UN and Security Council reform needed for democratic global governance: IBSA

May 13th, 2008 - 2:42 am ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Somerset West (South Africa), May 13 (IANS) There can be no meaningful reform of global democracy if the UN and the Security Council is not reformed, the foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa said here at the end of the Fifth Meeting of the Trilateral Commission of the IBSA Dialogue Forum. Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Minister of External Relations of Brazil, Celso Amorim, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said in a joint statement that they reaffirmed their earlier call to make the structures of global governance more democratic, representative and legitimate by increasing the participation of the South in their decision-making.

In this regard, the ministers reiterated that the international system cannot be reordered meaningfully without a comprehensive reform of the UN; and the Security Council, in permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. The ministers called for inter-governmental negotiations on the issue of Security Council reform to commence forthwith.

The ministers also stressed the necessity to democratise international financial institutions, by enhancing the voice and participation of developing countries in the governance and administration of Bretton Woods Institutions. They expressed their concern at the slow rate of progress that has been achieved so far in this regard.

They underscored their agreement to work together to eradicate poverty and hunger and promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and global prosperity for all. In this regard, they welcomed the commitment by the government of India during the Africa-India Forum Summit in April 2008 to extend Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme to all Least Developed Countries.

The Ministers also emphasised the commitment to implement the directives of the Heads of States and Government on the envisaged India-MERCOSUR-SACU TTA as noted in the Tshwane Declaration. In this regard, the Ministers also welcomed the proposal for an India-MERCOSUR-SACU Trilateral Trade Ministers’ meeting on an agreed date in 2008 to promote high level exchange of ideas on this topic. They also took note with satisfaction the progress made on the regional preferential trade agreements between SACU-MERCOSUR and India-MERCOSUR towards a Trilateral India-MERCOSUR-SACU arrangement.

Recalling the agreement of the Tshwane Summit to establish an informal trilateral consultative mechanism to exchange information on IPR, the Ministers agreed to accelerate the development of this mechanism with the aim of consolidating a balanced international intellectual property regime. This will make a meaningful contribution to the economic and social progress of developing countries, ensuring access to knowledge, healthcare, and culture. The Ministers noted the efforts of the three countries to finalise the Memorandum of Association on IPR issues.

Noting concern over increasing global crude oil prices and its impact on the economies of the developing countries, particularly the countries in the South, the Ministers called for the stabilisation of international crude oil prices and also urged countries to explore alternative sources of energy, such as biofuels. The Ministers noted that the working group on energy had met to discuss the joint programs on energy sector collaboration, and the implementation of MoUs on Biofuels and Wind Energy. The working group also discussed the finalisation of the task team on biofuels before the end of June 2008. The Inaugural meeting of the task team and a workshop are scheduled to take place in September 2008, in India.

The Ministers also discussed the continuing global struggle for gender equality. In this context, they expressed concern over the neglect of the collective global commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Ministers called on the international community to revive its commitment, and to identify concrete and action-oriented steps to advance the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, and the outcome of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly of 2005.

The Ministers reiterated their commitment to the goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons and expressed concern over the lack of progress in realisation of that goal. They also agreed to explore approaches to cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under appropriate IAEA safeguards.

Reaffirming that terrorism is a serious threat to international peace and security, the Ministers also reiterated their commitment to full implementation of the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and its relevant resolutions.

The Ministers recognised the critical importance of transport in promoting trade, investment and people to people contact between the IBSA countries. In this context, the Ministers welcomed the deliberations of the working group towards finalising a Five Year Action Plan. The Ministers welcomed the proposal by South Africa to host a meeting of civil aviation authorities and public and private operators of the three countries before the 3rd IBSA Summit to discuss ways and means of improving connectivity amongst IBSA countries.

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