1. The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa H.E Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India, H.E General (Dr.) V.K. Singh (Retd.) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E Mr Aloysio Nunes Ferreira (hereinafter referred to as "the Ministers") met in Durban, South Africa on 17 October 2017 for the 8th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission meeting.
2. The Ministers underscored the importance of the principles, norms and values underpinning the IBSA Dialogue Forum, including participatory democracy, respect for human rights, and the Rule of Law. In mapping out the strategic outlook of IBSA, the Ministers reiterated the need for IBSA to leverage its strengths and unique identity as a grouping of the Global South, bringing together three large pluralistic, multi-cultural and multi-racial societies from three continents.
3. In the context of today’s dynamic global order, the Ministers underscored the strategic significance of IBSA 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.
4. The Ministers noted that the year 2017, in particular, is significant to the global governance reform agenda, with the 72nd Anniversary of the UN providing a timely opportunity for the global community to adopt a concrete programme that will guide us towards a strengthened UN and a reformed Security Council. The Ministers further noted that key milestones towards a peaceful and better world could be achieved through the successful conclusion and implementation of the outcomes of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
5. The Ministers emphasized the growing importance of South-South cooperation. In this context, they recognized that the IBSA Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger plays an important role through the sharing of developmental experience by IBSA countries. This contributes to inclusive and sustainable development for the empowerment of the peoples from developing countries.
Cooperation in Multilateral Organisations
6. The Ministers agreed on closer coordination and cooperation among IBSA countries in various multilateral fora including the UN, WTO, WIPO and G20.
United Nations Reform and Security Council Reform
7. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to safeguarding the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as a fair and just international order, upholding the basic norms of international law such as equal sovereignty and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, promoting greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, building an inclusive global community through mutually beneficial cooperation.
8. The Ministers underscored the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the global institutions of political and economic governance. They emphasized that no reform of the United Nations will be complete without a reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including an expansion in the permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership, with enhanced participation of developing countries therein, in order to better reflect present day realities and to make it representative, legitimate, efficient and effective. In this context, the need for greater progress in the UN General Assembly intergovernmental negotiations was identified as critical to promote the impetus necessary to achieve change. Therefore, the Ministers expressed their conviction that the time is opportune to move to the next phase and initiate text-based negotiations during the 72nd session of the General Assembly, which marks the 10th year of the IGN and the 25th year of consistent debate and consideration of this issue by the General Assembly. The Ministers agreed to cooperate and coordinate closely in order to achieve tangible results during the 72nd session of the General Assembly.
9. The Ministers recommitted their strong support to multilateralism and the central role of United Nations in international affairs. They committed to strengthening the coordination and cooperation among IBSA in the areas of mutual and common interest within the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, including through regular meetings among their permanent representatives in New York, Geneva and Vienna and further enhance the voice of IBSA in international fora.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
10. The Ministers underscored the importance of the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They highlighted the need to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. They urged the developed countries to fully honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments. The Ministers reiterated their support for a more balanced and inclusive economic globalisation, reject protectionism, and renew their commitment to the promotion of global trade, investment and productivity which is conducive to an equitable, inclusive, innovative, invigorated and interconnected world economy.
11. The Ministers also emphasized that it remains imperative to address the historical and current injustices that have fuelled poverty, inequality and under-development, especially through external support in providing the necessary means of implementation, such as finance, technology transfer and capacity building. The Ministers further acknowledged that the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals should eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, which is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
12. The Ministers welcomed the entry into force, on 4 November 2016, of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and urged all countries to work together for the fair implementation of the Paris Agreement based on the principles of the UNFCCC including the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. They called upon developed countries to fulfill their commitment to provide necessary (means of implementation) financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries. They further called for maintaining focus on implementation of existing commitments by developed countries in the pre-2020 period, including the ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.
13. 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 resolve in the fight against terrorism. They called upon the international community to establish a genuinely broad international counter-terrorism coalition 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 financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories. The Ministers welcomed the signing of the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN General Assembly.
14. The Ministers expressed concern on the security situation and extreme violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and TTP.
15. The Ministers reiterated the need for all countries to cooperate in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms under the principles of equality and mutual respect. They agreed to continue to treat all human rights, including the right to development, in a fair and equal manner with the same emphasis. They agreed to strengthen cooperation on issues of common interests both within IBSA and in multilateral fora including the United Nations Human Rights Council, taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfil human rights in a non-selective, non-politicized and constructive manner, and without double standards.
