IBSA should emerge as a people’s movement: PM

November 14th, 2007 - 2:25 am ICT by admin  
Johannesburg, Oct 17 (ANI): Pointing out that the IBSA process has enabled parliamentarians, civil society, academia, mass media, women and other segments of society of India, Brazil and South Africa to engage with each other, Prime Minster Manmohan Singh today said that the cooperation should “emerge as a people’s movement.”

“We greatly value their contribution in reinforcing the efforts of the three governments. Over a period of time, IBSA should emerge as a peoples’ movement,” Singh said in his closing remarks at the Second India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Summit here.

He said IBSA is a unique model of trans-national cooperation, as the three countries come from three different continents and yet share similar worldviews and aspirations.

“If we can make a success of our model of cooperation based on collective self-reliance, it will serve as an example for all developing countries,” he added.

The high level involvement of business and industry in IBSA is particularly encouraging, Singh said, adding that the three governments should leverage public-private partnerships to fill funding gaps and increase efficiency in key sectors of the cooperation.

“The agreements and the declaration that we will be signing (at the second summit) will provide a new impulse to our cooperation. They reflect our emerging priorities. The implementation of the decisions we have taken should be carefully monitored, and a regular system of feedback should be put in place,” he said.

The Prime Minister called for forging the “closest cooperation possible,” so that the member nations ensure a more equitable international political and economic order.

He went on to say that the world was already looking upon the IBSA framework as a significant step forward in the emergence of a global partnership for development.

Earlier in his opening remarks at the Plenary Session of the Summit today, Singh admitted that there is a lack of “adequate connectivity” between the IBSA, which continues to hamper its cooperation.

He said the group should “reflect on how to encourage air and maritime links, which may not be commercially viable to begin with.”

“If the IBSA movement is to catch the imagination of our people, we should move from a declaratory phase to one of time bound action,” he said.

“We all recognise the immense potential of IBSA. With the necessary political will and an outcome-based approach, I have no doubt that we will be able to realise this potential,” Singh added.

Expressing happiness over “fruitful discussions” taken place at the Academic Seminar, the Business Seminar and the newly instituted Women’s and Parliamentarians’ Forums, he expressed the hope that the current Summit would have “substantive and productive” discussions on strengthening the IBSA process.

Pointing out that out of the several Working Groups of the IBSA, only those on ICT and Trade and Investment have met thrice, he said that the three countries could agree that by the time of the next Summit all the groups should complete one cycle of meetings in each of the member countries.

“At the next Summit, we would then be in a position to take stock of the areas we should concentrate on and where cooperation is proving useful,” Singh added.

“I am particularly pleased that discussions have begun on the India-SACU-Mercosur FTA. This is a bold initiative to give an impetus to our trading ties and we will work sincerely to bring it to fruition,” he said.

With regard to global issues, he said that India, Brazil and South Africa were increasingly consulting each other on the margins of major international meetings, adding, “We should encourage this so that we can have common IBSA positions on important international issues.”

Recalling that last year the IBSA had agreed that assisting other developing countries should be one of the thrust areas of the cooperation, he said: “I propose that we work on one big flagship IBSA project using the Fund for Poverty and Hunger, which will convey our commitment in this area.”

All developing countries face the challenge of balancing the need for more rapid growth with the need to address the problem of social inequality, the Prime Minister said, adding that each of IBSA countries has attempted innovative solutions to bring about inclusive growth. (ANI)

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