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5th BRICS Summit - eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan
New Delhi, March 27, 2013
The following is the text of the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan issued after the Fifth BRICS Summit at Durban in South Africa today:
1.We, the leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Durban, South Africa, on 27 March 2013 at the Fifth BRICS Summit. Our discussions took place under the overarching theme, "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”. The Fifth BRICS Summit concluded the first cycle of BRICS Summits and we reaffirmed our commitment to the promotion of international law, multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations (UN). Our discussions reflected our growing intra-BRICS solidarity as well as our shared goal to contribute positively to global peace, stability, development and cooperation. We also considered our role in the international system as based on an inclusive approach of shared solidarity and cooperation towards all nations and peoples.
2.We met at a time which requires that we consider issues of mutual interest and systemic importance in order to share concerns and to develop lasting solutions. We aim at progressively developing BRICS into a full-fledged mechanism of current and long-term coordination on a wide range of key issues of the world economy and politics. The prevailing global governance architecture is regulated by institutions which were conceived in circumstances when the international landscape in all its aspects was characterised by very different challenges and opportunities.As the global economy is being reshaped, weare committed to exploring new models and approaches towards more equitable development and inclusive global growth by emphasising complementarities and building on our respective economic strengths.
3.We are open to increasing our engagement and cooperation with non-BRICS countries, in particular Emerging Market and Developing Countries (EMDCs), and relevant international and regional organisations, as envisioned in the Sanya Declaration. We will hold a Retreat together with African leaders after this Summit, under the theme,"Unlocking Africa’s potential: BRICS and Africa Cooperation on Infrastructure”.The Retreat is an opportunity for BRICS and African leaders to discuss how to strengthen cooperation between the BRICS countries and the African Continent.
4.Recognising the importance of regional integration for Africa’s sustainable growth, development and poverty eradication, we reaffirm our support for the Continent’s integration processes.
5.Within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), we support African countries in their industrialisation process through stimulating foreign direct investment, knowledge exchange, capacity-building and diversification of imports from Africa. We acknowledge that infrastructure development in Africa is important and recognise the strides made by the African Union to identify and address the continent’s infrastructure challenges through the development of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), the AU NEPAD Africa Action Plan (2010-2015), the NEPAD Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI), as well as the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plans that have identified priority infrastructure development projects that are critical to promoting regional integration and industrialisation. We will seek to stimulate infrastructure investment on the basis of mutual benefit to support industrial development, job-creation, skills development, food and nutrition security and poverty eradication and sustainable development in Africa. We therefore, reaffirm our support for sustainable infrastructure development in Africa.
6.We note policy actions in Europe, the US and Japan aimed at reducing tail-risks in the world economy. Some of these actions produce negative spillover effects on other economies of the world. Significant risks remain and the performance of the global economy still falls behind our expectations. As a result, uncertainty about strength and durability of the recovery and the direction of policy in some major economies remains high. In some key countries unemployment stays unusually elevated, while high levels of private and public indebtedness inhibit growth. In such circumstances, we reaffirm our strong commitment to support growth and foster financial stability. We also underscore the need for appropriate action to be taken by advanced economies in order to rebuild confidence, foster growth and secure a strong recovery.
7.Central Banks in advanced economies have responded with unconventional monetary policy actions which have increased global liquidity. While this may be consistent with domestic monetary policy mandates, major Central Banks should avoid the unintended consequences of these actions in the form of increased volatility of capital flows, currencies and commodity prices, which may have negative growth effects on other economies, in particular developing countries.
8.We welcome the core objectives of the Russian Presidency in the G20 in 2013, in particular the efforts to increased financing for investment and ensure public debt sustainability aimed at ensuring strong, sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and job creation around the world. We will also continue to prioritise the G20 development agenda as a vital element of global economic stability and long-term sustainable growth and job creation.
9.Developing countries face challenges of infrastructure development due to insufficient long-term financing and foreign direct investment, especially investment in capital stock. This constrains global aggregate demand. BRICS cooperation towards more productive use of global financial resources can make a positive contribution to addressing this problem. In March 2012 we directed our Finance Ministers to examine the feasibility and viability of setting up a New Development Bank for mobilising 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. Following the report from our Finance Ministers, we are satisfied that the establishment of a New Development Bank is feasible and viable. We have agreed to establish the New Development Bank. The initial contribution to the Bank should be substantial and sufficient for the Bank to be effective in financing infrastructure.
10.In June 2012, in our meeting in Los Cabos, we tasked our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to explore the construction of a financial safety net through the creation of a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) amongst BRICS countries. They have concluded that the establishment of a self-managed contingent reserve arrangement would have a positive precautionary effect, help BRICS countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, provide mutual support and further strengthen financial stability. It would also contribute to strengthening the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements as an additional line of defence. We are of the view that the establishment of the CRA with an initial size of US$ 100 billion is feasible and desirable subject to internal legal frameworks and appropriate safeguards. We direct our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to continue working towards its establishment.