Financing for Development
16. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the second ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD) follow-up that was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in May 2017. It was reiterated that FfD is the key to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this context, the Ministers reaffirmed that assured and predicable financial flow is indispensable to the realization of sustainable development, particularly by developing countries, and further that the ultimate eradication of poverty must remain the overarching objective of FfD. It is of utmost importance that IBSA member states continue to work together to ensure the speedy implementation of all six action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as well as the outcomes of the Monterey and Doha International Conferences on FfD.
17. The Ministers welcomed the G20's continued role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and reiterated the need for the full implementation of previous G20 summits outcomes and development commitments, including the Hamburg Summit and the Hangzhou Summit, to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and further to enhance macroeconomic policy coordination to minimize negative spill-overs and external shocks to Emerging Market Developing Economies (EMDEs). It was agreed that IBSA member states should enhance coordination and cooperation under the Presidency of Argentina in 2018, with an aim to make the G20 process and outcomes reflect the interests and priorities of EMDEs.
IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger
18. The Ministers reaffirmed the continued importance of South-South Cooperation and its principles of developing country solidarity and partnership. In this context, The Ministers commended the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger as the flagship and sole visible operational program of IBSA, upon the advent of its 10th year anniversary. In this regard, the Ministers noted that the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger continues to lead by example in demonstrating the relevance and vitality of South-South cooperation through the successful implementation of development projects in developing countries. The Ministers agreed that the Fund plays an important role in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth and the empowerment of the peoples in developing countries that have benefited from its projects. The Ministers expressed satisfaction on the signing of the Agreement on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.
19. The Ministers expressed their appreciation for the work done by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation in the UNDP, in administering the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.
20. The Ministers commended the efforts of countries of the African continent, the African Union and sub-regional organizations in addressing regional issues and maintaining regional peace and security, and emphasized the importance of collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. IBSA supports efforts towards comprehensively resolving conflict on the continent.
Middle East Peace Process
21. The IBSA Ministers supported international efforts aimed at the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognized borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967. The Ministers reiterated the need for a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.
22. The Ministers reiterated that the only lasting solution to the Syria crisis is an inclusive "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process which safeguard the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, in pursuance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015). The Ministers strongly support the Geneva Peace Talks and the Astana process, and welcome the creation of the de-escalation areas in Syria. The Ministers oppose the use of chemical weapons by anyone, for any purpose and under any circumstance.
Iraq, Yemen and Diplomatic Crisis in the Gulf
23. The Ministers congratulated the people and Government of Iraq for the recovery of Mosul and for the progress achieved in the fight against terrorism and reaffirmed their commitment to Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and their support for the Iraqi government and its people. The Ministers expressed concern over the situation in Yemen and urged all parties to cease hostilities and to resume negotiations supported by the United Nations. The Ministers called on all parties directly involved in the current diplomatic crisis in the Gulf region to overcome their differences through dialogue and welcomed Kuwait’s mediation in this regard.
24. The Ministers firmly supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue and called upon all relevant parties to comply fully with their obligations and ensure full and effective implementation of the JCPOA to promote international and regional peace and stability.
25. The Ministers strongly condemned continued terrorist attacks resulting in death of innocent Afghan nationals. There is a need for immediate cessation of violence. The Ministers reaffirmed their support to the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" peace and national reconciliation, to the ongoing international efforts, including all international efforts for promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and "Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process", as well as multimodal connectivity projects to promote peace and stability, to the fight against terrorism and drug-threat, and to the national reconstruction efforts by Afghanistan. The Ministers supported the efforts of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting terrorist organizations.
26. The Ministers strongly condemned the nuclear and missile tests conducted by the DPRK. The Ministers expressed deep concern over the ongoing tension and prolonged nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and called on all relevant parties to respect the United Nations Security Council resolutions and to exercise restraint, work to stabilize the situation through concrete actions and solve the nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation.
IBSA Sector Cooperation
27. The Ministers agreed to the proposal of streamlining and clustering IBSA Working Groups in alignment with the UN 2030 Development Goals along its social, economic and environmental pillars.
28. The Ministers also agreed that the Joint Working Group on Defence will continue with its work including the convening of IBSA MAR in 2018. They also agreed to explore the possibility of IBSA Coast Guard cooperation.
29. The Ministers agreed to the creation of a Working Group on the Blue Economy and they agreed to the convening of its first meeting in 2018.
30. The Ministers of India and Brazil thanked the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa for hosting the IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting and the warm reception extended to their delegations.
31. The Ministers of India and South Africa accepted with appreciation the Brazilian proposal to host the 9th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission meeting at a mutually convenient time.
32. The Ministers expressed their full support to India with its preparations to host the 6th IBSA Summit in New Delhi in 2018.