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Joint communiqué: 11th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting

September 23, 2023

1. The Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, H.E Dr. S. Jaishankar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E Amb. Mauro Vieira, and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa H.E, Dr. Grace Naledi Pandor, (hereinafter referred to as "the Ministers") met for the 11th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission on 22 September 2023, in New York.

2. The Ministers recalled that IBSA was created 20 years ago to promote coordination on global issues between three large pluralistic, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic democracies of Asia, South America and Africa, and to enhance trilateral cooperation in sectoral areas, providing a new framework to South-South Cooperation. They underscored the importance of IBSA´s principles, norms, and values, including reformed multilateralism, participatory democracy, respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, peaceful negotiation, diplomacy, freedom, the primacy of international law and sustainable development.

3. The Ministers expressed their intention to further energise and leverage the IBSA Forum. To that effect, they agreed to hold a Standalone Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brazil, in the first quarter of 2024 and tasked the Sherpas to elaborate a proposal on IBSA institutional development.

4. The Ministers recalled that India, Brazil and South Africa are focused on pursuing sustainable development, overcoming development challenges, and upholding independent foreign policies. They believe that the values and principles of IBSA serve as a bridge between developing and developed countries. The Ministers affirmed the strategic significance of IBSA in safeguarding and advancing the interests of the Global South on the global stage, including at the multilateral and plurilateral bodies. The fact that the three countries will make up the G20 "troika” in 2024, provides further opportunities for concerted actions and cooperation in several areas.

5. The Ministers agreed to strengthen and expand the IBSA Fund, an internationally recognized initiative of South-South cooperation, with 42 projects in 37 countries. They tasked the Sherpas to elaborate a proposal to that effect.

6. The Ministers noted with concern the escalation of geopolitical tensions in various parts of the world and emphasized the need for dialogue and diplomacy for peaceful resolution of conflicts. They called for strengthening of global arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, including efforts within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament.

7. Recalling the IBSA Joint Statement on the Reform of the Multilateral System made in New York on 26 September 2019 and the IBSA Joint Ministerial Statement on Reform of the UN Security Council of 16 September 2020, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitments to safeguarding the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, such as equal sovereignty and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, greater democracy and the rule of law in international relations, as well as to building a representative, responsive and participatory international governance architecture through mutually beneficial cooperation.

8. The Ministers emphasized that while a comprehensive reform of the United Nations system remains a crucial international undertaking, the advancing of the reform of the Security Council should remain an urgent and top priority. The Ministers expressed frustration with the paralysis observed at the Inter-Governmental Negotiations on UN Security Council reform which lacks transparency in its working methods and have not produced tangible progress in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). They stressed that the time has come to move towards a result-oriented process and urged the redoubling of efforts to achieve concrete outcomes within a fixed time frame on this issue through the commencement of text-based negotiations, based on a single comprehensive text, in a formal setting, during the 78th UNGA, with a view to an early comprehensive reform of the Security Council.

9. The Ministers renewed their commitment to work for the expansion of Security Council membership to include representation from developing economies of Africa, Asia and Latin America, in both the permanent and non-permanent membership categories for achieving a reformed, representative, equitable, responsive and effective UN Security Council which is reflective of the contemporary global realities. They supported the legitimate aspiration of African countries to have a permanent presence in the UNSC and supported Brazil’s and India’s endeavour to occupy permanent seats in the Security Council. The Ministers appreciated the role of India and Brazil as members of the UN Security Council for 2021-2022 and 2022-23, respectively.

10. They affirmed the need for a reformed, revitalised and reinvigorated multilateralism aimed at implementing the 2030 agenda, to adequately address contemporary global challenges of the 21st Century and to make global governance more representative, democratic, effective, transparent and accountable.

