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Delhi Summit Declaration (3rd Summit of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum)

October 15, 2008

  • The Prime Minister of India, H.E. Dr Manmohan Singh, the President of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the President of South Africa, H.E. Mr. Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe (thereafter referred as "the leaders”) met in New Delhi, India, on 15 October 2008, for the 3rd Summit of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum.
  • The leaders of Brazil and South Africa expressed appreciation to H.E Dr Manmohan Singh, the Government and people of the Republic of India for the warm reception and for hosting this Summit.
  • The leaders expressed their deep satisfaction with the progress on the consolidation of the IBSA Dialogue Forum in the five years since its inception in 2003 and their gratitude to the sterling contribution of former President TM Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa in the formation and consolidation of IBSA and South–South cooperation in general. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the trilateral cooperation and reaffirmed that the Forum is an important mechanism for closer coordination on global issues, for promoting the interests of developing countries, enhancing cooperation in sectoral areas and improving their economic ties.
  • The leaders of Brazil and South Africa noted with regret the recent bomb blasts in India that resulted in the loss of innocent lives, damage to property and offered condolences to the government and the people of India. They joined the international community in condemning these acts of brutality and committed to strengthen mechanisms aimed at ending terrorism.
  • The leaders expressed satisfaction with the developing participation of civil society in its activities. They acknowledged with appreciation the involvement and participation by academicians, business leaders, editors and women in their respective forums. They welcomed the holding of IBSA Cultural Festival and the first Food Festival in New Delhi.


  • The leaders reiterated the need to make the structures of global governance more democratic, representative and legitimate by increasing the participation of developing countries in the decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions.

    Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • The United Nations (UN) High level Event on MDGs held on 25 September 2008 has helped focus the world's attention on the urgent need to accelerate work towards achieving the MDGs. The leaders recognized that invigorated global efforts are required for developing countries to achieve the MDGs.
  • The leaders reiterated their support to the efforts towards the achievement of the MDGs and expressed their concern at the fact that the assistance for development is currently insufficient. In this context they called upon the developed countries to fulfill their commitments in the global partnership on increased financial flows to developing countries, including increasing Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of their GNI, and on transfer of technology and capacity building.
  • The leaders recognized the importance of and instructed their officials to explore new models of cooperation for development and the substantive role of innovative finance mechanisms, complementary to the ODA, in order to support the efforts made to the fulfillment of the MDGs, to the fight against hunger and poverty and to sustainable development.
  • The leaders reaffirmed their determination to work together and coordinate their positions at the "Financing for Development” Monterrey Review conference that will take place in Doha, Qatar, in November 2008.

    South-South Cooperation
  • The leaders underscored the importance and relevance of South-South Cooperation in an uncertain international environment contributed to by factors such as rising food and energy costs, climate change and financial uncertainty, which made it all the more imperative to strengthen the collective voice of the South, in order to assist in its development efforts.
  • The leaders noted with satisfaction that the dynamism of the South is driving growth today with a substantial part of global GDP growth and trade being on account of countries of the South and intra-South trade. They pledged to promote these mutually beneficial trends through enhanced linkages such as trade, investment and technology transfer including trade agreements of bilateral or multilateral nature such as the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP).
  • They reiterated that South-South Cooperation cannot replace commitments by developed countries but is only a complement to North-South Cooperation. In this context, they welcomed the convening of the High-level Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in 2009.

    Sustainable Development
  • The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger. They noted with appreciation that Brazil intends to host a meeting in 2012 to mark twenty years of Rio and in this context called upon the international community to support this initiative and to vigorously enhance the implementation of the principles and goals in the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation in an effort to work towards a sustainable agenda.

