India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum
11 March 2005
1. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, HE Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of External Affairs of India, HE Mr K Natwar Singh and the Foreign Minister of Brazil, HE Mr Celso Amorim, met in Cape Town on 10 and 11 March 2005 for the Second Meeting of the Trilateral Commission of the IBSA Dialogue Forum.
2. The Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their determination to play a constructive role in international affairs and to maintain friendly relations with all countries. The IBSA Dialogue Forum serves as a mechanism for political consultation and co-ordination as well as for strengthening co-operation in sectoral areas and to improve economic relations between India, Brazil and South Africa.
3. They confirmed their support for a strong multilateral system as a means towards addressing issues of global concern, in particular the pre-eminent role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of sustainable development.
4. The Ministers noted that the Trilateral Ministerial Commission has also proved to be an excellent environment to exchange views on regional and global developments.
MILLENNIUM REVIEW SUMMIT
5. The Ministers agreed to work together, within the UN processes in New York, towards the successful conclusion of the Millennium Review Summit scheduled to take place from 14 to 16 September 2005. They looked forward to the Report to be issued by the Secretary-General in March 2005 in preparation for the Summit. The Ministers expressed the hope that the Summit outcome would reflect a balance between development and security concerns and emphasised that development was an indispensable foundation for a new collective security system. In this regard they noted that the Report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and the Report of the United Nations Millennium Project 2005 provided useful inputs towards this end.
6. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the goal of developing countries successfully achieving, at the minimum, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a core strategy in the international fight against underdevelopment, hunger and poverty. They reiterated their support for the New York Declaration, issued at the World Leaders’ Meeting on Action Against Hunger and Poverty, and reconfirmed the importance of obtaining new and additional financial resources for fighting poverty and financing development.
7. The Ministers noted that the MDGs should not be seen in isolation, as they cut across every aspect of international co-operation. Considerably more international progress was needed, therefore, in areas such as improved market access for developing countries, increased Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more extensive debt relief as well as additional resources and new approaches to development financing.
8. The Ministers emphasised that South-South co-operation was an essential and fundamental component of international co-operation for development, especially in terms of global, regional and country-level efforts to achieve the MDGs and reaffirmed cooperation under IBSA to promote these objectives.
9. The Ministers committed themselves to work together to strengthen the political will of the UN membership to maintain the momentum of the 2000 Millennium Summit, in order to translate commitments into concrete action, in particular, in the areas of development and poverty eradication.
10. The Ministers recognised the strong multiplier effect of poverty eradication strategies targeting women and children and agreed to reflect this approach in IBSA programmes and initiatives. They also highlighted in this regard, the importance of linking the MDGs to the Beijing Platform for Action.
UN Institutional Reform
11. The Ministers re-iterated their continued support for the early reform of the United Nations to make it more democratic and responsive to the priorities of its Member States, particularly those of developing countries that constitute the vast majority of its membership. They agreed to utilise fully the window of opportunity afforded by the Millennium Review Process for a serious effort at the long-needed UN reform, in particular the institutional reforms relating to the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council.
12. The Ministers expressed the view that the composition of the UN Security Council no longer represented present-day realities. Bearing in mind that decisions of the Council should serve the interests of the broader United Nations Membership, they highlighted the need for the urgent reform of the Council that would include its expansion in both categories of membership, permanent and non-permanent, in order to render it more democratic, legitimate and representative. Towards this end, developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America would need to be included as permanent members on the Security Council. The IBSA countries agreed to exchange information and work towards this common purpose in the coming months.
13. The Foreign Ministers voiced their full support for the capable manner in which the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, had been conducting the work of the organisation, and expressed confidence in his efforts to enhance the UN’s role in international relations.
14. The Ministers recommitted their respective delegations to the UN and its specialised agencies, as well as other multilateral bodies, to remain in close touch with each other and to consult on all issues of significance.
