IBSA stands up to be counted, pushes hard for UNSC reforms

With a view to rejuvenating the IBSA trilateral of leading democracies straddling three continents, the ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa held their virtual meeting on September 16 to leverage their collective clout to accelerate the reform and expansion of the UN Security Council.

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks with South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor and Brazil’s Secretary (Vice-Minister) for National Sovereignty and Citizenship Fabio Marzano.

“The Ministers also exchanged views on various issues of global significance including peace, security, countering terrorism, climate change, sustainable development, multilateral trading system, disarmament, non-proliferation issues and South-South Cooperation,” said a joint statement after the talks conducted through a video-conference.

The Ministers “shared their experience on COVID-19 pandemic situation and appreciated the work done by the IBSA Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.”

The three aspiring members of the UN Security Council adopted and released the IBSA Joint Ministerial Statement to accelerate reform and expansion of the UN Security Council and underlined that it is a common endeavour of the Global South.

“We renew our commitment to work for the expansion of Security Council membership to include representation from emerging and developing countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa, in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, for achieving a representative, inclusive, equitable, responsive and effective UN Security Council,” said the joint statement.

Walk the Talk 

In a strongly-worded joint statement, the three countries expressed frustration with the slow pace of progress on Security Council reforms in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations process. The ministers stressed the urgency to move “towards a result-oriented process, with provision for substantive negotiations based on a single comprehensive text, in a formal setting.”

Commenting on the IBSA foreign ministers’ meeting, Manish Chand, a well-known foreign affairs expert and long-standing IBSA-watcher said that the latest meeting underlined signs of revival of the three-nation grouping which was long presumed to be moribund in the aftermath of the formation of the BRICS. “The IBSA’s joint ministerial statement on reforms of the UN Security Council is strongly-worded and voices joint frustration of the three democracies with the way the all-important issue of UNSC reforms is being stalled and derailed by a powerful network of vested interests,” said Mr Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network & India and the World magazine.

“The IBSA’s statement on UNSC reforms also suggests the desire on then part of the three IBSA countries, who are also part of the BRICS, to move beyond the BRICS’ ritualistic lip-service on UNSC reforms. The paras in the BRICS joint statements on the UNSC reforms over the last decade has been reading like mantra. It’s time for the international community to walk the talk,” said Mr Chand.

IBSA Foreign Ministers’ Virtual Meeting (Joint Press Statement)

External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India, S. Jaishankar, chaired the customary meeting of IBSA Foreign Ministers through video conferencing on 16th September, 2020. The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor and the Secretary (Vice-Minister) for National Sovereignty and Citizenship of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Ambassador Fabio Marzano, led their respective delegations.

The Ministers exchanged views on furthering IBSA cooperation. The Ministers also exchanged views on various issues of global significance including peace, security, countering terrorism, climate change, sustainable development, multilateral trading system, disarmament, non-proliferation issues and South-South Cooperation. Further, the Ministers shared their experience on COVID-19 pandemic situation and appreciated the work done by the IBSA Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.

On this occasion, they adopted and released the IBSA Joint Ministerial Statement on the Reform of the UN Security Council, as a common endeavour of the Global South. The Ministers emphasized the need for the international community to redouble efforts and bolster commitment to achieve tangible progress for accelerated and comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council and renewed commitment towards expansion of Security Council membership by including representation from emerging and developing countries, in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, for achieving a representative, inclusive, equitable, responsive and effective UN Security Council.The Ministers further agreed to enhance IBSA cooperation at multilateral fora and to organise IBSA events in our three countries.South Africa and Brazil appreciated India’s efforts in keeping up the momentum of IBSA cooperation.

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India Writes Network
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