Building capacity to help Africa trade better

IBSA Declaration on South-South Cooperation


IBSA Declaration on South-South Cooperation

IBSA Declaration on South-South Cooperation
Photo credit: Business Call to Action

The External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr. Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvão, met in Pretoria on 4th June, 2018. The Ministers agreed as under:


  1. IBSA brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major developing economies from three continents.

  2. IBSA is bound together by a shared conviction in the universal values of democracy, plurality, diversity, human rights, rule of law and commitment to sustainable development, inclusivity of all communities and gender, and respect for international law.

  3. IBSA recalls all efforts over the decades to bring about greater solidarity among South-South countries, including the Bandung Conference 1955, NAM 1961, UNCTAD, G-77 grouping, BAPA 1978, Nairobi Declaration 2009.

  4. IBSA has, over the years, emerged as a grouping supporting welfare and developmental concerns for the Global South, which have been pursued in the spirit of access, equity and inclusion.

  5. The IBSA’s 2007 Tshwane Declaration; 2008 Delhi Declaration and 2010 Brasilia Declaration underscored SSC as a common endeavour of the Global South guided by equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs, and mutual benefit. They also provided the blueprint for IBSA partnership with countries of the South.

  6. Recalling the commitments and the means of implementation for the development agenda, IBSA stresses the centrality of the SDGs and the Rio principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities.

  7. IBSA recalls the development commitment enshrined in the 2008 Doha Declaration and of the Monterrey Consensus of 2002 of providing 0.7 percent GNI as ODA by developed countries and the measures contained in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for making finance available for achieving 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  8. IBSA calls upon the global North to honour its ODA commitments fully, scale up existing resources and commit additional resources to provide the necessary means to implement SDGs.

  9. IBSA reiterates the balanced emphasis on the social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainable development.

  10. IBSA recognizes, inter-alia, capacity building, skills and technology transfer, food security and industrialisation as key to sustainable development.

IBSA Mechanism for Development Cooperation

  1. The IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger was set up with the objective of facilitating the execution of human development projects to advance the fight against poverty and hunger in developing countries and to pioneer and lead by example the SSC agenda by building new partnerships.

  2. The IBSA Fund is managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), which lends its professional expertise to multiple stakeholders in promoting the development of the Global South.

  3. With a cumulative contribution of $35mn, IBSA Fund has thus far partnered 19 countries from the Global South for implementing 26 projects over the last decade. 62.4 percent of the IBSA Fund has been devoted to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

  4. The IBSA Fund has been recognised for its good work, including through the United Nations South-South Partnership Award 2006; the UN MDG Award 2010 and the South-South and Triangular Cooperation Champions Award 2012.

Principles and basis for South-South Cooperation

  1. The basic principles of SSC were particularly emphasised in the IBSA Summit Declaration of 2010 in Brasilia. It underscored SSC as a common endeavour of peoples and countries of the South. It outlined IBSA partnership based amongst equals which is guided by principles of respect for national sovereignty; national ownership and independence; equality; non-conditionality; non-interference in domestic affairs; and mutual benefit.

  2. The Brasilia Declaration of 2010 states that SSC is not aid and developing countries engaged in SSC are not donors and recipients but developing partners.

  3. IBSA notes the shared histories, understanding and beliefs and developmental experiences, and consequently adheres to the principles of SSC which have been incorporated in IBSA funded projects.

  4. Solidarity and the spirit of sharing are the primary motivations for SSC.

  5. IBSA recognises that SSC is voluntary in nature and not obligatory like ODA is.

  6. SSC is a demand driven process whereby it is the partner countries that determine the priorities in IBSA projects.

  7. Respect for national sovereignty is at the core of SSC. SSC is about interdependences and not ‘new dependencies’. The partner countries themselves initiate, organise and manage SSC activities. IBSA believes that the primary responsibility towards development rests with the States themselves under their ownership and leadership.

  8. The aim of SSC is to create higher levels of capability and economic opportunity for both the partners. Capacity building and technology transfer continues to drive SSC in the spirit of solidarity among partner countries.

  9. South-South Cooperation serves as a complement to and not as a substitute for North-South cooperation, in supporting the acceleration of the development agenda.

  10. IBSA is convinced that SSC is completely different from the North-South/donor-donee cooperation, and that ODA templates are not a good basis for SSC.

  11. Further, South-South Cooperation does not imply reducing the responsibilities of developed countries with respect to their ODA commitments, new and additional financing, provision of means of implementation to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change as well as implementation of the SDGs.

  12. Economic and political non-conditionality is essential and is reflected in the IBSA projects, as clearly demonstrated from the fact that the fiscal independence is maintained by partner countries.

  13. Sustainable projects under IBSA Fund provide partners with ownership of projects through various capacity building measures. Involvement of relevant stakeholders of partner countries in projects’ initiation, implementation and delivery phases is ensured.

Emerging Focus Areas

  1. IBSA will step up advocacy for reforms of global governance institutions in multilateral fora.

  2. The 2011 Tshwane Declaration brought people to the centre of the discourse on global governance. The Declaration considered people-centric social policies as the driving mechanism for restructuring the international financial architecture and reforming international organisations, thereby strengthening SSC.

  3. IBSA is committed to the realisation of the SDGs. In this regard, IBSA considers responsible financing an essential component of development cooperation and would like to underline that such efforts should not potentially hamper the long term interest of partner countries.


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