Cochin. The IBSA (India, Brazil & South Africa) Sherpas’ Meeting, following the Ninth IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Meeting, was held in Cochin from May 3-5.
Secretary (Economic Relations) in Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) TS Tirumurti led the Indian delegation. Prof Anil Sooklal, Sherpa of the Republic of South Africa, and Ambassador Norberto Moretti, Sherpa of the Federative Republic of Brazil led respective delegations at the Meeting.
Sherpas reviewed the progress made under IBSA, since their last meeting. IBSA Sherpas also reviewed the functioning of the Joint Working Groups. The Sherpas appreciated the various events organised during last one year to commemorate the 15th anniversary of IBSA and the other events planned in this context.
The Sherpas expressed their happiness that the first Gandhi Mandela Memorial Freedom Lecture was delivered by President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, on January 25 this year in New Delhi, where the President of South Africa was the Chief Guest for the Republic Day.
The Sherpas also took note of the ninth IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting held in New York in September, 2018.
6. The Sherpas welcomed the holding of the sixth IBSAMAR (Joint Naval Exercise) off the Coast of South Africa in October, 2018.
IBSA Sherpas reiterated their appreciation for the work done by the IBSA Fund on Poverty and Hunger Alleviation that is spread over 31 projects in 20 countries. The IBSA Fund has won many accolades. They decided to give the work more visibility, and to jointly evaluate the progress made, and results achieved by these projects.
Representatives of Ministry of Tourism, and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) participated in the meeting and shared their views on strengthening IBSA cooperation, particularly in the areas of tourism and South-South Cooperation.
IBSA Academic Forum also met in Cochin on May 3-4. On May 4, Academic Forum members met IBSA Sherpas and presented their recommendations. The IBSA Sherpas welcomed the focused recommendations of the IBSA Academic Forum.
They also commended the ongoing IBSA Fellowship Programme at the RIS, launched at India’s initiative in 2017. The Fellows of the three countries were invited to the Sherpas’ Meeting. A publication comprising the research papers presented by the first batch of IBSA Fellows was also released by the three Sherpas.