Brasilia Declaration

1. The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Celso Amorim, of South Africa, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and of India, Yashwant Sinha, met in Brasilia on June 6, 2003, following ongoing consultations and after the respective Heads of State and/or Government of their countries held conversations during the G-8 meeting, in Evian.

2. This was a pioneer meeting of the three countries with vibrant democracies, from three regions of the developing world, active on a global scale, with the aim of examining themes on the international agenda and those of mutual interest. In the past few years, the importance and necessity of a process of dialogue amongst developing nations and countries of the South has emerged.

3. The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, South Africa and India gave special consideration to the importance of respecting the rule of International Law, strengthening the United Nations and the Security Council and prioritising the exercise of diplomacy as a means to maintain international peace and security. They reaffirmed the need to combat threats to international peace and security in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and with the legal instruments to which Brazil, India and South Africa are parties.

4. They agreed on the need to reform the United Nations, in particular the Security Council. In this regard, they stressed the necessity of expanding the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent member categories, with the participation of developing countries in both categories. They agreed to combine efforts in order to enhance the effectiveness of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

5. They noted that new threats to security - such as terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, drugs and drug-related crimes, transnational organized crime, illegal weapons traffic, threats to public health, in particular HIV/AIDS, natural disasters, and the maritime transit of toxic chemicals and radioactive waste - must be handled with effective, coordinated and solidary international cooperation, in the concerned organizations based on respect for the sovereignty of States and for International Law.

6. The Ministers highlighted the priority placed by the three governments on the promotion of social equity and inclusion, by implementing effective policies to fight hunger and poverty, to support family run farms, and to promote food security, health, social assistance, employment, education, human rights and environmental protection. They recalled that social empowerment makes better use of human potentials, contributing to economic development in a significant manner. The Ministers recommended that the exchange of experiences in combating poverty, hunger and disease in the three countries would be of immense use to all of them. They recognized the importance of international effort to combat hunger. The three countries recognized and undertook to explore a trilateral food assistance program.

7. The Foreign Ministers stressed the importance, for equity reasons as well as for development goals, to address issues related to the elimination of all kinds of racial discrimination and to promote gender equality and mainstreaming a gender perspective in public policies.

8. The three Foreign Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the approval of the Convention on Tobacco Control, in the 56th Health World Assembly, and committed themselves to make every effort to ratify the Convention on the shortest period of time. They also committed themselves to promote the main objective of the Convention – to protect present and future generations against the devastating consequences of the consumption of tobacco and against exposure to tobacco smoke.

9. The Foreign Ministers identified the trilateral cooperation among themselves as an important tool for achieving the promotion of social and economic development and they emphasized their intention to give greater impetus to cooperation among their countries. While noting that their societies have diverse areas of excellence in science and technology and offer a broad range of potential opportunities for trade, investment, travel and tourism, they stressed that the appropriate combination of their best resources will generate the desired synergy. Amongst the scientific and technological areas in which cooperation can be developed are biotechnology, alternative energy sources, outer space, aeronautics, information technology and agriculture. Avenues for greater cooperation in defence matters should also be explored. The Ministers agreed upon putting forward to their respective governments that the authorities in charge of the portfolio for science and technology, defence, transportation and civil aviation, among others, also hold trilateral meetings, aiming at the creation of concrete cooperation projects.

10. The Ministers noted that the new information and communication technologies are transforming the world at a rapid speed, and in a fundamental way. At the same time, a vast digital divide exists between the developed and developing countries, which is adversely affecting the capacity of developing countries to derive optimum benefits from the globalisation process. They agreed to intensify their cooperation in ICT, including in international efforts and initiatives towards narrowing the digital divide.

