INDIA BRAZIL SOUTH AFRICA FORUM (IBSA FORUM)
Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.
- The trilateral India-Brazil-South Africa forum is likely to receive increased diplomatic focus, according to persons aware of the matter.
Working of the forum
- Between 2011 and 2022, the forum has held only four trilateral ministerial commission meetings.
- The latest took place in September 2022, when senior ministers of the three countries met in New York.
- However, a meeting of their heads of state or government has not taken place since 2011.
- The IBSAMAR military exercise, which brings together the navies of the three countries, was held in October 2022 after a gap of over four years.
- A novel format, bringing together the national security advisers of the three countries, has only seen one meeting, in 2021.
- Brazil holds the rotating chair of the grouping, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year and it aims to strengthen IBSA in its three pillars: political coordination, trilateral cooperation and cooperation with other developing countries, through the IBSA Fund.
- IBSA is a unique Forum which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents, facing similar challenges.
- All three countries are developing, pluralistic, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious nations.
- The grouping was formalized and named the IBSA Dialogue Forum when the Foreign Ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia on 6 June 2003 and issued the Brasilia Declaration.
- Five IBSA Leadership Summits have been held so far. The 5th IBSA Summit was held in Pretoria on 18 October 2011.
IBSA SUMMITS DECLARATION
- India was the IBSA Chair under the theme “Democracy for Demography and Development” in 2021.
- Cooperation in IBSA is on three fronts:
- first, as a forum for consultation and coordination on global and regional political issues, such as, the reform of the global institutions of political and economic governance, WTO/Doha Development Agenda, climate change, terrorism etc.;
- second, trilateral collaboration on concrete areas/projects, through fourteen working groups and six People-to-People Forums, for the common benefit of three countries; and
- third, assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.
- The IBSA facility for poverty and hunger alleviation (IBSA Fund) was established jointly by India, Brazil and South Africa in March 2004 and became operational in 2006.
- The aim is to identify replicable and scalable projects that can be disseminated to developing countries on a demand driven basis as examples of best practices in combating poverty and hunger.
- IBSA Fund-supported projects help partner countries in the Global South to achieve their national priorities, as well as all other internationally agreed development goals.
- Since its inception, the IBSA Fund has disbursed over US$44 million, supporting 35 development projects in 31 countries.
- As of 2020, a total of 8 projects were ongoing; 24 projects have been completed; and 4 projects are under preparation for implementation
- India has been a regular contributor to the IBSA fund since its inception and has contributed US$ 15.1 million till date.
IBSA Fellowship Programme
- In order to revitalize IBSA partnership, the IBSA Visiting Fellowship Program was instituted at RIS, with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
- The Programme aims to promote academic exchange of young scholars in the field of economics and social sciences to strengthen research collaboration among India, Brazil and South Africa in the spirit of South-South Cooperation.
- The program was formally launched by RIS on 28 November 2016.
Q) The IBSA forum, which was established in the early 2000s as a means to strengthen cooperation among three key emerging economies, is seen to have become dormant in recent years. IBSA’s success demonstrates the desirability and feasibility of South-South cooperation beyond the conventional areas of exchange of experts and training. Examine the vitality of the forum in contemporary times. (150 words)