11.We are grateful to our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors for the work undertaken on the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement and direct them to negotiate and conclude the agreements which will establish them. We will review progress made in these two initiatives at our next meeting in September 2013.
12.We welcome the conclusion between our Export-Import Banks (EXIM) and Development Banks, of both the "Multilateral Agreement on Cooperation and Co-financing for Sustainable Development” and, given the steep growth trajectory of the African continent and the significant infrastructure funding requirements directly emanating from this growth path, the "Multilateral Agreement on Infrastructure Co-Financing for Africa”.
13.We call for the reform of International Financial Institutions to make them more representative and to reflect the growing weight of BRICS and other developing countries. We remain concerned with the slow pace of the reform of the IMF. We see an urgent need to implement, as agreed, the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Governance and Quota Reform. We urge all members to take all necessary steps to achieve an agreement on the quota formula and complete the next general quota review by January 2014. The reform of the IMF should strengthen the voice and representation of the poorest members of the IMF, including Sub-Saharan Africa. All options should be explored, with an open mind, to achieve this. We support the reform and improvement of the international monetary system, with a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty. We welcome the discussion about the role of the SDR in the existing international monetary system including the composition of SDR’s basket of currencies. We support the IMF to make its surveillance framework more integrated and even-handed. The leadership selection of IFIs should be through an open, transparent and merit-based process and truly open to candidates from the emerging market economies and developing countries.
14.We emphasise the importance of ensuring steady, adequate and predictable access to long term finance for developing countries from a variety of sources. We would like to see concerted global effort towards infrastructure financing and investment through the instrumentality of adequately resourced Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Regional Development Banks (RDBs). We urge all parties to work towards an ambitious International Development Association(IDA)17 replenishment.
15.We reaffirm our support for an open, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system. We will continue in our efforts for the successful conclusion of the Doha Round, based on the progress made and in keeping with its mandate, while upholding the principles of transparency, inclusiveness and multilateralism. We are committed to ensure that new proposals and approaches to the Doha Round negotiations will reinforce the core principles and the developmental mandate of the Doha Round. We look forward to significant and meaningful deliverables that are balanced and address key development concerns of the poorest and most vulnerable WTO members, at the ninth Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali.
16.We note that the process is underway for the selection of a new WTO Director-General in 2013. We concur that the WTO requires a new leader who demonstrates a commitment to multilateralism and to enhancing the effectiveness of the WTO including through a commitment to support efforts that will lead to an expeditious conclusion of the DDA. We consider that the next Director-General of the WTO should be a representative of a developing country.
17.We reaffirm the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) mandate as the focal point in the UN system dedicated to consider the interrelated issues of trade, investment, finance and technology from a development perspective. UNCTAD’s mandate and work are unique and necessary to deal with the challenges of development and growth in the increasingly interdependent global economy. We also reaffirm the importance of strengthening UNCTAD’s capacity to deliver on its programmes of consensus building, policy dialogue, research, technical cooperation and capacity building, so that it is better equipped to deliver on its development mandate.
18.We acknowledge the important role that State Owned Companies (SOCs) play in the economy and encourage our SOCs to explore ways of cooperation, exchange of information and best practices.
19.We recognise the fundamental role played by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the economies of our countries. SMEs are major creators of jobs and wealth. In this regard, we will explore opportunities for cooperating in the field of SMEs and recognise the need for promoting dialogue among the respective Ministries and Agencies in charge of the theme, particularly with a view to promoting their international exchange and cooperation and fostering innovation, research and development.
20.We reiterate our strong commitment to the United Nations (UN) as the foremost multilateral forum entrusted with bringing about hope, peace, order and sustainable development to the world. The UN enjoys universal membership and is at the centre of global governance and multilateralism.In this regard, we reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can be more responsive to global challenges. In this regard, China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.
21.We underscore our commitment to work together in the UN to continue our cooperation and strengthen multilateral approaches in international relations based on the rule of law and anchored in the Charter of the United Nations.
22.We are committed to building a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity and reaffirm that the 21st century should be marked by peace, security, development, and cooperation. It is the overarching objective and strong shared desire for peace, security, development and cooperation that brought together BRICS countries.
23.We welcome the twentieth Anniversary of the World Conference on Human Rights and of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and agree to explore cooperation in the field of human rights.
24.We commend the efforts of the international community and acknowledge the central role of the African Union (AU) and its Peace and Security Council in conflict resolution in Africa. We call upon the UNSC to enhance cooperation with the African Union, and its Peace and Security Council, pursuant to UNSC resolutions in this regard. We express our deep concern with instability stretching from North Africa, in particular the Sahel, and the Gulf of Guinea. We also remain concerned about reports of deterioration in humanitarian conditions in some countries.
