The 10th India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum of Trilateral Ministerial Commission took place in New York on the side-lines of UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Key highlights –
- The joint declaration expressed serious concern at the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
- The participating leaders reiterated their call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the need to pursue the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
- These leaders called for urgent reform of the working methods of UN Security Council sanctions committees to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency.
- In this context, the leaders urged avoiding politicisation and double standards of any of their proceedings, including listing proposals objectively on evidence-based criteria.
- This assumes significance in the context of repeated efforts by China to prevent the designation of Pakistan based operatives of terror groups as global terrorist by the UN.
About IBSA –
- IBSA is a unique Forum which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents, facing similar challenges.
- The dialogue forum was created in 2003, with the adoption of Brasília declaration.
- Cooperation in IBSA is on three fronts —
- As a forum for consultation and coordination on global and regional political issues;
- E.g., the reform of the global institutions of political and economic governance, WTO/Doha Development Agenda, climate change, terrorism etc.
- Trilateral collaboration on concrete areas/projects;
- This is done through fourteen working groups and six People-to-People Forums, for the common benefit of three countries.
- Assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.
- The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is the fund manager of IBSA fund.
- Through this initiative, development projects are executed in fellow developing countries.
- It has, since its inception, allocated over US $44 million, supporting 39 South-South cooperation development projects in 35 partner countries with the majority being Least Developed Countries.
- IBSA Fund received the 2010 MDG Award for South-South cooperation.
Organisational Structure –
- Joint Working Groups — Sectoral cooperations have been established through 14 Joint Working Groups in various areas including transport, health, education etc.
- People-to-People Forums — There are six People-to-People Forums under IBSA.
- Focal Points —
- Senior Officials from the Foreign Offices of the three countries dealing with IBSA are the designated Focal Points.
- They meet once a year for a standalone meeting and also meet prior to the Trilateral Commission.
- Trilateral Commission — The Brasilia Declaration established a Trilateral Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers. The Commission meets regularly.
Achievements of IBSA –
- The three Foreign Ministers have been meeting regularly to provide a coordinated leadership to the grouping.
- The recent meeting in New York was 10th such meeting.
- While the IBSA Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund) is small in monetary terms, it has succeeded in implementing many development projects in diverse countries.
- IBSA projects cover Haiti, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Burundi, Palestine, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Sierra Leone.
- A sports complex has been completed and inaugurated in 2011 in Ramallah under the IBSA Fund.
- India has been running an innovative IBSA Visiting Fellows Programme through the Delhi-based think tank, Research and Information System for Developing Countries.
- One of the most significant commitments of the IBSA towards enhancing economic ties was the initiative to establish the MERCOSUR-SACU-India Trilateral Free Trade Agreement (T-FTA).