IBSA calls on G20 to live up to its promise

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brasilia - The foreign ministers of the world's leading developing democracies, India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA), have appealed to the Group of 20 (G20) to implement its commitments to reform the global financial system.

In a final declaration after the 6th IBSA ministerial meeting on Tuesday, the ministers stated that the international financial crisis required coordination, as partners, among developed and developing countries, although the crisis broke out in the heart of the industrialised world.

The meeting, held to discuss the global economic and political situation among other issues, took place between South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Brazilian and Indian Foreign Ministers, Celso Amorim and S.M. Krishna.

They stressed the need for reforms of the multilateral financial institutions and regulation and oversight of financial markets.

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.

"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," said the ministers in their final communiqu,.

They expressed deep concern with the consequences of the economic 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."

In this regard the ministers affirmed that a longer-term reform of the global financial system cannot be delayed. They also stressed that revival of growth in developing countries was crucial.

The three developing countries also hoped that trade among the three countries would climb from 10 billion dollars in 2008 to 25 billion by 2015.

They said the channel of dialogue that has been established should serve to broaden the collective voice of the South.

The minsiters called for regional cooperation mechanisms based on common experiences and complementarities.

The joint statement included a commitment to strengthen the multilateral system and a call for a greater voice for developing nations in the decisions of multilateral bodies.

The ministers also reiterated the need for democratic reforms of the United Nations and an expansion of the Security Council, in order to increase the participation of developing nations.

They further said the UN should be reformed to become more democratic and coherent with the priorities of developing countries.

"Support a reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) that includes the creation of new permanent and non-permanent seats, with increased participation of developing countries in both categories."

Such a reform, they said, was of the utmost importance for the UNSC to have the representativeness and legitimacy it needs to face contemporary challenges.

The IBSA, which was established in 2003 to boost South-South ties, has a total population of about 1.4 billion and the Gross Domestic Product of over 3.2 trillion US dollars.