IBSA to advance South-South cooperation

Sunday, September 30, 2018

In the context of today’s dynamic global order, the India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) member states have underscored the strategic significance of the group in safeguarding and advancing the interests of the South on the global stage.

They stressed the importance of multilateralism and the need to reform global governance structures in order to make them more inclusive, democratic, representative, transparent and responsive to the needs of the South, the group said on Thursday.

The Foreign Affairs Ministers met for the IBSA dialogue forum in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73).

The Ministers noted with satisfaction the decision to enhance cooperation based on its three pillars: political coordination in multilateral fora, trilateral cooperation and cooperation with other developing countries through the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.

In the communique, the group underscored the IBSA Declaration on South-South Cooperation issued in June 2018 in Pretoria in the context of the run-up to the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40 Conference), to be held in Buenos Aires in March 2019.

“They stressed that this provides a unique opportunity for the strengthening of future trilateral cooperation with other developing countries through the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.

“They emphasised the important role played by the IBSA Fund through sharing of developmental experience of IBSA countries and recalled, with satisfaction, the signature in 2017 of the IBSA Fund Agreement, that will guarantee a steady flow of resources to boost its activities.”

The Ministers reiterated their intention to further deepen and strengthen the IBSA Dialogue Forum and stressed the importance of close coordination and cooperation among IBSA countries in various multilateral fora including the UN, G20, WHO, WTO, WIPO and UNFCCC.

The meeting -- which was attended by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu, India’s Minister of External Relations Sushma Swaraj and Brazil’s Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira -- also discussed key areas of cooperation such as the UN Security Council reforms, the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, terrorism, human rights, refuges and financing for development.

With regards to the reforms at the UN, the Ministers reiterated that unilateralism impacts negatively on international stability, contributes to uncertainty and undermines national efforts at strengthening constitutionalism and the rule of law. They called for a complete reform, which will see the expansion of its membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories in order to ensure adequate representation of developing countries.

“Such a reform is critical for the council to be able to adequately respond to global challenges,” said the communique, before the Ministers expressed full support for each other’s candidatures for permanent seats in a reformed and enlarged UN Security Council.

SDGs

On Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Ministers discussed common priorities and future collaborative work in contributing to the full and balanced implementation of the SDGs and their targets.

On climate change, they expressed their concern about the consequences of climate change and reaffirmed their commitment to reach a balanced outcome under the Paris Agreement Work Programme in COP-24, which enables its full operationalisation and implementation from 2021 onwards, guided by the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Terrorism

With regards to terrorism, the Ministers deplored the continued terrorist attacks across the world and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.

They reaffirmed that those responsible for committing, organising or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable.

They concurred that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and called upon all countries to eliminate terrorist safe havens and infrastructure from all territories under their control, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.

Turning to human rights, the Ministers reinforced the need for more technical assistance and capacity building so that countries are better equipped to meet the needs of their citizens.

They agreed to strengthen dialogue in the area of human rights in multilateral fora such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, favouring at all times non-selective, non-politicised and constructive approaches to human rights challenges in the world under the guiding principles of equality and mutual respect.

“At the same time, they agreed to continue to support diplomatic solutions to these challenges, based on dialogue, aiming at improving people's lives and preventing further harm in conflict-stricken regions,” the dialogue said.

On finance, the Ministers instructed the Sherpas to intensify activities to enhance the visibility of the IBSA Fund.

Furthermore, they emphasised that long-term and affordable financing is essential to the achievement of sustainable development in its three dimensions, particularly by developing countries, and that the eradication of poverty and hunger must remain the overarching objective of FfD.

The Ministers underlined the importance of cooperation among IBSA member states in order to promote the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, as well as the outcomes of the Monterey and Doha International Conferences on FfD.

IBSA is a trilateral, developmental initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and exchange.

The main objectives of the IBSA Dialogue Forum includes to  promote South-South dialogue, cooperation and common positions on issues of international importance, to promote trade and investment opportunities between the three regions and trilateral exchange of information, international best practices, technologies and skills, as well as to complement each others’ competitive strengths into collective synergies. – SAnews.gov.za

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