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Prime Minister’s Opening Statement at the Joint Press Meeting at the First IBSA Summit

September 13, 2006

It is a privilege for me to have participated in the 1st IBSA Summit. The privilege is further deepened by the fact that I did so in the august company of two of the leading statesmen of our time – President Lula of Brazil and President Mbeki of South Africa.

It was just over three years ago that IBSA was founded in this city itself. It has since then, recorded significant achievements. Reaching across geographical distance, our partnership illustrates the global village in which we live together today.

The Summit provided a useful opportunity to review the cooperation that has taken lace in the IBSA framework. We also had constructive discussions on issues of global concern. There is, I am pleased to say, a great deal of commonality in our perspectives.

The Joint Declaration that will be issued today is an impressive document that reflects our common vision on a wide range of political and economic, regional and global issues of common interest. We have all pledged to work earnestly to implement this bold and comprehensive agenda of cooperation. It is a matter of satisfaction for India that the Joint Declaration reflects the importance that the IBSA countries attach to increasing international civilian nuclear cooperation through forward looking approaches.

As IBSA evolves, it will acquire new dimensions. It would be our endeavour to see that it moves from being a project of three Governments to one that actively involves the peoples of our three countries. I am happy that a successful Business Summit was held yesterday.

I use this opportunity to thank President Lula for the gracious hospitality that he has accorded to me and my delegation. I also compliment him for taking the initiative to convene this Summit.``

September 13, 2006

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