    UN Reforms
  • The leaders reaffirmed their continued support for the reform of the United Nations to make it more democratic and responsive to the priorities of its Member States, particularly those of developing countries that constitute the vast majority of its membership. They expressed their full support for a genuine reform of the Security Council, with expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, with greater representation for developing countries in both, to ensure that its composition reflects contemporary realities. They also emphasized that inter-governmental negotiations on the issue of Security Council reform should commence expeditiously and welcomed, in this regard, the General Assembly's Decision of 15 September 2008, which determined that negotiations shall begin no later than 28 February 2009, in an informal Plenary of the General Assembly. They agreed to further strengthen cooperation amongst their countries and with other member states interested in a genuine reform of the Security Council.

    Climate Change
  • The leaders underscored the importance for urgent action on climate change. The on-going negotiations needed to move at an invigorated pace for long-term cooperative action in accordance with the provisions and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and the critical priority of sustainable development for developing countries. They highlighted the imperative of priority action with vastly scaled up resource allocation for adaptation in developing countries given their vulnerabilities and low capacities to cope.
  • An equitable burden sharing paradigm for equal sustainable development potential for all citizens of the world that takes into account historical responsibilities must guide the negotiations on a shared vision on long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions reductions.
  • Given their overwhelming contribution to the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere and continuing high levels of GHG emissions, developed countries must take quantified time bound targets and deliver truly ambitious and absolute greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 with comparability of efforts among them. Moreover, developed countries have to put in place policies and measures that promote sustainable consumption patterns and lifestyles. Developed countries should also make clear commitments under the UNFCCC for significant financing to support both mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. New and innovative financial mechanisms must mobilize additional resources beyond the flexibility mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol and other instruments of the carbon market, without diverting national or multilateral and ODA resources from the imperatives of development and poverty alleviation.
  • The leaders stressed that as developing countries pursue sustainable development, they are committed to taking nationally appropriate actions to address climate change. Their capacities for such actions need to be greatly enhanced through financing, technology and capacity building support.
  • Technology and transfer of advance clean technologies to developing countries has the potential to be a critical transformation agent in addressing climate change. The leaders called upon the international community to actively promote technology innovation and development and its transfer and deployment in developing countries. The intellectual property rights regime must also move in a direction that balances rewards for innovators and the global public good.

  • The leaders stressed the importance of a timely and successful conclusion of the ongoing negotiations of a legally binding international regime on access to genetic resources and sharing of the benefits derived from their use and from associated traditional knowledge (Access Benefit Sharing - ABS). In this regard, the leaders reaffirmed the urgent need for an adequate legal framework at the international level to prevent biopiracy, ensure that national rules and regulations on ABS are fully respected across borders and recognize the value of biological resources and of traditional knowledge as an additional tool to promote sustainable development. They recognized the positive role of the IBSA Forum in enhancing the coordination within the Group of Like Minded Megadiverse Countries, of which the three countries are members, in the context of ABS negotiations.

    Human Rights
  • Noting that 2008 marked the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the leaders reiterated their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. They expressed satisfaction at the progress in the development of the institutional framework of the Human Rights Council (HRC) including the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism and emphasized that the work of the HRC should be free from politicization, double standards and selectivity and should promote international cooperation.
  • The leaders underscored the importance of promoting cooperation on Human Rights with a view to exchanging information on national policies and initiatives, which could translate into dialogue and mutual benefit in the field of Human Rights promotion and protection.

    Intellectual Property
  • The leaders agreed on the need for establishing trilateral cooperation in the field of intellectual property rights with the aim of promoting a balanced international intellectual property regime and to make a meaningful contribution to the economic and social progress of developing countries, ensuring access to knowledge, health care and culture. Moreover, they agreed that the countries should hold consultations on a regular basis on the evolution of the international agenda.

  • The leaders called on the international community to reaffirm its commitment to gender parity and to identify concrete and action-oriented steps to advance the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, and the outcomes of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly of 2005.

    Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
  • The leaders reiterated their commitment to the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and expressed concern over the lack of progress in the realisation of this goal. They emphasised that nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing processes requiring continuous, irreversible progress on both fronts, and reaffirmed, in this regard, that the objective of non-proliferation would be best served by the systematic and progressive elimination of nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable manner. They further emphasised the necessity to start negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time to eliminate nuclear weapons, to prohibit their development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use, and to provide for their destruction. The leaders discussed the threat posed by non-state actors or terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or their related materials and technologies. They reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to multilateral efforts to counter such threats and promote co-operation in this regards.

    Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
  • The leaders underlined the importance of ensuring the supply of safe, sustainable and non-polluting sources of energy to meet the rising global demand for energy, particularly in developing countries. The leaders further agreed that international civilian nuclear co-operation, under appropriate IAEA safeguards, amongst countries committed to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives, and could be enhanced through acceptable forward-looking approaches, consistent with their respective national and international obligations. In this context, they welcomed the consensus decision of the IAEA Board of Governors to approve the India Specific Safeguards Agreement and the decision by the Nuclear Suppliers Group to adjust its guidelines to enable full civil nuclear cooperation between India and the international community. They also reiterated the importance of ensuring that any multilateral decisions related to the nuclear fuel cycle do not undermine the inalienable right of States to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with their international legal obligations.

  • The leaders reaffirmed that terrorism presents a grave threat to international peace and security. They strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for terrorist acts. They emphasized the need for a comprehensive and cooperative approach to eradicate terrorism. In this regard, they called for an early conclusion of negotiations leading to expeditious adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).

    Doha Development Round & International Trade
  • The leaders acknowledged that while substantial progress was made during the informal ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in July this year, the final modalities in agriculture and NAMA could not be achieved. They agreed that there must be a concerted effort by all member countries to take the process forward towards a successful conclusion of the Round. They emphasized the importance of concluding the Round to achieve its development objectives, which had assumed even greater significance in the wake of the global financial and food crises.
  • The leaders welcomed the resumption of the multilateral process in the WTO and expressed the hope that this would lead to the early finalization of modalities in agriculture and NAMA. They also expressed the hope that multilateral discussions would resume in other areas of the negotiations as well, particularly issues of concern to developing countries.
  • The leaders reiterated the importance of the development objectives of the Doha Round and observed that many of the issues, which either remained unresolved or could not be addressed at all during the July informal ministerial engagement, were issues critical to developing countries. They called upon developed country members to demonstrate greater flexibility to address the development concerns, so that members could collectively achieve a positive and development oriented outcome in the Doha Round.
  • With reference to paragraph 8 of the Somerset West Ministerial Communiqué, South Africa, 11 May 2008, the leaders reaffirmed the importance of granting support to the goal of/the envisaged MERCOSUR-SACU-India Trilateral Trade Arrangement (TTA) at the highest political level. In this regard, they welcomed the proposal of a MERCOSUR-SACU-India trilateral ministerial meeting in order to promote high level discussions on the topic. Furthermore, they greeted with satisfaction the significant progress made on the regional preferential agreements between MERCOSUR-SACU, MERCOSUR-India and SACU-India towards a trilateral MERCOSUR-SACU-India TTA.

    International Financial Crisis
  • The leaders took note of the very serious financial crisis that has spread from the United States to the European Union and has begun to impact developing countries. This unprecedented turbulence in financial markets and the resulting instability threatens global prosperity. The explosion of new financial instruments, unaccompanied by credible and systemic regulation, has resulted amongst others in a major crisis of confidence for which those responsible should be held accountable and liable. Developing countries are not immune from this and many would be very seriously affected. The leaders, therefore, stressed the need for a new international initiative to bring about structural reforms in the world's financial system. The new initiative must take into account the fact that ethics must also apply to the economy; that the crisis would not be overcome with palliative measures and that the solutions adopted must be global and ensure the full participation of developing countries. The reform must be undertaken so as to incorporate stronger systems of multinational consultations and surveillance as an integral part. This new system must be designed to be as inclusive as possible and must be transparent.

  • The leaders recognized that energy resources are a vital input upon which the socio-economic development of nation states rests. The recent price volatility of crude oil has posed a challenge to the economic growth and stability of emerging and developing economies. Increasingly, energy markets have become susceptible to political considerations, driving energy security concerns into strategic and foreign policy agendas. They agreed to collaborate in diverse policy and technology areas to strengthen energy security in the three countries. They also look forward to working towards the diversification of energy baskets for a larger share of renewable, alternate and clean energy. Towards these common aims, IBSA will deepen regular exchanges, to further knowledge and know-how in the areas of biofuels, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar energy. They recognized that fossil fuels continue to be a primary source of energy supply and any reduction of emissions would be considered within the framework of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. They also encouraged the sharing of best practices in energy conservation and efficiency.
  • Renewables have come to the centre-stage in the recent times from the perspective of sustainable development, energy security and climate change. While the developing countries are pursuing this mostly to address the needs of sustainable development and energy security, the developed countries have a responsibility in the deployment of renewables for their mandated GHG reduction under their commitments within the Kyoto Protocol. The leaders recognized the need of a concerted effort for jointly developing renewable energy technologies with the developed countries for the overall benefit of the mankind. Taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, they also called upon the developed countries to consider innovative modalities in the field of intellectual property so as to facilitate the access to such technologies by developing countries.

    Food Security
  • Food and nutritional security is critical for developing countries. The rise in global food prices has added a new and huge challenge to the fight against poverty and hunger, which can lead to the roll-back of hard-won development gains in several developing countries. It is imperative that the international community act resolutely and with urgency to vastly improve ways and means of producing and distributing food. This includes stepped up international collaboration to increase agricultural productivity and sharing the intellectual property of the research with developing countries in a manner that takes care of the greater good of humankind. There is also need for increased emergency aid and significant reduction in the very large trade-distorting support in developed countries. While welcoming the declaration of the High level Conference on World Food Security convened by FAO in Rome in June 2008, the leaders urged countries to deliver on the commitments made to provide funding to address issues of food security.


  • The leaders reiterated their firm support to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as the key African Union (AU) socio-economic programme for Africa. Recognizing the central role of infrastructural development in growth and development of Africa, they re-affirmed their continued support of the programme and agreed that further cooperation should continue to focus on NEPAD's identified priorities in this regard in such sectors as ICT, energy, water and sanitation and transport.

  • The leaders noted that the 14 July 2008 formal application for a Warrant of Arrest under Article 58 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court against the President of the Republic of the Sudan is a cause for concern for Africa. In this regard, IBSA countries as members of the global South community expressed their support for the African Union's Peace and Security Council position, which amongst others, expressed the AU's conviction that in view of the delicate nature of the processes underway in the Sudan, the prosecution could undermine the ongoing efforts aimed at facilitating the early resolution of the conflict in Darfur and the promotion of long-lasting peace and development in the Sudan as a whole.
  • The leaders expressed concern on the situation in the Sudan and urged all parties involved to work and commit to a speedy resolution of the serious humanitarian situation in Darfur, the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and stopping attacks on UN personnel, in accordance with the commitment made by the government of the Sudan and the resolutions of the UN and the AU.

  • The leaders congratulated the people of Zimbabwe for their agreement reached on 11 September 2008 in Harare on a government of national unity. They also paid tribute to former President TM Mbeki for his tireless mediation efforts on behalf of the Southern African Development Community and the AU. They also urged the parties to the agreement to fully implement it.

  • The leaders reaffirmed their long-term commitment to a democratic, pluralistic and stable Afghanistan. They expressed concern at the continuing deterioration of the military and political situation in Afghanistan due to a determined and coordinated resurgence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the growth in cross-border terrorism, its links with international terrorism, and the consequential danger these developments pose to the gains made in the recent past. They condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul on 7 July 2008 and also the continued attacks on aid workers, civilians, Afghan and international forces by the Taliban and other insurgent groups. They reiterated, in this context, that a coherent and a united international commitment, both in its developmental and security/military aspects, remained of paramount importance and agreed to continue to cooperate and coordinate their efforts to impart greater strength to this process. They underlined the centrality of the regional aspect in the reconstruction and development process in Afghanistan.

