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IBSA summit: A ready reckoner

Last updated on: October 17, 2007 01:33 IST

As the South African city of Pretoria gears up to host the second IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) summit, rediff.com provides you a ready reckoner.


What is IBSA?

IBSA is a forum for cooperation among India, Brazil and South Africa. The idea of establishing IBSA was discussed at a meeting between former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the presidents of Brazil and South Africa on June 2, 2003 on the margins of the G-8 summit.

Inception:

The group was formalised and named the IBSA Dialogue Forum when the foreign ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia on June 6, 2003 and issued the Brazilian Declaration.

Formative Steps:

An IBSA Business Council was launched in Cape Town in March 2005. From Indian side, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India are represented on the IBSA Council. Representation from South Africa is by Business Unity South Africa and from Brazil by the National Confederation of Industries. The first IBSA Business Summit was held in Brasilia on September 12, 2006.

What does IBSA do?

IBSA provides a forum for consultation and coordination among the three countries on political issues. The issues that it focuses include: reform of the United Nations and the Security Council, sustainable development, disarmament and non-proliferation, WTO negotiations, innovative methods of financing and international terrorism. IBSA also provides for trilateral cooperation in various areas: trade, science and technology, information technology and energy.

On Wednesday's meeting:

Meeting under the banner 'Second India-Brazil-South Africa Summit', Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would be looking at ways to make the relationship between the three countries more 'tangible'.

As Ambassador Jerry Matjila, head of of Asia and West Asian section at South Africa's Foreign Affairs Department, put it, "IBSA is about business; IBSA is about unlocking the potential of the South."

Besides deepening South-South cooperation through concrete projects and programmes in key focus areas of trilateral cooperation, the meeting is also expected to provide an opportunity to the leaders to coordinate joint positions on issues of global importance.

The meeting is expected to come out with a joint declaration as also signing of memoranda of understanding and agreements on public administration, higher education, health and medicines, social development, cultural cooperation and energy.

The prime minister during the two-day stay will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of South Africa and Brazil, both members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. (With PTI inputs)

Indrani Roy Mitra in Johannesburg