Explained | What is IBSA grouping?

The ministers expressed their intention to further energise and leverage the IBSA Forum. Photo: Twitter / @MEAIndia

Minister of External Affairs S.Jaishankar held discussions with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira under the IBSA grouping on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The ministers expressed their intention to further energise and leverage the IBSA Forum. To that effect, they agreed to hold a meeting of ministers of foreign affairs in Brazil in the first quarter of 2024 and tasked the Sherpas to elaborate a proposal on IBSA institutional development.

The ministers affirmed the strategic significance of IBSA in safeguarding and advancing the interests of the Global South on the global stage, including at the multilateral and plurilateral bodies.

They agreed to strengthen and expand the IBSA Fund.

The fact that the three countries will make up the G20 “troika” in 2024, provides further opportunities for concerted actions and cooperation in several areas.

What is IBSA?

• 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. 

• The grouping was formalised and named the IBSA Dialogue Forum when the foreign ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia on June 6, 2003 and issued the Brasilia Declaration.

• The IBSA has emerged as a key tripartite grouping for the promotion of cooperation in a range of areas.

• IBSA’s success demonstrates, most vividly, the desirability and feasibility of South-South cooperation beyond the conventional areas of exchange of experts and training. 

• The IBSA Fund is a special feature of IBSA collaboration, an internationally recognised initiative of South-South cooperation, with 42 projects in 37 countries. 

Cooperation in IBSA is on three fronts:

1) 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.

2) Trilateral collaboration on concrete areas/projects, through fourteen working groups and six People-to-People Forums, for the common benefit of three countries.

3) Assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.

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