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Prime Minister’s Opening Remarks at the Press Conference after the IBSA Summit

April 15, 2010

President Lula, President Zuma and I have just concluded a very useful round of discussions on our multi-faceted cooperation under IBSA, and on several important global issues. I thank President Lula and the Government and people of Brazil for hosting the Summit and other meetings preceding the Summit.

The IBSA framework has become the embodiment of South-South Cooperation. In a period of seven years, when the idea of establishing IBSA was first discussed, IBSA has moved from strength to strength.

This is our fourth Summit, and marks the commencement of the second cycle of Summits. We have developed an institutional structure for enhancing our trilateral cooperation in areas such as agriculture, science and technology, energy, economic cooperation, transportation, ocean research and space science.

Promotion of people-to-people interaction and greater mutual awareness of each other is the hallmark of IBSA. The several forums and Working Groups that have met here for the past few days strengthen my belief that we are proceeding in the right direction of strengthening civil society interface among our countries. IBSA is largely a peoples project. The collaborative activities within the IBSA framework hold immense promise for our people.

IBSA countries have rich experience of consulting each other on global issues. We have worked together on trade, development and climate change issues. We share similar views with regard to the reform of global institutions of governance. We are united by the primacy we accord to development and issues such as food security, social inclusiveness and energy security.

IBSA has entered a phase of consolidation. In this Summit we have agreed to focus our efforts on the implementation of the various initiatives we have launched under the IBSA framework. We have issued a Joint Declaration that spells out our common approach on global issues confronting our societies.

I firmly believe that IBSA has developed into a vibrant organisation, and will continue to play an important role in global affairs.

Thank you.

April 15, 2010

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