25.We welcome the appointment of the new Chairperson of the AU Commission as an affirmation of the leadership of women.
26.We express our deep concern with the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Syria and condemn the increasing violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law as a result of continued violence. We believe that the Joint Communiqué of the Geneva Action Group provides a basis for resolution of the Syrian crisis and reaffirm our opposition to any further militarization of the conflict. A Syrian-led political process leading to a transition can be achieved only through broad national dialogue that meets the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society and respect for Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty as expressed by the Geneva Joint Communiqué and appropriate UNSC resolutions. We support the efforts of the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative. In view of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, we call upon all parties to allow and facilitate immediate, safe, full and unimpeded access to humanitarian organisations to all in need of assistance. We urge all parties to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers.
27.We welcome the admission of Palestine as an Observer State to the United Nations.We are concerned at the lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process and call on the international community to assist both Israel and Palestine to work towards a two-state solution with a contiguous and economicallyviable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel, within internationally recognized borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.We are deeply concerned about the construction of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which is a violation of international law and harmful to the peace process.In recalling the primary responsibility of the UNSC in maintaining international peace and security, we note the importance that the Quartet reports regularly to the Council about its efforts, which should contribute to concrete progress.
28.We believe there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. We recognise Iran´s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy consistent with its international obligations, and support resolution of the issues involved through political and diplomatic means and dialogue, including between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran and in accordance with the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and consistent with Iran’s obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We are concerned about threats of military action as well as unilateral sanctions. We note the recent talks held in Almaty and hope that all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme will be resolved through discussions and diplomatic means.
29.Afghanistan needs time, development assistance and cooperation, preferential access to world markets, foreign investment and a clear end-state strategy to attain lasting peace and stability. We support the global community’s commitment to Afghanistan, enunciated at the Bonn International Conference in December 2011, to remain engaged over the transformation decade from 2015-2024. We affirm our commitment to support Afghanistan’s emergence as a peaceful, stable and democratic state, free of terrorism and extremism, and underscore the need for more effective regional and international cooperation for the stabilisation of Afghanistan, including by combating terrorism. We extend support to the efforts aimed at combating illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan within the framework of the Paris Pact.
30.We commend the efforts of the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mali aimed at restoring sovereignty and territorial integrity of Mali. We support the civilian efforts of the Malian Government and its international community partners in realising the transitional programme leading up to the presidential and legislative elections. We emphasise the importance of political inclusiveness and economic and social development in order for Mali to achieve sustainable peace and stability. We express concern about the reports of the deterioration in humanitarian conditions in Mali and call upon the international community to continue to cooperate with Mali and its neighbouring countries in order to ensure humanitarian assistance to civilian population affected by the armed conflict.
31.We are gravely concerned with the deterioration in the current situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and deplore the loss of life. We strongly condemn the abuses and acts of violence against the civilian population and urge all parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and return to negotiations. We call upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access. We are ready to work with the international community to assist in this endeavour and facilitate progress to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Brazil, Russia and China express their sympathyto the South African and Indian governments for the casualties that their citizens suffered in the CAR.
32.We are gravely concerned by the ongoing instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We welcome the signing in Addis Ababa on 24 February 2013 of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. We support its independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the efforts of the UN, AU and sub-regional organisations to bring about peace, security and stability in the country.
33.We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism. We believe that the UN has a central role in coordinating international action against terrorism within the framework of the UN Charter and in accordance with principles and norms of international law. In this context, we support the implementation of the UN General Assembly Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and are determined to strengthen cooperation in countering this global threat. We also reiterate our call for concluding negotiations as soon as possible in the UN General Assembly on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and its adoption by all Member States and agreed to work together towards this objective.
34.We recognize the critical positive role the Internet plays globally in promoting economic, social and cultural development. We believe it’s important to contribute to and participate in a peaceful, secure, and open cyberspace and we emphasise that security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) through universally accepted norms, standards and practices is of paramount importance.
35.We congratulate Brazil on hosting the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012 and welcome the outcome as reflected in "The Future we Want”, in particular, the reaffirmation of the Rio Principles and political commitment made towards sustainable development and poverty eradication while creating opportunities for BRICS partners to engage and cooperate in the development of the future Sustainable Development Goals.
36.We congratulate India on the outcome of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (CBD COP11) and the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
37.While acknowledging that climate change is one of the greatest challenges and threats towards achieving sustainable development, we call on all partiesto build on the decisions adopted in COP18/CMP8 in Doha, with a view to reaching a successful conclusion by 2015, of negotiations on the development of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, guided by its principles and provisions.
