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Joint Declaration: Fifth Summit

The 5th Summit between the EU and India was held in The Hague, The Netherlands, on November 8, 2004.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 18:46 IST

The 5th Summit between the EU and India was held in The Hague, The Netherlands, on November 8, 2004.

The EU was represented by the President of the European Council, Dutch Prime Minister Dr Jan Peter Balkenende, the President of the European Commission, Dr Romano Prodi, the Secretary General/High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, the Commissioner in-charge of Trade Relations, Pascal Lamy, and the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Bernard Bot.

India was represented by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, and the Commerce and Industry Minister, Kamal Nath.

The leaders sent the following message:

We express satisfaction with the excellent atmosphere of this Summit and the substantial results achieved over our agenda.

This Summit has highlighted the considerable progress made in strengthening the EU-India relationship since our first Summit in 2000.

We are particularly satisfied with the European Commission's Communication of June 2004 on an "EU-India Strategic Partnership", the Indian Response Paper of August 2004, the Conclusions of the Council of the EU on 11th October, 2004 and the Recommendation of the European Parliament of 28th October, 2004.

India and the EU representing the largest democracies in the world reiterate that their partnership is based on the sound foundation of shared values and beliefs. Our common commitment to democracy, pluralism and rule of law and to multilateralism in international relations, is a factor for global stability and peace.

We recognise that our partnership has evolved over the years from economic and development cooperation, to acquire higher political and strategic dimensions, and that this should be further strengthened through more intensive dialogue.

We agree that in the immediate future we will take forward the implementation of key actions in the following areas, namely: To jointly elaborate a comprehensive EU-India Action Plan for a strategic Partnership and a new Joint Political Declaration based on the Commission's Communication, the Council's Conclusions and India's response paper, for approval at the 6th Summit meeting; to encourage the holding of regular, institutionalised parliamentary exchanges between the Indian Parliament and the European Parliament.

We will also promote cooperation between political parties, trade unions, business associations, universities and civil societies; to install a dialogue on disarmament and non-proliferation; to consider regular exchange of views on possibilities for co-operation on themes like resolution of conflicts, peace operations and reconstruction; to strengthen the flow of students and scholars between the EU and India through the funding of an India-specific scholarship programme under Erasmus Mundus; to set up an Energy panel to coordinate joint efforts; to organise joint workshops on automotive engineering, genomics and life sciences and nanotechnology; to organise an EU-India environment forum to exchange views and information on issues of mutual interests, knowhow, technologies and on research and analysis of specific themes.

India welcomes the enlargement of the EU, the signing of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe by the EU Heads of State and Government and the efforts to revitalise the Lisbon strategy to make Europe the world's most competitive economy by 2010.

We affirm that deepening and widening of the EU should contribute to further strengthening of our relations.

The EU welcomes the policy initiatives the Indian Government made in the Common Minimum Programme and the abiding commitment of the Indian Government to economic reforms for stimulating growth, investment and employment.

We reviewed the developments since the last EU-India Summit in New Delhi on November 29, 2003. We express satisfaction on the progress made on the different elements mentioned in the Agenda for Action which was adopted at that Summit.

We agree to intensify co-operation and take action to facilitate and expand bilateral trade and investment flows, given the importance of realising the potential of the growing Indian and EU markets and the mutual benefits of increased economic interaction.

We commit to pursue issues key to increasing market access and creating an enabling economic environment.

We are encouraged by the holding of the first Steering Committee under the Science & Technology Agreement in March 2004 and the steps being taken to encourage greater co-operation in this domain vital to both communities.

We welcome the progress in the on-going discussion on the EU-India Draft Cooperation Agreement on the Galileo satellite navigation project.

It will ensure India's equitable participation in Galileo space, ground and user segments and will guarantee the availability of highest quality signals over the Indian territory.

Considering that India has well proven capabilities in space, satellite and navigation related activities, the agreement will provide an important positive impulse for Indian and European industrial co-operationin many high tech areas. We express our willingness to continue our discussions with a view to conclude the agreement in the near future.

The EU and India both have very mature space programmes and a long history of working together through their respective space agencies ESA and ISRO in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.

The EU expresses its interest in the Indian unmanned lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-1. We support and encourage the cooperation between ESA and ISRO.

We note the successful conclusion of the Customs Co-operation Agreement, and look forward to it being used to improve trade flows and fight against customs fraud.

We are pleased to note that the negotiations on the Maritime Agreement are progressing.

Our strategic dialogue on the Information Society continues to deliver outstanding results. We welcome the successful outcome of the 2004 Euro-India Cooperation Forum on the Information Society that was held in New Delhi on 24-26 March, 2004.