11. The Ministers deplored the continued terrorist attacks across the world. They condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever. They concurred that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens eliminated in every part of the world. They reaffirmed their solidarity and resolved in the fight against terrorism. They called upon the international community to establish a genuinely broad international counter-terrorism framework in accordance with the principles of international law and support the United Nations' central coordinating role in international counter-terrorism cooperation. They recalled the responsibility of all States to prevent and counter-terrorism, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, the financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories. The Ministers reiterated their resolve to step up joint efforts for the expeditious adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UNGA.

12. The Ministers looked forward to further deepening counter-terrorism cooperation and reaffirmed the sole authority of the UN Security Council for imposing sanctions and called for urgent reform of the working methods of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency while avoiding politicization and double standards of any of their proceedings including listing proposals objectively on evidence-based criteria.

13. The Ministers emphasized the value of bilateral and multilateral cooperation among States to effectively combat the COVID 19 pandemic and its impacts, especially in developing countries. They appreciated the significant progress achieved in the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and called for further cooperation among the various stakeholders to ensure the timely availability of a diversified portfolio of vaccines to all those who need it, at affordable prices.

14. The Ministers called for the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements guided by the principles of Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and in particular of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), welcomed the adoption of the "Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2022. In this regard, the Ministers recalled the importance of ensuring adequate, accessible and predictable resources as well as transfer of appropriate and affordable technologies, especially from the Developed Countries for developing countries for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as promoting the contributions of indigenous peoples, and local communities. They also underlined the need to urgently accelerate actions to address development and climate challenges, promote lifestyle for sustainable development, and conserve biodiversity. The Ministers welcomed the Brazilian presidency of the group of Likeminded Megadiverse Countries (LMMC) for the period 2023-2024 and highlighted the importance of strengthening the coordination of positions within this group as well as in other multilateral environmental forums.

15. The Ministers underscored the importance of the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner leaving no one behind. They highlighted the need to strengthen the means of implementation including capacity building, transfer of technology, grants and concessional finance from the developed countries and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. They urged the developed countries to fully honor their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and for providing new and additional financing and the means of implementation of the SDGs in the developing countries.

16. The Ministers also emphasized that it remains imperative to overcome extreme poverty, to reduce inequalities, and to promote sustainable development for all, including through international and South-South cooperation aimed at sharing best practices. They also acknowledged that the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, must be aligned with national efforts and international cooperation as it represents the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

17. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and its Paris Agreement. They urged all countries to work together for the implementation of the Paris Agreement based on the principles of the UNFCCC, especially the principles of "equity” and "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”. The Ministers urged developed countries to provide sustained, predictable and adequate financing, technology transfer and capacity-building support to developing countries to cope with climate change and its impacts, in line with their obligations.

18. The Ministers recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries; the need to achieve rapid reductions in emissions thereafter on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. The Ministers regretted that the goal of USD 100 billion per year promised by the developed countries by 2020 has not been met and called for its fulfilment by COP28, scheduled from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai. They expressed their willingness to engage in a fruitful first Global Stock Take (GST) of the Paris Agreement, at COP 28, which will guide countries in presenting their second round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), in 2025. They reiterated their support to the Brazilian decision to host COP30, in 2025, in the city of Belém.

19. The Ministers reinforced the need for a reformed and more representative governance structure in international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, with increased participation of developing countries. The Ministers urged these institutions to simplify procedures, reduce loan conditionalities and promote greater space for domestic development policies.

20. The Ministers underlined the pressing issue of debt vulnerability in developing countries, which affects both low and middle-income countries. They highlighted the priority and urgency of addressing this challenge. The Ministers reminded that the last round of accelerated increases in international interest rates resulted in a debt crisis in the countries from the Global South and a lost decade in terms of economic growth and development. They recalled that industrialization, economic diversification and the production of higher value-added goods are crucial for development. They reaffirmed that developing countries must continue to fight for greater access to international markets for their goods and services and combat the current wave of rising protectionism.

