Co-existence of both fora for the trilateral strategic alliance between India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) and the strategic alliance between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
FOR ORAL REPLY
QUESTION NO: 22 (CO24E)
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 1-2013 OF 28 FEBRUARY 2013
MS B A MNGUNI (ANC-FS) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:
Whether, with regard to the co-existence of the trilateral strategic alliance between India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) and the strategic alliance between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), there is a need for the existence of both fora; if not, what is the position in this regard and how will this be resolved;
if so, (i) what is the basis for it, (ii) what are the benefits of its co-existence for South Africa and (iii) how will any conflict be resolved?
Yes, there is a need for the existence of both fora.
In the 10 years of its existence, the IBSA trilateral grouping has conducted itself in a spirit of co-operation and solidarity for the cause of democracy, sustainable development and human rights.
IBSA in Global Politics
The IBSA Dialogue Forum in its engagements in the global political arena serves to reinforce the commonality of values as espoused through multiparty democracy, the Rule of Law and human rights. IBSA is seen as an expression of the need for the countries of the South to co-ordinate their collective voice in an international arena which has for the most part been characterised by inequality and under-representation. The pursuit by IBSA members of UN reform, particularly the UN Security Council is a case in point which is not entirely replicable in the same way within the BRICS context.
IBSA’s contribution to Africa’s Development
One of the flagship programmes in IBSA is the IBSA Facility for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation (IBSA Trust Fund) which offers a unique development assistance paradigm and has received international recognition for its efforts.
The Delhi Declaration stated that “BRICS is a platform for dialogue and cooperation amongst countries that represent 43% of the world’s population, for the promotion of peace, security and development in a multi-polar, inter-dependent and increasingly complex, globalised world. Coming, as we do, from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, the transcontinental dimension of our interaction adds to its value and significance”.
The focus area of BRICS has been on economic cooperation, although cooperation on issues of peace and security has also been strengthened. A high-level initiative in the context of BRICS is the study that Finance Ministers will present to BRICS Leaders at the forthcoming Summit regarding the feasibility and viability of creating a new Development Bank. BRICS Leaders commissioned this study at the Fourth BRICS Summit and I quote: “We have considered the possibility of setting up a new Development Bank for mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, to supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. We direct our Finance Ministers to examine the feasibility and viability of such an initiative, set up a joint working group for further study, and report back to us by the next Summit”. This initiative will provide substantial financing assistance for infrastructure projects in future.
Benefits for Co-Existence
With regards to co-existence, it should be observed that both formations have unique and complementary mandates.
As mentioned above, IBSA is focussed on developing common ground among its members with regard to issues such as the reform of the United Nations, particularly the UNSC. In the BRICS grouping, the reform of the UN is broadly supported.
BRICS is an important grouping that bears significant influence in respect of global governance debates, notably the reform of the global financial architecture.
How Will Conflict Be Resolved
Each grouping is unique and one complements the other. Membership in both groupings provides South Africa a platform to advance its national interests.