IBSA calls for peace and stability in Darfur

May 13th, 2008 - 3:55 pm ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Somerset West (South Africa), May 13 (IANS) India, Brazil and South Africa have expressed concern at the escalating violence in resource-rich Darfur in Sudan and asked all parties to work for peace, security and stability in the region. Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met his counterparts, Celso Amorim of Brazil and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma of South Africa, at the fifth meeting of the IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) Dialogue Forum here and discussed a wide array of issues impacting development and stability in Africa.

The ministers urged all parties involved in the conflict in Darfur to work towards peace, security and stability in the region, said a joint statement.

They also encouraged the UN and African Union (AU) special envoys to continue their efforts towards the peace talks in Darfur, at the same time expressing their concern at the increasing violence, particularly against civilians and humanitarian workers.

They urged the government of Sudan and all armed groups to respect civilian life and ensure maximum access by humanitarian workers to the displaced. The IBSA called upon “the international community to provide financial and material support for the development of the UN-AU Hybrid Force and alleviation of the humanitarian situation”.

The ministers also asked the international community to honour its commitments made at the Oslo Donor Conference in Norway May 5-7.

Other issues facing the African continent were also debated at the IBSA meeting.

The ministers reiterated their firm commitment to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) - an all-encompassing programme for the socio-economic programme for the resource-rich continent.

Acknowledging that infrastructural development was central to economic development, the ministers called for further cooperation between India, Brazil and South Africa to focus on the re-alignment of the NEPAD - identified priorities for infrastructural development relating to the areas of information and communication technology (ICT), energy, water and sanitation and transport.

Addressing issues further afield, the ministers noted that there could be no military solution to the challenges in Iraq, emphasising the need for continued dialogue and reconciliatory efforts between all Iraqis.

The Iraqi people can only achieve peace, security and development in Iraq themselves, with the strong support of the international community, the ministers said as they noted with concern the UNHCR’s reports of several million displaced Iraqis and called on the international community to continue its efforts to assist those Iraqis in need.

The ministers expressed their concern at the deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan due to continued terrorist attacks and resurgence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, growth in cross-border terrorism, their links with international terrorism, and the danger these developments posed to the task of Afghanistan’s reconstruction and called for zero tolerance to terrorism.

They reiterated, in this context, that a coherent and sustained international commitment was required to ensure security, rebuild effective government structures and promote social and economic development of the country.

They welcomed Afghanistan joining the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as its eighth member in the 14th summit held in New Delhi in April 2007 and reiterated the development of a cooperative framework, especially for trans-connectivity in the region, which would boost Afghanistan’s socio-economic development and political stability.

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