and development process in Afghanistan. Commend the holding of presidential and provincial council elections.
Note political developments in Honduras and join the United Nations, regional organisations and the international community in general in condemning the breach of the democratic constitutional order in Honduras that interrupted the legitimate rule of President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009. Furthermore, call for peaceful and immediate restoration of the constitutional government of Honduras.
3. Working group activities
Express satisfaction with the agreements reached in the working groups and adopted by the focal points and which are summarised below:
The joint working group on agriculture made progress in taking up a series of trilateral activities concerning exchange of information, capacity building, and policy evolution aimed at the generation of joint projects to produce tangible socio-economic benefits, as well as the finalisation of the future of agriculture cooperation in IBSA.
The joint working group on culture proposed to work on the following areas: an IBSA film festival in the context of the India International Film Festival 2009, in Goa; a seminar either on cultural industries or cultural tourism in Cape Town, early in 2010; a seminar on Conservation of Architectonic and Urbanistic Heritage in Brasília, in November 2009; the publishing of a pictorial book on the capitals of the three IBSA countries.
The joint working group on defence noted that a meaningful increase in trilateral cooperation has been witnessed this year, and proposals were made for the three countries to organise joint events in the fields of science and technology for defence, defence material production, peace operations and special forces.
Activities were planned for the above mentioned fields in the years 2009/10, and there has been an agreement about the exchange of information in the areas of Piracy, Counterterrorism and Cybernetic Security. They also agree to exchange experiences in the areas of joint deployment of armed forces doctrine, structure and doctrine of command and control of the armed forces and centralised procurement of defence material. The second IBSA naval military exercise (BSAMAR II), will take place in September 2010, in South Africa, with India being the lead country for planning.
The joint working group on education reached the following outcomes: identification and allocation of thematic areas of cooperation in education amongst the member countries to lead and facilitate the exchange programmes, formulation of draft guidelines for the IBSA Exchange Programme, a calendar of activities with timeframes for implementation including a call for proposals by October 2009.
Furthermore, the Indian side offered to set up an IBSA Centre for Engineering and Computer Science at IIT Kanpur. This centre will promote joint research activities in different areas such as computational fluid dynamics, earthquake engineering, core computing, robotics, and other areas of mutual interest. India also offered to set up two area study centres on South African and Brazilian universities through its University Grants Commission in order to better promote understanding amongst member countries.
The joint working group on environment discussed four thematic clusters for the Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio in 2012: review of implementation, international governance for sustainable development, green growth, and water resources.
It also agreed on organising a workshop in best practices of sustainable development on the margins of IV IBSA Summit, identified opportunities for cooperation amongst IBSA and in third countries on clean development mechanism capacity building; and the possibility of combining and coordinating modelling methodologies, as applicable, with a view to enlarge the geographical scope of the scenarios and to enhance their accuracy.
Presentations were made within the joint working group on human settlements to update national policies in progress on housing and urbanisation of precarious human settlements of low income population in India, Brazil and South Africa, which made clear the convergence of agendas and the priority given to housing policies in the three countries. The working group plans technical visits to one project under implementation in each of the three countries for comparison and monitoring. The first visit was made to the site of a programme of urbanisation of slums in Manguinhos and Alemão, in Rio de Janeiro, on July 15, 2009.
The joint working group on information society agreed to award three digital inclusion projects, offering visits to winners in member countries. The following areas were identified for enhanced cooperation: civil identification and other e-government applications, network infrastructure and data centres, cooperation through a consortium to strengthen open source software, development framework based on open source, and evaluation methodology.
Public administration and governance
The joint working group on public administration and governance achieved three outcomes. Firstly, the drafting of an IBSA framework on public administration; for example, a set of guidelines and directive principles agreed upon among the three countries, which should govern the functioning of public services to promote the idea of good governance, without being legally enforceable.
Secondly, a virtual centre of excellence in public administration; for example, a web based portal to create a knowledge base for sharing IBSA experiences and best practices in the field of public administration and development related issues. The virtual centre would be a hub which would draw in, assimilate, augment and diffuse information and knowledge on the concept and practice of governance, as means to a broad based sustainable development.
Thirdly, the holding of an IBSA Seminar on Capacity Building for Effective Service Delivery, in collaboration with Administrative Staff College of India, in Hyderabad, and involving participation of ENAP from Brazil, Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) from South Africa and officials from Government of India.
The joint working group on social development discussed and finalised the Implementation plan related to the memorandum of understanding in the field of social development, signed during the second summit (2007). The group agreed to finalise the IBSA social development strategy. There was also an agreement to produce a matrix of social policies, programs and projects of the IBSA countries in order to identify possibilities of cooperation.
Trade and investment
The working group on trade and investment agreed to draw up a plan of activities for implementation of its memorandum of understanding (MoU), involving meetings among technical experts, identification of priority sectors of cooperation and sectoral seminars.
It also discussed a joint action plan on cooperation in the field of small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). It agreed to update the IBSA website with trade related information, including a list of investment projects. It discussed scheduling of meetings between officials of designated financial institutions of the three countries to discuss financial issues for example; trade finance, credit lines, financing activities of SMMEs and cooperation between IBSA financial institutions. Finally, it decided to include the Tri-Nation Summit on Small Business Development within the framework of IBSA.
The joint working group on transport (maritime segment) agreed to exchange information, identify trade and investment opportunities and to designate a leading country for each of the eight projects established by the action plan, such as the development of hubs and water ballast techniques.
Moreover, it agreed that IBSA countries should make efforts to support each other in the upcoming elections to be held within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), as well as to adopt joint positions on maritime issues in different fora. The working group also visited a port and a maritime school in Rio de Janeiro in July 2009.
* Other working group issues
Appreciate the efforts of the joint working group on science and technology in the areas of Antarctic research, oceanography and nanotechnology. With regard to the last mentioned, an estimated 120 students will benefit from training. Also acknowledge the allocation of resources by the three countries for joint research projects in identified areas, such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS and indigenous knowledge. Recommend that this working group meet in the near future.
Urge the remaining joint working groups, respectively, on energy, health, revenue administration, transport (civil aviation) and tourism to meet as soon as possible. Also urge the early finalisation of MoUs under consideration.
* Women's issues
Welcome the commitment of the Women's Forum to launch a book, during the fourth IBSA Summit, on inclusive macro-economic framework, which reflects the culmination of the work of the Women’s Forum to date, and as an outcome of the seminar held in Brasilia in July 2008.
4. IBSA Facility Fund
Take note of the results achieved concerning projects funded through the IBSA Facility Fund in Cape Verde, Haiti and Guinea-Bissau, as well as the beginning of the IBSA projects in Ramallah and Burundi. Welcome the development of project documents for, among others, initiatives in Timor-Leste, Cambodia and at the Gaza Strip.
Instruct the parties involved with other envisaged projects to expedite their implementation. Encourage the focal points to forward new and detailed proposals for the IBSA Fund Board of Directors. Invite implementing partners from the three countries, especially institutions that are already involved with IBSA, to participate in this process. Reiterate the three countries commitment to contribute with at least United States $1 million per year to the fund.
5. Final remarks
The Brazilian and the Indian Ministers congratulated South Africa for the successful hosting of the FIFA Confederation Cup and wished South Africa success in the organisation of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, the first to be held in the African continent. The three ministers agreed that the organisation of FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa and FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil create a unique opportunity to foster trilateral cooperation in sports, bearing in mind that sport is a potential tool for development.
The three ministers pay high consideration for Rio de Janeiro's bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympics games
Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
1 September 2009
Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
1 Sep 2009
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