Joint declaration pushes for UNSC, IMF reforms
Sanjeev Sharma in Pretoria
The 5th IBSA Summit, which was held in Pretoria on Tuesday, has come out with a declaration on major global issues with focus on reforms of multilateral organisations, including the UN Security Council, the IMF and the World Bank to give greater voice to emerging countries like India.
The Summit came out with the Tshwane Declaration following the discussions between the leaders of India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil.
On global governance reform, the three leaders reaffirmed their commitment to increase the participation of developing countries in the decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions.
They underscored the need for urgent reform of the United Nations (UN) to render it more democratic and consistent with the current geopolitical reality. They particularly emphasised that no reform of the United Nations will be complete without a reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including an expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership, with increased participation of developing countries in both.
IBSA, as like-minded countries, will continue to strive to contribute to a new world order whose political, economic and financial architecture is more inclusive, representative and legitimate, the declaration said.
It also called for the early implementation of the targets for the reform of the International Monetary Fund in order to ensure that the body is democratic, responsive and accountable. The leaders reiterated that the governing structure of the Fund should reflect the changed realities of the global economy in the 21st century, through the increased voice and representation of emerging economies and developing countries.
The leaders agreed that the Heads and senior leadership of all international institutions should be appointed through an open, transparent and merit-based process beginning with the selection of the next President of the World Bank in 2012.
The declaration expressed concern at the ongoing deterioration of the global economic scenario, which presents particular challenges for the economic policy and growth prospects of developing and low-income countries. Downside risks have increased substantially in recent weeks. They stressed the importance of the implementation of a credible plan of macro-economic and financial policies and structural reforms by the Eurozone countries, as a necessary step to prevent further negative shocks to the world economy. They also highlighted the importance of complementary measures by other key developed economies to boost recovery and help the global economy as a whole.
The leaders stressed on the need to increase policy coordination amongst G-20 nations, with a view to avert a new recession and to promote a robust recovery in order to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy in the medium term.
The current impasse in the WTO negotiations is a source of serious concern, the declaration said.
Earlier, in his address at the plenary session of the Summit, Manmohan Singh said the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and recessionary trends in the traditional engines of the global economy - the United States, Europe and Japan - are sending negative signals to world financial and capital markets which are showing signs of distress.
He pointed out that developing countries cannot remain untouched by the negative impacts of these developments. “Their ability to address their developmental challenges has been adversely affected,” he said.
Manmohan Singh voiced his hope that effective and early steps will be taken by Europe and other advanced economies to calm the capital and financial markets and prevent the global economy from slipping into a double-dip recession.
He said there has been steady growth in the three economies despite the global economic slowdown and intra-IBSA trade has almost touched the $20 billion dollar mark, the PM said. The IBSA countries have set a target of $25 billion by 2015. India will host the next IBSA summit in 2013.