Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

IBSA [India, Brazil & South Africa]

April 24, 2013


  1. 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.IBSA

  2. The idea of establishing IBSA was discussed at a meeting between the then Prime Minister of India and the then Presidents of Brazil and South Africa in Evian on 2 June 2003 on the margins of the G-8 Summit. 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.
  3. 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; andthird, assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.
  4. The success of IBSA reflects an important demonstration effect. It demonstrates, most vividly, the desirability and feasibility of South-South cooperation beyond the conventional areas of exchange of experts and training. IBSA success in contributing to discourse on global issues also shows the importance of engaging with the countries of the South.

    Organizational Structure

    Joint Working Groups
  5. Joint Working Groups to promote sectoral cooperation have been established. There are 14 Joint Working Groups in areas, Transport; Health; Education; Defence; Science & Technology; Trade & Investment; Culture; Agriculture; Energy; Public Administration and Governance, Revenue Administration, Human Settlement, Environment and Social Development. These Working Groups meet as per their respective plans.

    People-to-People Forums
  6. There are six People-to-People Forums under IBSA. These are, Parliamentary Forum, Women's Forum, Academic Forum, Local Governance Forum, Business Forum, and Editors' Forum. There is also a Tri-nation Forum on MSME.

    Focal Points
  7. Senior Officials from the Foreign Offices of the three countries dealing with IBSA are the designated Focal Points; Secretary (West), assisted by Joint Secretary (MER), Ministry of External Affairs, is the IBSA Focal Point for India. Focal Points meet once a year for a standalone meeting and also meet prior to the Trilateral Commission.

    Trilateral Commission
  8. The Brasilia Declaration established a Trilateral Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers. The Commission meets regularly; the first meeting of the Trilateral Commission was held in New Delhi on 4 - 5 March 2004. The 7th meeting of the Commission was also held in New Delhi on 8th March, 2011; 8th Meeting is due in South Africa. In addition, Foreign Ministers meet regularly before every IBSA Summit as well as on the sidelines of UNGA in New York.


    Prime Minister with President of Brazil Ms. Dilma Rousseff and President of South Africa Mr. Jacob Zuma at the Vth IBSA summit in Pretoria, October 18, 2011 Prime Minister with President of Brazil Ms. Dilma Rousseff and President of South Africa Mr. Jacob Zuma at the Vth IBSA summit in Pretoria, October 18, 2011
  9. Five IBSA Summit have been held so far: 1st IBSA Summit in Brasilia on 13 September 2006; the 2nd in South Africa on 17 October 2007, the 3rd in New Delhi on 15 October 2008, 4th in Brasilia on 15 April 2010 and the 5th in Pretoria on 18 October 2011. The 6th Summit is due in India in June 2013.

    IBSA Fund
  10. An innovative work of IBSA is the establishment of IBSA Facility Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger through which development projects are executed with IBSA funding in fellow developing countries. An annual amount of US $ 1 million is contributed by each IBSA member country. IBSA Fund received the 2010 MDG Award for South-South cooperation on 17 September 2010 in New York recognizing the work of the three countries in using innovative approaches to share development experiences in other parts of the world.
  11. IBSA projects cover Haiti, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Burundi, Palestine, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Sierra Leone. A sports complex has been completed and inaugurated in 2011 in Ramallah under the IBSA Fund.

    IBSA Business Forum
  12. An IBSA Business Forum was launched in Cape Town in March 2005. From India, CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM are represented on the Council; CII coordinates India's participation.

  13. Three Agreements and 17 MoUs have been signed for pursuing sectoral cooperation among IBSA countries.

    Other Meetings/Areas
  14. The IBSA Trade Ministers frequently meet to exchange views on Doha Round. At their meeting on the sidelines of OECD Trade Ministers Meeting in June 2009, they adopted a Joint Declaration highlighting the common approach of the three countries towards the Doha Round; they also met in Davos in January 2013. Permanent Representatives of the three countries in Geneva and New York also meet to coordinate on issues related to WTO/WIPO.
  15. Four meetings of IBSA S&T Ministers have been held; two were hosted by India (the first meeting in 2004 and the fourth in 2008 before the third Summit) and two by Brazil (second in 2005 and the third in 2006).
  16. The Third edition of Joint Naval Exercises of IBSA countries [IBSAMAR III] took place in South Africa in October 2012; two Indian Naval Ships participated in these exercises. The Second edition [IBSAMAR II] was held in South Africa in September 2010.
  17. A Declaration of Intent between ILO and IBSA members was signed in Geneva in 2010. Under this Declaration the Ministry of Labour and Employment hosted an International Workshop on "Employment Guarantee Schemes & Sustainable, Inclusive Growth: Innovations, Convergence and Adaptation” in New Delhi on 1-3 March 2012.

    The 6th IBSA Summit
  18. India is hosting the 6th IBSA Summit in New Delhi on 6th June 2013. The New Delhi Summit will commemorate the 10th anniversary of establishment of IBSA. It also assumes special importance as being the last Summit in the Second cycle of IBSA Summit.
  19. The Summit will be preceded by a number of meetings of Joint Working Groups and People-to-People Forums.
Read more:

Fifth IBSA Dialogue Forum - Tshwane Declaration, October 2011External website
Fourth IBSA Dialogue Forum - Brasilia Declaration, April 2010External website
Third IBSA Dialogue Forum - Delhi Summit Declaration, October 2008External website
PM's visit to Pretoria for the Vth IBSA SummitExternal website

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