Brazil, S Africa back India's quest for N-energy
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Brazil, S Africa back India's quest for N-energy

Brazil and South Africa have supported India's quest for international civilian nuclear cooperation.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2006 14:29 IST

Brazil and South Africa have supported India's quest for international civilian nuclear cooperation by advocating "forward-looking approaches" towards peaceful uses of nuclear energy with "proper safeguards".

A joint statement issued after the first summit of the three-nation IBSA, comprising India, Brazil and South Africa, also called for further cooperation among the three countries in areas as diverse as multilateralism, UN reforms, energy security, sustainable development and overcoming poverty and hunger.

"They agreed to explore approaches to cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under appropriate International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards," said a declaration issued after a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and Presidents Luiz Inacio da Silva of Brazil and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

"They further agreed that international civilian nuclear cooperation, under appropriate IAEA safeguards, amongst countries committed to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives could be enhanced through acceptable forward-looking approaches, consistent with their respective national and international obligations," the declaration added.

The backing of Brazil, the current chairman of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and South Africa, also an influential NSG member, for India's quest for global nuclear cooperation, is an indication of the growing support within the NSG for the India-US civil nuclear deal.

The NSG will decide on adjusting its guidelines for easing rules of nuclear commerce in favour of India after the US Congress passes the necessary legislation and the finalisation of a bilateral nuclear pact between India and the US.

Besides nuclear energy, the IBSA joint declaration also underscored the spirit of South-South cooperation that has brought together the three large democracies in political, economic and cultural spheres.

"They reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism and the pre-eminent role of the UN.

India, Brazil and South Africa will continue to work together to strengthen the multilateral system, particularly through institutions such as the UN and the World Trade Organization, in order to further promote this goal," the declaration said.

The three countries also forcefully reiterated the need for expansion of the UN Security Council "without which no reform of the United Nations will be complete".

"They reiterated their conviction that the Security Council must be expanded to include developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America in both its permanent and non-permanent categories, so as to reflect contemporary realities and make it more democratic, legitimate, representative and responsive."

Another important area that saw the three countries come together was terrorism.

The three called upon all UN member states to seriously work towards an expeditious finalisation of the text for the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.

India's battle against terrorism received a boost with the IBSA declaration asking "the international community to undertake all necessary measures to bring to justice perpetrators, collaborators and sponsors of these and other acts of terrorism, as well as those who incite the perpetrators to commit them".

The central thrust of the IBSA summit, described by Manmohan Singh as "historic and without precedent", was to deepen South-South cooperation so that the collective voice of the developing world can have greater weight on the world stage.

First Published: Sep 30, 2006 14:29 IST