  • The leaders took note of the developments in the security environment in Iraq in 2008 and emphasized the need for the return of peace and stability in Iraq, which are essential for its development and prosperity. A peaceful, united and stable Iraq requires a democratic and inclusive polity. The UN together with the international community has an important role to play in this regard. They reiterated support to Iraq for its efforts at reconstruction and development and its process of nation building and national reconciliation.

  • The leaders welcomed the establishment of a Government of National Unity in Lebanon and the approval of the new electoral law. They also expressed confidence that the consolidation of the national dialogue will contribute to the further strengthening of the democratic institutions in Lebanon in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 1559 and 1701.

    The Middle East Peace Process
  • The leaders underlined that the conflict between Israel and Palestine remains essentially political in nature and cannot be resolved by force. In this regard, they condemned the use of violence, particularly against innocent civilians and urged further easing of restrictions at check-points and road-blocks on humanitarian grounds. They reiterated their support for a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine living, within secured and recognized boundaries at peace with Israel, in accordance with UN Resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515. In this context, the leaders recalled the decision to donate US$ 1 million per year, from the IBSA Fund, over three years. In this regard, they welcomed the project for the construction of a sports complex in Ramallah.

    IBSA Facility Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger
  • The leaders recommitted themselves to assist developing countries in the fight against poverty and hunger. They reiterated that the Fund constitutes a pioneer and unique initiative to enhance South-South Cooperation for the benefit of the neediest of nations of the South. The leaders reviewed the modalities of the disbursement of IBSA Trust Fund as well as the criteria for Project proposals and concurred with the new programme guidelines. In this context, the leaders welcomed with satisfaction the projects in Burundi, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Laos and Palestine.

    IBSA Sectoral Cooperation
  • The leaders reviewed the activities under sectoral cooperation and while acknowledging the meetings of the Working Groups and concurring with their reports, expressed satisfaction on the progress made. The leaders welcomed the signing of (i) Tripartitite Agreement on Tourism, (ii) MoU on Trade Facilitation for Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment, (iii) MoU on Environment, (iv) MoU on Human Settlements Development, (v) Five Year Action Plan for Maritime Transport, (vi) Five Year Action Plan for Civil Aviation, and (vii) MoU on Women's Development and Gender Equality Programmes, to enhance cooperation in these sectors. They urged time-bound and concrete deliverables, in all the sectors.
  • The leaders noted with satisfaction progress made by the various Working Groups since the last IBSA Summit. They welcomed that Working Groups on Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Culture, Defence, Education, Energy, Health, Human Settlement Development, Information Society, Public Administration, Revenue Administration, Science & Technology, Social Issues, Tourism, Trade & Investment and Transport had met and finalized their reports regarding trilateral cooperation, with many of them agreeing on Action Plans. The leaders noted with satisfaction the IBSA diplomatic academies have also met in New Delhi in September 2008. The leaders also took note of and instructed that work that had begun on the drawing-up of Social Development Strategy for IBSA and the future of agricultural cooperation in IBSA should be pursued in a meaningful manner so that these could be finalized in time for the 4th IBSA Summit.
  • The leaders expressed satisfaction that IBSA Ministers of Health as well as Science & Technology had met since the 2nd IBSA Summit.

    Fourth IBSA Summit
  • The leaders of India and South Africa welcomed the offer of Brazil to host the 4th IBSA Summit in Brazil on 8 October, 2009.

  • In the month of October, India marks the celebration of various festivities and auspicious days, including Diwali (the celebration of light). The leaders of Brazil and South Africa wished the Government and the people of India well during these celebrations.

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