SOUTH-SOUTH CO-OPERATION AND SOUTH SUMMIT
15. The Ministers committed themselves to developing a common vision for enhanced South-South co-operation and the realisation of the development agenda of the South during the 21st Century. They agreed to work together on economic development with social equity in the context of a globalising world. IBSA would examine ways to adopt a pro-active approach to channel the forces of globalisation in this direction. They re-affirmed the principle that IBSA was dedicated to the strengthening of the international framework of South-South co-operation and the advancement of human development through the promotion of potential synergies among its members.
16. The Ministers welcomed the offer by Qatar to host the second South Summit in Doha, from 12-16 June 2005, as an opportunity to provide an important platform to assess the present economic, social and political situation in the South and to propose measures at the national, regional and international level that would enable developing countries to fulfil their developmental potential.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
17. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the socio-economic development programme of the African Union and committed the IBSA partnership to seeking practical and concrete measures to be pursued in support of the implementation of NEPAD. The three countries shared a common experience in the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment, as well as complementary levels of development. There was therefore much to gain from sharing information and best practices in dealing with common challenges and in identifying areas of common concern, need and benefit.
18. Numerous opportunities existed in the promotion of trade, investment, science and technology exchanges, and in the fields of energy, ICT, agriculture, bio-technology, health, tourism and education in support of the African agenda. In this regard the Ministers pledged to explore opportunities for trilateral cooperation.
New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership (NAASP)
19. The Ministers noted the decision made during AASROC II, held in Durban in August 2004, to launch a New Asian-African Strategic Partnership during the Asia-Africa Summit, scheduled to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in April 2005. They made a commitment to focus on practical ways of addressing the developmental needs of Asia and Africa by focusing on economic issues, trade, investment, health, human resource development and infrastructure.
Latin and South American Integration
20. The Ministers expressed their support for the creation of an Asian-African Business Summit which would focus on exploring business opportunities, promoting trade and investment and identifying measures to strengthen the African private sector. They undertook to investigate ways in which to facilitate closer co-operation with South America.
21. The Ministers welcomed the efforts towards integration in the Latin America and Caribbean region and in this regard recognised the significance of the creation of the South American Community of Nations (CASA).
REFORM OF THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL ARCHITECTURE
22. The Ministers agreed that the existing international financial system must be renewed and strengthened to promote adequate and appropriate financing for the development of countries at widely-differing levels of development. The Ministers emphasised the need for greater participation by developing countries in international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, including those of the Bretton Woods Institutions and other economic and financial institutions. Developing countries had a stake in multilateral financial institutions and therefore should be fully involved in policy-making and decision-taking processes in these institutions in order to make them more accountable and responsive to the community of nations.
23. The Ministers committed themselves to working together to devise means to make the multilateral financial institutions genuinely open to participation by, and fully accountable to, the entire global constituency.
WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION
24. The Ministers agreed to intensify co-operation in areas of mutual interest in the current round of multilateral trade negotiations, in the lead-up to the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in December 2005. This co-operation, as exemplified by the G-20 in agricultural negotiations, aimed to realise the Doha Development Agenda and to enhance trade opportunities under an open, fair, equitable and transparent rules-based multilateral trading system.
25. The Ministers expressed their conviction that the incoming Director-General of the WTO should be a candidate best suited to advancing the development agenda in the WTO negotiations.
26. 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 (WSSD) held in Johannesburg. IBSA would continue its efforts to mobilise new and additional financial resources and the transfer of environmentally-sound technologies within an agreed time-frame in order to implement the outcomes of these conferences.
27. The Ministers stressed that an international environment supportive of development would be critical to this process. They also called for a specific focus on capacity-building as well as on the transfer of financial resources and technology to developing countries.
28. They underscored the importance of the decision taken at the WSSD to negotiate, within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international regime to promote and safeguard the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources. The Ministers agreed on the need for ensuring that the benefits arising out of the commercial use of genetic resources accrued to the countries of origin.
