UN, security, economy, environment focus of Pretoria visit: PM

October 16th, 2011 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday said he looked forward to his talks with the leadership of Brazil and South Africa on a host of issues, notably global security, economy, climate change and UN reform, at the IBSA Summit in Pretoria Oct 18.

“The IBSA Dialogue Forum has matured considerably over the years. There is now a greater cooperation across a wider canvas,” the prime minister said in a statement, ahead of his scheduled departure for Pretoria Monday morning.

“Above all, the idea of three large developing democracies — Brazil, India and South Africa — working together in a highly complex global environment has taken root, and has received universal welcome by our peoples,” he said.

According to the prime minister, the meeting will focus on coordination among the IBSA countries in UN Security Council, sustainable development and the forthcoming meetings on climate change and the G20 in Durban and Cannes, respectively.

“It is a happy coincidence that in 2011 India, Brazil and South Africa are members of the UN Security Council. We have shown significant cohesiveness and coordination in our approach to issues under discussion in the Security Council,” he said.

“During my stay in Pretoria, I look forward to holding bilateral meetings with President Jacob Zuma (of South Africa) and President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) to exchange views on global, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest,” he added.

“I also look forward to an exchange of views with IBSA partners on the current global economic and financial situation, especially in the context of the forthcoming G20 Summit in France.”

The prime minister’s delegation will include External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, and his Principal Secretary Pulok Chatterjee.

The 5th IBSA Summit comes against the backdrop of a recent victory of sorts for the three nations where they came together and to block a resolution against the Syrian government that the Western world wanted the UN Security Council to pass.

The decision to abstain from voting on the resolution by IBSA representatives, who are on the Security Council as non-permanent members for the first time together, came after a visit to the African nation earlier.

The IBSA initiative was launched in June 2003 when their foreign ministers met in Brasilia and agreed to set up a forum to hold regular dialogue and consultations on matters of mutual interest, notably in economic, defence and social affairs.

In 2006, the forum was upgraded to the summit level. Since then four summits have been held, two hosted by Brazil and one each by South Africa and India. The forum has 16 working groups on areas such as health, agriculture, education, technology and defence.

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