21. The Ministers reaffirmed the centrality of the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, fair, equitable, open and inclusive multilateral trading system (MTS), with the WTO at its core, and its role in promoting predictability, stability, legal certainty and a level playing field for international trade while ensuring special and differential treatment for developing countries including LDCs. The Ministers remained committed to working constructively to reform and strengthen the multilateral trading system and emphasized the need to restore a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system by 2024 as mandated in the MC12 outcome document. The Ministers commended the successful conclusion of MC12 that underscores the value of multilateralism. They encouraged the wider WTO membership to sustain momentum and achieve further meaningful outcomes by MC13.

22. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening even further agricultural cooperation among IBSA, including within multilateral organizations. They underscored that an open, reliable, non-discriminatory and uninterrupted international trade in agriculture and its inputs is one of the important avenues to address the global food security crises. The Ministers also highlighted the need for agricultural trade to be free from unilateral restrictions and protectionist measures, contrary to WTO rules. They welcomed the United Nations declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets and encouraged production of millets as an alternate climate-resilient and nutritious grain for ensuring food security.

23. The Ministers reaffirmed G20’s role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation and reiterated the need for implementing the SDGs and for promoting sustainable development. They commended the successful hosting of the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi under the Indian G20 Presidency and expressed their full support to the upcoming Brazilian G20 Presidency and highlighted the fact that, starting on 1st December 2023, the three IBSA countries will comprise the G20 troika. The sequence of four developing countries in the presidency of the group (Indonesia, 2022; India, 2023; Brazil, 2024; South Africa, 2025) constitutes a valuable opportunity to further integrate a developmental perspective in the G20 agenda. The Ministers reiterated the need for macroeconomic policy coordination, with the aim of achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and minimizing negative spillovers and external shocks. The Ministers agreed to coordinate on issues of common interest, including international trade and investment, environment and climate change, counterterrorism, social inclusion and food security, development issues, health and education.

24. The Ministers welcomed the inclusion of the African Union as a member of the G20 under the Indian Presidency. They agreed to continue to amplify and further integrate the voice of the Global South in the G20 agenda under the Brazilian and South African presidencies in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

25. The Ministers underscored the fact that access to scientific and technological knowledge is a fundamental element for the enduring development of IBSA countries. They also recognized, with satisfaction, the important contributions to science brought by individual research efforts in all IBSA countries. The Ministers agreed, to this effect, that further dialogue and cooperation is needed among researchers and universities, as well as among innovators in all IBSA countries, to ensure that the gains obtained from technological advancements are distributed to all, and not concentrated in a small number of private actors. They reaffirmed their commitment to review the current architecture for scientific and technological cooperation within IBSA and explore possibilities for its enhancement.

26. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring an open, secure, trusted, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace. They highlighted that the United Nations General Assebly is the appropriate forum for a global dialogue on international security related to the ICTs, where broad, common understandings have and can continue to be achieved. This dialogue, with strong participation from nations from the Global South, is essential to allow countries to benefit from the digital transformation, while preventing threats to peace and security stemming from the already ubiquitous and borderless digital realm. The Ministers emphasized international cooperation for bridging the digital divides and welcomed the establishment of IBSA cooperation on cyber-related issues, including artificial intelligence and new and emerging technologies.

27. The Ministers noted that all the IBSA countries have systems of traditional medicine and that traditional medicine has a larger role to play in the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases, nutritional deficiencies, infectious diseases and many other conditions. They welcomed the proposal for academia in IBSA countries to join hands to develop scientific evidence of the utility and effectiveness of traditional medicine. Further, recalling the ‘IBSA MoU on cooperation in the field of health and medicine signed in Pretoria, South Africa, on 17 October 2007, which called for promoting and developing cooperation in the area of traditional medicine, the Ministers agreed to consider exploring a separate IBSA MoU for cooperation on Traditional Medicine and to develop and implement a road map for cooperation to improve the health of their people and facilitate trade in the area of traditional medicine inter alia.

28. The Ministers of India and South Africa thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil for hosting the 11th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting.

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