We agree to work towards a mutually acceptable mechanism to connect EU and Indian Informationnetworks in order to facilitate linkages in the area of research and technological development.

We commend the continued development of the Joint Initiative for Enhancing Trade and Investment through the launching of the Round Table of Business Leaders as well asthe series of business seminars.

We recognise the special importance of strengthening the flow of students and scholars between the EU and India. We welcome the Scholarship initiative in conjunctionwith Erasmus Mundus (Euro 33 million) in supporting grants for Indian students in top quality European Master courses. We also encourage the setting up of chairs in designated universities in India and the EU.

We welcome the signing of the MOU between the two sides on the States Partnership Programme providing a framework for cooperation in the sectors of education, health and environment.

We welcome the progress made in the implementation of the Disaster Management Preparedness Programme (Euro 10 million) and urge early operationalisation of the States Partnership Programme (Euro 160 million) and Trade and Investment Development Programme (Euro 14 million).

We re-affirm our common belief in the equal importance of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and our commitment to their full realisation. We affirmed our willingness to continue discussing Human Rights in a comprehensive manner.

We stress the cultural dimension of our relationship. Based on our rich cultural heritage, we agree to encourage dialogue between European and Indian cultural actors and to promote exchanges, events and co-operation at all levels particularly to coincide with future EU-India Summits.

The EU-India Joint Declaration on Cultural Relations sets out our objectives.

We unequivocally condemn all acts, methods and practices of terrorism and stress that solidarity and international co-operation are integral to combat terrorism. We emphasise that measures to combat terrorism should be comprehensive and sustained.

We stress that further strengthening cooperation in combatting terrorism is a priority area for the EU-India Action Plan for a Strategic Partnership.

We will in particular seek to - deepen the international consensus and enhance international efforts to combatterrorism, reduce the access of terrorists to financial and other economic resources, protect the security of international transport and ensure effective systems of border control, address the issues which create an environment conducive to terrorism, including support for and recruitment into terrorism, explore ways to strengthen the counter-terrorism dialogue by covering, as appropriate, other security related issues.

We will continue to support the work of the United Nations to ensure universal adherence to, and full implementation of, all UN Security Council Resolutions, UN Conventions on Terrorism and related Protocols, including promoting an agreement on the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

The fight against terrorism must be carried out in full respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

We confirm our strong support to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and emphasise the central role of its Kyoto Protocol. We welcome the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the Russian Federation and urge countries that have not yet ratified it to do so soon.

We will work together for the post 2012 framework to guide global action in order to meet the objectives of the UNFCCC and increase the effectiveness of action in tackling climate change. We also intend to work together to implement the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation that was agreed upon at the WSSD.

We reiterate the importance of the implementation of the agenda formulated at the International Conference on Population and Development and the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (2001).

The need for community based and public oriented solutions to tackle communicable diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, was stressed.

We underline the need forcooperation between our Research institutions, bio-technology sectors and the Governments in the research and development of preventive and therapeutic interventions including the development of vaccines against major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria.

India and the EU are partners in promoting global peace and security and remain committed to the goal of universal disarmament.

In recognition of shared concerns of the international community regarding the danger posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons including acquisition by non state actors, we resolve to enhance collective action to fight the proliferation of WMD as well as the means of delivery.

We believe that our response to proliferation challenges requires strengthened multilateral consultations and the pooling of all efforts and resources. Indian and EU experts shall meet to identify specific areas of co-operation.

We agree that effective export control measures for dual use goods can play an important role in preventing proliferation,and at the same time, such measures should not hamper international co-operation inmaterials, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes.

We reiterate our commitment to strengthening the role of the UN. An effective multilateral system based on the principles of international law, with a strong United Nations at its centre is essential for achieving peace and international security and meeting global threats and challenges.

We recognise the need to make the multilateral system more responsive in bringing the objectives of the global agenda forward, including sustainable development and implementation of the Millennium Declaration.

In this regard, we underlined our firm wish to make the UN Major Event 2005 a success, and agreed to support a comprehensive approach which would address the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as issues related to peace and security and UN reforms.

We stress the need for a negotiated outcome of the CSD-13 that expedites implementation of key actions to achieve agreed goals and targets in the field of water sanitation and human settlements.

We reiterate our support to the ongoing process of the reform of the UN and its principal organs, including the General Assembly and the Security Council with a view to strengthening and enhancing the representativeness, transparency and effectiveness of the UN System.