29. They reiterated, in this context, their commitment to effective implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. They also called for the establishment of a legally-binding instrument for protecting intellectual property rights related to traditional knowledge. India, Brazil and South Africa, as the founding members of the Group of Like-Minded Mega diverse Countries, agreed to strengthen co-operation and co-ordination, with an emphasis on multilateral negotiations and in fostering activities related to South-South Co-operation.
30. The Ministers expressed their pleasure at the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol on 16 February 2005. They further urged developed countries to meet their own commitments and undertakings under the Protocol not only in terms of complying, with current targets for Green House Gas (GHG) emission reduction, but also in terms of the expansion of technology transfer, capacity-building and financial support to developing countries.
PEACE AND SECURITY
Weapons of Mass Destruction
31. The Ministers reaffirmed the view that the 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 (WMDs) and noted the adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolution 1540 (2004) on 28 April 2004. They expressed their conviction that structures such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which had already been established in accordance with international disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control agreements, should not be duplicated and that these organisations be utilised as the primary institutions in the international community’s endeavours to combat the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, including to non-State actors. They took note of avowed commitments of Governments regarding the transfer of technology related to the manufacture of WMDs and expressed hope for the observance of these commitments unequivocally. They agreed to further intensify their cooperation at the IAEA and other forums with a view to ensuring the unimpeded growth and development of the peaceful use of atomic energy through the supply of technology, equipment and material under appropriate safeguards.
32. The Ministers reaffirmed that international terrorism continued to constitute one of the most serious threats to peace and security and that acts of terrorism were criminal and unjustifiable whatever the considerations or factors that might be invoked to justify them. The Ministers emphasised the need for concerted and co-ordinated action by the international community, with the ultimate objective of eradicating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
33. The Ministers reaffirmed their full support for the implementation of all the measures to combat terrorism outlined in relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. They welcomed the Council’s efforts to increase co-operation and co-ordination among all the role-players in the fight against terrorism and called on the international community to work together in a spirit of co-operation and accommodation to eliminate terrorism. In this regard, the Ministers noted the importance of the conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and called on all States to co-operate in resolving the outstanding issues with the objective of an early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of this Convention. The Ministers welcomed the adoption by the UN General Assembly of resolution 59/80 on "Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction".
34. The Ministers emphasised that international co-operation to combat terrorism should be conducted in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and relevant international conventions, including international human rights conventions.
Situation in the Middle East
35. The Ministers expressed their full support for the new positive spirit that had emerged in the Middle East following the Palestinian elections of 10 January 2005, which resulted in the election of Mr Mahmoud Abbas as the new President of Palestine. They welcomed the outcome of the Sharm Al Sheikh Summit between the Palestinian President Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Sharon on 8 February 2005, especially the undertaking of both leaders to work to effect a cease-fire.
36. The Ministers also welcomed the outcome of the London Conference in support of the Palestinian National Authority held on 1 March 2005. They noted with pleasure the call for a Donor Conference on Palestine. They committed themselves to work together to assist both the Israelis and the Palestinians to advance the Middle East Peace Process.
37. The Foreign Ministers expressed their deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims and survivors of the devastating tsunami that occurred in South and South-East Asia and East Africa on 26 December 2004. This natural disaster of unprecedented scale underlined the importance of the adoption by the international community of pro-active measures to address the issues of disaster reduction, mitigation and management. In this regard, the Ministers expressed their recognition for the cooperation extended by the developing countries to the countries affected by the tsunami. The three Governments should seek to co-operate in the strengthening of capacity and the implementation of development programmes at national and local levels to reduce the impacts of "sudden-onset" natural disasters. In this regard, the Ministers recalled the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) at the January 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan.
IBSA SECTORAL CO-OPERATION
38. The Ministers reviewed the work of the Sectoral Working Groups and adopted their reports. While appreciating the progress made thus far, they recognised that greater scope existed for further intensifying co-operation amongst the three countries.
