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Opening Remarks by Gen. (Dr.) V K Singh (Retd.), Minister of State for External Affairs at 8th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting, Durban (October 17, 2017)

October 18, 2017

Excellency Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
Excellency Mr. Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho
  • At the outset, I would like to extend my warm appreciation and gratitude to Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Nkoana-Mashabane for convening the 8th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission meeting in this beautiful coastal city of Durban which has been a rich centre of South African Culture and history. I thank you Your Excellency for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to me and my delegation since our arrival.
  • I bring warm-greetings and regards from the Minister for External Affairs of India, Her Excellency Madame Sushma Swaraj ji for this meeting.

  • IBSA Foreign Ministers had a fruitful meeting last month in New York, where discussions were held on wide range of issues like democracy, pluralism, multiculturalism, social-inclusion, rule-based international order, multilateralism, UN reforms, 2030 agenda etc. I am sure this meeting under South Africa’s able leadership will contribute towards taking IBSA process forward.
  • Earlier we had a fruitful exchange in Beijing on the margins of BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting. I am confident that our fruitful and productive exchanges will lay the groundwork for IBSA events and a successful Summit in India in 2018.
  • IBSA Dialogue Forum brings us together under common principles of tolerance, multiculturalism and shared views on critical global issues, such as climate change, international trade, technology transfer, UN Reforms and fight against international terrorism.
  • IBSA Forum is a unique platform for consultation, coordination and cooperation among the three democratic traditions from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Though the geographical distances separate our three countries, there is much convergence in our world views on sustainable development, clean and healthy living, multilateral trading system, Doha Development Agenda, disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • The IBSA Forum has expanded and enriched our engagements in a meaningful way. The range of exchanges and the institutional framework for that IBSA Forum has fashioned in a rather short time is worth our commendations.

  • Since its inception, IBSA has organised five Summits, seven Trilateral Commission Meetings, and a number of other Ministerial and Senior Official level meetings and a large number of meetings of Joint Working Groups and People-to-People Forums. Through these interactions, cooperation among the IBSA member countries has expanded substantially.
  • IBSA Fund has been a shining example of IBSA Cooperation. It has generated immense goodwill and solidarity with partners from developing world.
  • IBSA Forum has successfully promoted the goals and objectives for which it was created. There remains much scope for consolidating it further. I am confident that IBSA trilateral framework will succeed in realizing this potential.
  • I am happy to share that India launched IBSA Fellowship programme this year. I am told that scholars from Brazil, South Africa and India have already commenced their residency with the RIS (Research and Information Systems) in New Delhi. These initiatives will translate into meaningful policy inputs to carry IBSA process forward.
  • Madame Sushma Swaraj has given us the guidance to commemorate IBSA’s fifteenth Anniversary next year in a fitting manner with the organisation of substantive and focused events. She emphasized on building upon IBSA’s core strengths of democracy, South-South Cooperation, SMEs, UN Reforms, SDGs, pluralism, multilaterism etc.

  • We also had excellent recommendations from Minister Mashabane on poverty eradication and ocean economy. Work has already begun to incorporate these in IBSA’s Calendar of Events.
  • It is opportune now that IBSA Forum plays its due role in shaping global discourses and shares its wisdom with the world community in the spirit of South-South solidarity and partnership.
  • India stands committed to consolidate and enrich IBSA Forum further. In this regard, we look forward to a successful outcome of this meeting.
I thank you, Excellencies.
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