We look forward to the report of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panelon Threats, Challenges and Change. We agree to exchange views on the report and the recommendations thereon.

We express our strong commitment to the re-construction and stabilisation of Afghanistan in partnership with the Afghan government. We welcome the process of democratisation in Afghanistan and especially the presidential elections held on 9 October, when millions of Afghans cast their vote with great enthusiasm.

However, we express concern at the continuing threats to stability and terrorist acts, particularly in South and South-East Afghanistan.

The proliferation of poppy cultivation and drugs production is a major problem, and countering it is a priority issue. We, therefore, re-affirm our commitment to assist the Afghan authorities in their efforts in this regard.

We reviewed the situation in the Middle East and agree that Israeli intention to withdraw from all Gaza settlements and parts of the West Bank can constitute a step towards achieving the two State solution and had the possibility of restarting progress on the Roadmap, provided that it takes place in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and in the context of the roadmap, that it is a step towards a two state solution, that it does not involve a transfer of settlement activity to the West Bank, that there is an organised and negotiated handover of responsibility to the Palestinian Authority, and that Israel facilitates rehabilitation and reconstruction in Gaza.

The proposed withdrawal should be properly coordinated with the international community so as to ensure that an orderly situation in Gaza results, which would permit the maintenance of security as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction.

We reiterate our call to the parties to fulfill all their obligations under the Roadmap and to cooperate with the Quartet without delay. We re-affirm that a just, peaceful and lasting solution to the Middle East conflict can only be achieved through political negotiations between the parties with the active support of the international community. Such a comprehensive solution must also include Syria and Lebanon.

We welcome the restoration of full sovereignty to Iraq and the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1546, which underlines the support of the international community to the Interim Government of Iraq as it guides the country towards elections. We note with particular satisfaction, the role accorded to the UN through UNSCR 1546.

We underline our concern that the current campaign of terrorist violence is leading to significant loss of life, particularly among civilians. We condemn all violence and terrorist attacks, including the kidnappings and brutal murder of hostages, which impede the path to political progress and economic reconstruction in Iraq.

We agree to continue our support to the emergence of a stable, secure, representative and democratic Iraq and to work together in the multi-lateral effort for Iraq's reconstruction for restoring peace and prosperity. We will encourage positive engagement and regional support from Iraq's neighbours for the political and reconstruction process in Iraq.

We welcome the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to a peaceful solution to the conflict and encourage the parties to resume peace talks without delay.

We reiterate our common view that a peace settlement can only be sustained if it respects the legitimate rights and involvement of all ethnic groups, preserves the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and is based on the principles of democracy and human rights. We note that success will depend on the willingness of the parties to show political courage and flexibility in discussions towards a peaceful solution.

We share a common analysis of the situation in Nepal and welcome the formation of a multi-party Government. We encourage the reopening of peace negotiations between the Government of Nepal and the Maoist insurgents.

We support an early settlement of the crisis, based on multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy. We call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and Human Rights standards and commitments.

We discussed the situation in Burma/Myanmar. We agree that the National Convention should include all political parties and ethnic groups, and support the efforts of UN Special Envoy in facilitating political reconciliation.

Both sides agree that progress towards democracy in Burma/Myanmar will contribute to both peace and prosperity in thecountry.

The EU welcomes the positive evolution of the relationship between India and Pakistan, and looks forward to its consolidation through the on-going "composite dialogue" in an atmosphere free from the menace of terrorism and violence, in accordance with the Joint Press Statement of January 6 and September 24, 2004. We share the view that improved relations between India and Pakistan and closer regional integration in South Asia will be mutually reinforcing.

We welcome the successful SAARC Summit in Islamabad in January 2004 and the recent agreement on SAFTA which will promote economic integration in the region. We note EU's willingness to co-operate and to share its experience regarding regional cooperation with SAARC.

We note India's aspiration to become as early as possible a member of ASEM to complement its ASEAN Summit level dialogue status.

We re-affirm our commitment to further strengthening of the multilateral regime of WTO. We welcome the framework text adopted among WTO members in Geneva.

While substantive work remains, the text re-affirms value and primacy of the multilateral trading system and the importance WTO Members attach to it. Both the EU and India played a pivotal role in the formulation and adoption of the text and worked closely and constructively together on key parts thereof.

We re-affirm that the development dimension remains at the heart of the on-going negotiations. We will continue our working relationship throughout the remainder of the Round and thereby contribute to a successful conclusion of the Round.

We agree that the 6th EU-India Summit will be held in New Delhi end-2005, on dates to be mutually agreed.

First Published: Sep 06, 2005 23:20 IST