38.We believe that the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) address the needs of developing countries, many of which continue to face developmental challenges, including widespread poverty and inequality. Low Income Countries (LICs) continue to face challenges that threaten the impressive growth performance of recent years. Volatility in food and other commodity prices have made food security an issue as well as constraining their sources of revenue. Progress in rebuilding macro-economic buffers has been relatively slow, partly due to measures adopted to mitigate the social impact of exogenous shocks. Many LICs are currently in a weaker position to deal with exogenous shocks given the more limited fiscal buffers and the constrained aid envelopes, which will affect their ability to sustain progress towards achieving the MDGs. We reiterate that individual countries, especially in Africa and other developing countries of the South, cannot achieve the MDGs on their own and therefore the centrality of Goal 8 on Global Partnerships for Development to achieve the MDGs should remain at the core of the global development discourse for the UN System. Furthermore, this requires the honouring of all commitments made in the outcome documents of previous major international conferences.
39.We reiterate our commitment to work together for accelerated progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target date of 2015, and we call upon other members of the international community to work towards the same objective. In this regard, we stress that the development agenda beyond 2015 should build on the MDG framework, keeping the focus on poverty eradication and human development, while addressing emerging challenges of development taking into consideration individual national circumstances of developing countries. In this regard the critical issue of the mobilization of means of implementation in assisting developing countries needs to be an overarching goal. It is important to ensure that any discussion on the UN development agenda, including the "Post 2015 Development Agenda” is an inclusive and transparent inter-Governmental process under a UN-wide process which is universal and broad based.
40.We welcome the establishment of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in line with the Rio+20 Outcome Document which reaffirmed the Rio Principles of Sustainable Development as the basis for addressing new and emerging challenges. We are fully committed to a coordinated inter-governmental process for the elaboration of the UN development agenda.
41.We note the following meetings held in the implementation of the Delhi Action Plan:
·Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the margins of UNGA.
·Meeting of National Security Advisors in New Delhi.
·Meetings of Finance Ministers, and Central Bank Governors in Washington DC and Tokyo.
·Meeting of Trade Ministers in Puerto Vallarta.
·Meetings of Health Ministers in New Delhi and Geneva.
42.We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Think Tanks Council and the BRICS Business Council and take note ofthe following meetings which were held in preparation for this Summit:
·Fifth Academic Forum
·Fourth Business Forum
·Third Financial Forum
43.We welcome the outcomes of the meeting of the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and endorse the Joint Communique of the Third Meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers held in preparation for the Summit.
44.We are committed to forging a stronger partnership for common development. To this end, we adopt the eThekwini Action Plan.
45.We agree that the next summit cycles will, in principle, follow the sequence of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
46.Brazil, Russia, India and China extend their warm appreciation to the Government and people of South Africa for hosting the Fifth BRICS Summit in Durban.
47.Russia, India, China and South Africa convey their appreciation to Brazil for its offer to host the first Summit of the second cycle of BRICS Summits, i.e. the Sixth BRICS Summit in 2014 and convey their full support thereto.
eThekwini Action Plan:
1.Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the margins of UNGA.
2.Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors.
3.Mid-term meeting of Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas.
4.Meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the margins of G20 meetings, WB/IMF meetings, as well as stand-alone meetings, as required.
5.Meetings of BRICS Trade Ministers on the margins of multilateral events, or stand-alone meetings, as required.
6.Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development, preceded by a preparatory meeting of experts on agro-products and food security issues and the Meeting of Agriculture Expert Working Group.
7.Meeting of BRICS Health Ministers and preparatory meetings.
8.Meeting of BRICS Officials responsible for population on the margins of relevant multilateral events.
9.Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Science and Technology and meeting of BRICS Senior Officials on Science and Technology.
10.Meeting of BRICS Cooperatives.
11.Meetings of financial and fiscal authorities in the margins of WB/IMF meetings as well as stand-alone meetings, as required.
12.Meetings of the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI).
13.Meeting of the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Governments Cooperation Forum.
14.Meeting of the BRICS Urbanisation Forum.
15.Meeting of BRICS Competition Authorities in 2013 in New Delhi.
16.5th Meeting of BRICS Heads of National Statistical Institutions.
17.Consultations amongst BRICS Permanent Missions and/or Embassies, as appropriate, in New York, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Washington, Nairobi and Geneva, where appropriate.
18.Consultative meeting of BRICS Senior Officials in the margins of relevant sustainable development, environment and climate related international fora, where appropriate.
New areas of cooperation to be explored
-BRICS Public Diplomacy Forum.
-BRICS Anti-Corruption Cooperation.
-BRICS State Owned Companies / State Owned Enterprises.
-National Agencies Responsible for Drug Control.
-BRICS virtual secretariat.
-BRICS Youth Policy Dialogue.
-Sports and Mega Sporting Events.