11. With respect to environmental issues and sustainable development, they recognized that the Rio Conference and its Agenda 21, the Millenium Summit and the Monterrey and Johannesburg Summits, and the Program for the Implementation of Agenda 21, contain fundamental guidelines to orient the action of their governments and cooperation initiatives. They reaffirmed that Agenda 21 identifies the major causes of continuing deterioration of the global environment as unsustainable patterns of consumption and production and call for the necessary action as contained in the Johannesburg Program of Implementation. They also highlighted their concern over the results of atmospheric warming due to the emission of greenhouse gases and encouraged countries having emission reduction goals in the Kyoto Protocol to work to bring them into force and fully implement them, as well as urged the countries that have not signed or ratified the Protocol to do so.

12. They also reiterated their efforts for the effective implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, especially the rights of countries of origin over their own genetic resources, as well as the protection of associated traditional knowledge. The fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the access to, use and management of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge must be assured as a way to stimulate social and economic development, as well as the adding of value and the processing of biodiversity-based resources in mega diverse countries. In this context, they placed special significance on the negotiation of an international instrument on benefit sharing under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, as agreed at the Johannesburg Summit. They thus expressed their agreement that the activities of the Group of Like-minded Mega diverse Countries, of which Brazil, South Africa and India are founding members, should gain even greater importance. They also emphasised the need to render the relevant parts of the TRIPS Agreement compatible with the Biological Diversity Convention.

13. While welcoming the expansion of economic growth, employment, and social development, and the accompanying rise in standards of living, in several developing countries as a result of freer movements of trade, capital, and technology, the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, India and South Africa expressed their concern that large parts of the world have not benefited from globalisation. They agreed that globalisation must become a positive force for change for all peoples, and must benefit the largest number of countries. In this context, they affirmed their commitment to pursuing policies, programmes and initiatives in different international forums, to make the diverse processes of globalisation inclusive, integrative, humane, and equitable.

14. The Ministers regretted that major trading partners are still moved by protectionist concerns in their countries' less competitive sectors. They stressed the need to fully carry out the Doha Development Program and emphasized how important it is that the results of the current round of trade negotiations provide especially for the reversal of protectionist policies and trade-distorting practices, by improving the rules of the multilateral trade system. They reiterated their expectation that negotiations will gain new political impetus and that it will be possible to overcome deadlocks on issues of fundamental interest to developing countries, before the Fifth Ministerial Conference in Cancun. Furthermore, Brazil, India and South Africa decided to articulate their initiatives of trade liberalisation.

15. The Foreign Ministers noted with concern the increased economic vulnerability of developing countries to fluctuations in global prices of commodities. They affirmed the importance of a predictable, rule-based, and transparent international trading system, to enable the developing countries to maximise their development, through gains from enhanced exports of goods and services of their competitive advantage.

16. They drew attention to the economic and social impact suffered by many developing countries in recent years, as a result of volatile global financial flows. They agreed to strengthen their cooperation towards making the international financial architecture responsive to development, and towards increasing its effectiveness in preventing and addressing national and regional financial crises.

17. They reiterate their belief that success in globalisation with equity requires good governance, both at the national and in particular at the international levels, in recognition of the fact that, as a result of globalisation, external factors have become critical in determining the success or failure of achieving sustainable development.

18. The Ministers recommended to their respective Chiefs of State and/or Government the convening of a summit meeting of the three countries. They also decided to further intensify dialogue at all levels, when needed, to organize meetings of top officials and experts responsible for issues of mutual interest.

19. They decided to hold regular political consultations on international agenda items, as well as to exchange information on areas of mutual co-operation in order to coordinate their positions on issues of common interest. To give expression to issues discussed and all other matters emerging out of consultations, the Ministers further agreed to establish a Trilateral Joint Commission. The Foreign Ministries will be the focal points of the Trilateral Joint Commission and the meetings will be co-chaired by the three Foreign Ministers. The secretariat facilities will be co-ordinated by the Secretary in charge of this area in the Foreign Ministry of the host country.

20. The Ministers decided to call this group "India, Brazil and South Africa Dialogue Forum" (IBSA). At the invitation of the Indian Government, the next meeting is going to take place in New Delhi, within twelve months.

The Ministers of India and South Africa thanked the Brazilian Minister for convening this first trilateral meeting.

Brasilia,
June 6th, 2003