THE INDIA-BRAZIL-SOUTH AFRICA DIALOGUE FORUM
Established in June 2003, IBSA is a coordinating mechanism amongst three emerging countries, three multi ethnic and multicultural democracies, which are determined to:
IBSA also opens itself to concrete projects of cooperation and partnership with less developed countries.
The principles, norms and values underpinning the IBSA Dialogue Forum are participatory democracy, respect for human rights and the Rule of Law. The strength of IBSA is the shared vision of the three countries that democracy and development are mutually reinforcing and key to sustainable peace and stability.
IBSA keeps an open and flexible structure. IBSA does not have a headquarters or a permanent executive secretariat. At the highest level, it counts on the Summits of Heads of State and Government. Numerous Summits have been held with IBSA having concluded its first round of Summits of Heads of State and Government Summits in 2008. The Summits have been held as follows:
Additionally, the Foreign Ministers meet about once a year to preside over the Trilateral Ministerial Commission meetings of the Forum. The following meetings have taken place to date:
Over the years, IBSA has become an umbrella for various initiatives, both in the diplomatic field on the international stage and through sector cooperation in priority areas in numerous Working Groups. Civil-society cooperation is also an important element of the IBSA Dialogue Forum and IBSA has distinguished itself through its development cooperation projects in less-developed countries. Thus, the group has also become an instrument for connecting India, Brazil and South Africa at all levels, aiming not only to increase these countries' projection on the international scenario but to strengthen the relations among themselves.
Communiqués and Declarations that consolidate common positions about global issues have been issued at the Summits and at the Joint Ministerial Commissions, as well as on occasions when foreign ministers have met on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
Monitoring and coordinating the IBSA activities are the responsibility of senior officials of the foreign ministers, known as Focal Points.
In summary, the progress of the activities can be divided into four tracks:
I. POLITICAL COORDINATION
The IBSA Forum has achieved important results in terms of political cooperation. So far, numerous declarations of Heads of State and Government and Ministerial Communiqués have been issued. They constitute a repository of common positions about a wide range of global issues.
II. SECTOR COOPERATION
The following Working Groups were established with the objective of deepening the mutual knowledge and exploring common points of interest in sector areas:
Within the Working Groups, numerous Agreements and Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) were signed, in order to legally support the cooperation.
III. THE IBSA FUND
The IBSA Fund, which was established in 2004 and became operational in 2006, supports projects on a demand-driven basis through partnerships with local governments, national institutions and implementing partners. Initiatives are concrete expressions of solidarity and objectives range from promoting food security, to addressing HIV/AIDS, to extending access to safe drinking water Ė all with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Important concerns of IBSA partners in the design and implementation of the Fundís projects include capacity-building among project beneficiaries, built-in project sustainability, and knowledge sharing among Southern experts and institutions. The successes and innovations of the IBSA Fund have been recognized by governments, United Nations officials, academics and development practitioners.
The IBSA Trust Fund operates through a demand driven approach. Governments requesting support by this fund initiate discussions with focal points appointed among IBSA countriesí officers around the world. These focal points submit proposals to the IBSA board of directors for review. If a proposal receives favorable review, UNDPís United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, which acts as the fund manager and board of directorsí secretariat, initiates contact with a potential executing agency to advance a project formulation, and to facilitate the projectís implementation.
IV. PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE FORA
Aimed at deepening the relationship between the societies in India, Brazil and South Africa, other fora have been created to promote the exchange of ideas and cooperation and as a means of engaging society at grassroots level: