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IBSA explores N-cooperation, condemns terror

By V S Chandrasekar in Brasilia, Brazil
September 14, 2006 01:32 IST
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Charting out a broad-based agenda, India, Brazil and South Africa have agreed to explore the possibilities for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and pressed for commencement of talks on a phased programme for total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The three countries, which met in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on Tuesday for the first-ever IBSA summit, sought a decision on expansion of the UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories so as to reflect contemporary realities and make it 'more democratic, legitimate, representative and responsive.'

Condemning the July 11 Mumbai blasts, Brazil and South Africa called upon the international community to 'undertake all necessary measures to bring to justice perpetrators, collaborators and sponsors of acts of terrorism as well as those who incite the perpetrators to commit them.'

The three countries signed five agreements on trade, energy, agriculture, transportation, science and technology and information society.

In a four-page joint communique issued at the end of the summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Liuz Inacio Lula da Silva and South African President Thabo Mbeki affirmed their commitment to multilateralism and support to comprehensive UN reforms.

Unequivocally condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the three countries stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism and wanted the international community to further intensify efforts to fight this scourge.

They asked all member states to seriously work towards an expeditious finalisation of the text for a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.

Dr Singh, Da Silva and Mbeki affirmed the inalienable right of all states to peaceful application of nuclear energy consistent with their international legal obligations. The three countries decided to explore approaches to cooperate in peaceful uses of nuclear energy under appropriate International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, the communique said.

They also agreed that international civilian nuclear cooperation under 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.'

Taking stock of the global security situation concerning disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the leaders emphasised the necessity to start negotiations on a 'phased programme for complete elimination of nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, non-discriminatory and verifiable manner with a specified framework of time.

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V S Chandrasekar in Brasilia, Brazil
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