39. The Ministers decided to initiate trilateral cooperation in two additional sectors, namely Agriculture and Culture. While noting that the Health and Energy Sectoral Working Groups had been unable to convene, they welcomed the proposals for the convening of both these Working Groups in the near future.
40. As regards Science and Technology, the Ministers agreed on areas of co-operation for research and development and decided that each country would champion research areas through a system of coordinators. A work plan was developed for 2005/06, reflecting milestones in implementing projects, a schedule of relevant events as well as a process to finalise a working document to be signed at the next meeting of the Science and Technology Ministers, scheduled from 8 to 10 June 2005 in Brazil.
41. In the context of the Information Society sector, the Ministers noted that their countries had national e-government and Information Society Development Plans that had many similarities and decided to share information, best practices and identify projects for cooperation.
42. Recognising that digital exclusion constituted a critical obstacle to development and that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) should be harnessed to address the needs of the poor, the Ministers stressed the importance of cooperation in this area, especially with regard to the availability of low-cost equipment, multi-purpose community public access centres, their sustainability and Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS).
43. The Ministers agreed that they should continue to coordinate positions, particularly on Internet Governance, and collaborate on the preparations for the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS).
44. They noted that the hosting by South Africa of the FIFA Football World Cup in 2010 created a good opportunity, particularly for the IBSA ICT sectors, to collaborate on the ICT needs for the event.
45. The Ministers further welcomed the decision on the establishment of the IBSA website which will facilitate interaction on, and follow-up of, IBSA decisions. The website will be operationalised by the end of June 2005.
46. The Ministers decided to formalise an IBSA sectoral working group on Agriculture. It was agreed to maintain the momentum that resulted from the launch of the IBSA Funding Facility for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation. They also agreed to form a closer partnership between IBSA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the implementation of the Agriculture and Livestock Development project in Guinea Bissau. A Technical Monitoring Committee (TMC) would also be established for the project.
47. The Ministers agreed that consultations between the Ministries and Departments of Agriculture would be strengthened in support of the IBSA and G-20 trade consultation processes. They decided that a meeting of IBSA experts would be convened in India to define areas for trilateral research and training in agriculture.
48. On the issue of trade, the Ministers decided to promote co-ordination and co-operation in several areas including on the convergence of Preferential Trade Agreements and/or Free Trade Agreements, in the G-20 and on WTO-related issues. They further agreed to conduct joint studies and research on trade-related matters. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that preferential trade agreements had already been concluded between Mercosur-SACU and Mercosur-India and further noted that discussions will commence in June 2005 on an agreement between India and SACU. A study was circulated on "The Potential for Greater Trade between South Africa, India and Brazil" and the Member States undertook to conduct IBSA seminars on trade and investment in their respective countries as well as in key developed markets.
49. The Ministers welcomed the launch of the IBSA Business Council. It was agreed that the Business Council and the Working Group will have an active working relationship, and also work jointly in areas such as Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises.
50. The Ministers welcomed the preparations for the IBSA Education Ministerial meeting scheduled preferably for July 2005, in New Delhi. Thematic areas previously identified in the New Delhi Plan of Action will form the basis of discussions at this meeting and include issues of higher education, distance education and basic education. A draft agreement on an Exchange Programme on Higher Education is also expected to be signed at this meeting.
51. The Ministers noted preparations for the second IBSA Defence Ministers meeting scheduled to be held in Brazil, as well as possible areas of mutual cooperation such as the exchange of personnel, training opportunities, the exchange of experiences in peacekeeping operations and Defence Industry co-operation. The above possible areas of mutual cooperation will be considered during the Ministerial meeting. Matters relating to the preparations for the proposed Defence Industry and Technology Seminar were also discussed.
52. The Ministers expressed the view that enhancing co-operation in the tourism sector was vital in order to foster people-to-people contact as well as to contribute to economic development. They highlighted that statistics of inbound tourism from among the IBSA member countries showed an encouraging upward trend. They recommended that for tourism purposes, competent authorities in the three countries examine the possibility of visa waiver or the issuing of visas on arrival for IBSA nationals.
