India, Brazil, South Africa call for reforms at forums

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar take part in the BRICS Ministerial Meeting, in New York, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Twitter/PTI Photo

India along with other members of the IBSA bloc has reaffirmed its commitment to promote reforms in all international organisations, including the UN, World Trade Organisation and G20 to achieve more "inclusive, and responsive" international governance architecture.

In a meeting of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Brazil's Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor held on Thursday on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly here, they stressed that right to development and equality of opportunities are critical means to achieve such goals, the IBSA said in a joint statement.

"Our countries continue to engage together as positive forces for change. The multilateral system needs to be reformed, so as to ensure that it works effectively for all states and peoples," the statement said.

The countries also expressed their commitment to promoting the reform of the multilateral system through cooperation and coordination in all relevant multilateral fora and international organisations including the WTO and groupings of G20, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC), and G-77, the statement said.

At a time of significant and pressing global challenges, India, Brazil and South Africa acknowledge "our common objectives and shared responsibility to help build a peaceful, secure and prosperous world," it said.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a tweet, said, "promoting reform of the multilateral system. India, Brazil & South Africa together call for a more inclusive, responsive and participatory international governance architecture.

The three countries also reaffirmed their commitment to enhance the voice and representation of emerging and developing economies, especially those in Africa, in the decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions.

"As large democracies and vibrant nations, we believe that people should be placed at the centre of inclusive international governance. We are committed to reforming the multilateral system in order to meet the needs and expectations of our peoples, as well as to respond to increasing global challenges," the statement said.

They also expressed concern at the "slow pace" of inter-governmental negotiations on UN Security Council (UNSC) reform and reaffirmed their commitment to working together for the expansion of membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories for achieving a more representative, inclusive and equitable UN Security Council.

"The comprehensive reform of the United Nations (UN) system, including that of the UN Security Council, remains a crucial international undertaking," it said.

"With the onset of the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020, we urge redoubling of efforts to achieve progress on this issue, with a view to an early comprehensive reform of the Security Council," the statement said.

They also stressed on the need for reform of the international economic governance architecture, including WTO and the international financial institutions.

"IBSA countries have contributed meaningfully in making the international economic governance architecture more representative and democratic, and will continue to work together to advance an agenda that promotes sustainable development and inclusive growth," the statement said.

The process of WTO reform must keep development at its core, promote inclusiveness and non-discrimination, build trust and address the inequalities and asymmetries in existing agreements, it said.

It should take into account the diversity of interests and concerns of the whole membership, including developing members, in particular least-developed countries (LDCs). IBSA countries recognise the central role played by the WTO in promoting the interests of developing countries on issues such as agriculture, it said.

The IBSA nations noted that strengthening the global financial safety net, with a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre, is essential.

"We must work towards concluding the 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula at the annual meetings of 2019," it said.

The three countries reiterated their commitment to working together on strengthening cooperation to prosecute persons sought for corruption and other economic crimes, including through international organisations and institutions such as the G20, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and others.

"We underscore the need for continuing consultations and exchange of views between the IBSA countries in order to build partnerships in multilateral fora," the statement said.

They also took note of the progress made by the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger, which provides financial support for South-owned, South-led, demand-driven and transformational projects across the developing world, with a focus on Least Developed Countries.

"We welcome the developmental impact created by the Fund on the ground," the statement said.

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