Read Basics of IBSA from Prelims Notes.
Cooperation in IBSA is on three fronts
  • Forum for consultation and coordination on global and regional political issues, such as reform of global institutions of political and economic governance, WTO/Doha Development Agenda, climate change, terrorism etc.
  • Trilateral collaboration on concrete areas and projects, through 14 working groups and 6 People-to-People (P2P) Forums, for the common benefit of three countries
  • Assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.
IBSA Trust Fund
  • It brings together the three emerging economies of India, Brazil and South Africa to combat poverty in other developing countries.
  • Each country will contribute US $1 million annually to this fund which is managed by the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.
IBSA Dialogue Forum
  • The IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) Dialogue Forum is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among these countries.
  • It was launched in June 2003.
  • It brings together three large democracies and major economies from three different continents namely, Africa, Asia and South America that represents three important poles for galvanizing South-South cooperation.
  • The forum provides the three countries platform to engage in discussions for cooperation in the field of agriculture, trade, culture, and defence among others. It has become instrumental for promoting closer coordination on global issues between three large multicultural and multiracial democracies and also contributed to enhancing trilateral cooperation in sectoral areas.
NOTE: Use IBSA Trust Fund, IBSA Dialogue Forum in your answers related to IBSA (Don’t need to focus on details of these initiatives)
“…IBSA has been overshadowed over the past few years by that other acronym without an adjective, BRICS.” Critically discuss the potential of IBSA forum, India’s role in it and the need for its revival. (200 Words)
India Brazil and South Africa came together in 2006 to form IBSA for the want of reforming UN Security Council and to discuss climate change. But it has languished ever since and not played any prominent role because of following reasons:
  1. Elevation of G20 as a platform for discussion on global economic issues.
  2. Most importantly, the rise of BRICS which has IBSA plus Russia and China. BRICS seems to be a body of action as is evident from its declarations, occasional anti-West agenda and formation of a BRICS bank.
  3. Despite having joint exercises like IBSAMAR and few areas where the interests of its members can potentially clash, still IBSA remains mostly a passive organization but needs to be revived for multiple
  1. The three nations represent three vibrant democracies from three developing continents, each one the face of it and each one being a multicultural, multi ethnic society. So they are together the Global South.
  2. Apart from aspiring the permanent seats in UNSC, these nations have much to discuss in common interests like climate change, money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorism.
  3. All three lie have coastlines which can be leveraged for maritime development. India is in Indian Ocean, Brazil in southern Atlantic and South Africa in between the two.
  4. There are lot of synergies and complementarities between these nations. Like India has land resource crunch while Brazil is land rich. India and South Africa share a cultural and heritage link due to Gandhiji and Nelson Mandela.
  5. All are feeling the heat of Chinese economic hegemony in their respective neighborhoods, be it Asia, Africa or Latin America. China would want IBSA to be dissolved as IBSA did not invite China at its imitation.
So there are enough incentives for IBSA to be revived and India, being the economic powerhouse of this group, can play a leading role to this end by taking the initiative in the next IBSA summit.

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