53. The Ministers noted the possibility of arranging a meeting of IBSA Tourism Ministers to coincide with the South African Tourism Indaba in May 2005, at which discussions would be conducted on the IBSA tourism action plan, a trilateral tourism agreement, as well as the bilateral agreement between South Africa and Brazil. They also noted a number of related meetings to be arranged, amongst others, for leading IBSA private sector stakeholders in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, on topics such as eco-tourism and conservation as well as cultural and heritage tourism.
54. The Ministers took cognisance of the importance of the transport sector in promoting trade and tourism and welcomed the progress made towards the finalisation of a trilateral agreement on Civil Aviation. They encouraged the competent authorities to meet within three months to finalise this work and to continue the negotiations on a Maritime Transport Agreement.
55. The Ministers for the first time included the cultural sector in the agenda of the IBSA Dialogue Forum. They decided to coordinate their positions within UNESCO, amongst others, on issues such as the contribution of culture to a country’s economy, the protection of intellectual property rights keeping in view the development dimension, and the potential of creative industries to alleviate poverty and generate income.
56. They agreed to commence their collaboration by organising a music and dance festival in Brazil in November 2005, a meeting in India on the audiovisual sector in 2005 and a conference in South Africa on indigenous knowledge systems at the beginning of 2006.
57. The Ministers agreed that an IBSA seminar on Economic Development and Social Equity will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 5 August 2005. The seminar will examine the contribution of the IBSA Forum towards a new paradigm for South-South dialogue and cooperation, and seek to promote a better understanding among IBSA members of their national policies and strategies in order to encourage economic and social co-operation.
58. The Ministers expressed their expectation that the seminar will deliver concrete outcomes towards fostering trilateral engagement. They agreed that in order to guide the discussion on the overarching theme of poverty alleviation, the seminar will concentrate on economic development, social equity and science and technology.
59. The Ministers emphasised the need for co-operation in the Energy Sector. They noted that the areas of non-conventional energy, bio-diesel energy, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, exchange of experience in generation, transmission and distribution of power as well as energy conservation and reforms had been identified for co-operation.
60. The Ministers noted that the IBSA Health Sector Senior Officials meeting will be held in Brazil, from 28-29 March 2005. This meeting will develop a framework for an IBSA Implementation Plan on Health. It was further agreed that the IBSA Health Ministers will meet on the margins of the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting in Geneva, in May 2005. The Ministers will consider adopting a framework for an IBSA Implementation Plan on Health.
IBSA FACILITY FOR HUNGER AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION
61. The Ministers reviewed progress made with regard to the operationalisation of the IBSA Facility for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation. They furthermore reviewed progress that had been made in addressing certain operational issues aimed at strengthening project implementation and future delivery. The criteria for the submission and evaluation of projects were discussed, as were certain practical guidelines for the functioning of the Board of Directors of the Facility.
62. The Ministers once again emphasised the financial commitment of their Governments to the Facility and agreed that they would extend invitations for participation in the funding of this South-South initiative. They noted with approval that the implementation of the Guinea-Bissau project was on schedule and discussed the possibility of initiating other projects. The Ministers expressed optimism that the launching of the project in Guinea-Bissau would help raise the profile of the Fund, especially among the private sector and civil society, and thereby encouraged further participation.
63. The Ministers agreed that IBSA would approach the Palestinian Authority with an offer to assist it with its reconstruction efforts.
64. The Ministers also agreed that each member country would commit an additional amount of US$ 1 million to the IBSA Fund.
65. The Foreign Ministers of Brazil and India expressed their deep gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa for convening the Second Meeting of the Trilateral Commission and noted the special privilege of having had the opportunity to meet and interact with President Thabo Mbeki. The three Ministers agreed that the next meeting will be held in Brazil in 2006.
Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs
11 March 2005