We, the Heads of State and Government and Heads of Delegation of Africa, representing the Continent, the African Union and its Institutions along with the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, have met today in New Delhi, India, to consolidate the process of deliberations and discussions with a view to redefining and re-invigorating the decades-old partnership and historical and civilizational links between the African continent and India.
We recognize that Africa and India have undergone enormous positive changes, in particular over the last two and half decades, and that Africa and India have historically been close allies in the struggle for independence, equality, human rights, freedom and democracy. We are neighbours across the Indian Ocean. We note that there has been significant positive transformation of the political, economic and social environment in Africa and the strengthening of democracy, particularly with the adoption of the Constitutive Act and the establishment of the African Union with its institutions, such as the Pan-African Parliament, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council, the African Court on Human and People Rights as well as its programme the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Peace and Security Council. During this period, the Indian economy has evolved into a more mature and fast growing economic mode and Indian democracy has further strengthened. We have, therefore, decided to build upon these positive achievements with a view to helping each other to become more self-reliant, economically vibrant, at peace with ourselves and the world and to work together to strengthen our close partnership.
Bearing in mind that African countries and India have enjoyed close, cooperative and multi-sectoral partnership encompassing political, security related, economic, science and technology, human resource development, social, cultural and other areas of mutual interest, we have adopted today a Framework for Cooperation which will further strengthen our partnership in all these and other areas for our mutual benefit.
It will also be guided by the following principles: respect for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of state and commitment to deepen the process of African integration; collective action and cooperation for the common good of our states and peoples; dialogue among our civilizations to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and respect for religious, cultural, linguistic and racial diversities as well as gender equality with the view to strengthening the trust and understanding between our peoples; the positive development of intra-regional/sub-regional integration by complementing and building upon existing/sub-regional initiatives in Africa; recognition of diversity between and within regions, including different social and economic systems and levels of development; and further consolidation and development of plural democracy.
The international community is today addressing a series of critical issues such as environmental degradation, including climate change and desertification, multilateral trade negotiations, reform and democratization of international institutions, particularly the United Nations and the Bretton Woods Institutions, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the fight against terrorism, combating illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, non-proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, the fight against drugs and most importantly, promotion of pluralism and democracy, the pursuit of sustainable development underpinned by social justice, eradication of hunger, poverty as well as combating diseases. Africa and India reiterate their intention to ensure that in all these matters, the interests of developing countries are kept uppermost and the socio-economic developmental requirements of our countries are guaranteed.
We recognize that climate change is a global challenge but one that will be particularly severe for developing countries given their vulnerabilities, inadequate means and limited capacities to adapt to its effects. We reaffirm that development is the best form of adaptation and that the foremost priority for developing countries is to ensure accelerated social and economic development. We note that sustainable development is essential to enable effective adaptation. We stress the importance for adaptation to be adequately financed through additional resources and not from funds meant for development.
We urge the international community to give real and immediate effect to commitments on climate change, especially in the areas of technology transfer, financing and capacity building. There is also need for a closer look at the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime to ensure cost-effective transfer of appropriate and advanced clean technologies to developing countries.
We are determined to participate effectively in the negotiations under the Bali Action Plan towards comprehensively addressing climate change in accordance with the provisions and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in particular the key principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
We take note of the state of play in the World Trade Organization ( WTO) -Doha round of trade negotiations. We reiterate the importance of the development dimension of the Round and welcome the strengthened engagement, solidarity and cooperation among developing countries in that process. Agriculture remains the key to the conclusion of this round. We are convinced that any acceptable agreement must adequately protect the livelihood, food security and rural development concerns of developing countries. Any outcome must also bring about significant and effective reductions in trade-distorting domestic support and subsidies provided by the developed countries. There are equally important issues also to be addressed on Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) services and rules. We are convinced that the process to be adopted to reach convergence in the WTO negotiations requires focus on content and not artificial timelines. The promise of a development round must be fully realized.
We also reaffirm our commitment to providing meaningful market access to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). We call upon the members of WTO to implement duty-free and quota-free market access for all products originating from the LDCs and to take additional measures to provide effective market access to them through simplified and transparent Rules of Origin.
We attach priority to providing trade related technical assistance and capacity building to LDCs to help mitigate the effect of their marginalization in the present globalised trade structure and enable them to maximize the benefits resulting from the multilateral trade liberalization process. We are committed to helping LDCs achieve the goal of securing effective market access through transparent and predictable rules of the multilateral trading system.
We agree on the urgent need to reform the international financial architecture, especially the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), to reflect the changing global situation. In this context, we emphasize the need for the effective voice and participation of developing countries, including in the quotas and voting rights in the IFIs. This would enhance the IFIs’ accountability, legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness.
We reaffirm our commitment to further strengthen Africa-India cooperation at the United Nations, the G77 and in other multilateral fora with a view to addressing issues of common concern. There is need for urgent and comprehensive reform of the United Nations to enable it to more effectively deal with the challenges of today’s world. We share the view that the United Nations should function in a more transparent, efficient and effective manner, and that the composition of its central organs must reflect contemporary realities. In particular, the expansion of the UN Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, is central to the process of UN reform.
India notes the common African position and the aspirations of the African countries to get their rightful place in an expanded UN Security Council as new permanent members with full rights as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus. Africa takes note of India position and its aspirations to become a permanent member with full rights in an expanded UN Security Council. We note the active and constructive engagement of both sides in the process of the reform of the United Nations. We agree to further strengthen cooperation between our two sides towards early realization of a genuine reform of the United Nations and its working methods, particularly revitalizing and enhancing the role of the General Assembly and reform and expansion of the Security Council.
We believe that the security of all nations would be enhanced by the global, non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We renew our commitment to the consensus attained in the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations devoted to Disarmament whereby it was agreed that the first priority in disarmament negotiations is to be accorded to nuclear disarmament. We call for the negotiation of specific steps that would reduce and finally eliminate nuclear weapons, thereby leading to a world free from all weapons of mass destruction as envisaged in the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan of 1988 and the Africa Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (the Pelindaba Treaty) of 1995, as well as other relevant African and Indian regional initiatives.
We unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. An act of terrorism anywhere is a threat to the entire international community. We recognize the need to further strengthen international cooperation to combat global terrorism and for compliance of member states with all international terrorism conventions and related protocols, and the Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism. We also agree to make concerted efforts towards expeditious finalization of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN.
We affirm that cooperation between Africa and India has been, from its inception, a useful example of South-South cooperation. It has been our endeavour at this Summit to devise ways and means of enhancing this South-South partnership, taking into account the new capabilities that have emerged in Africa and India. Bearing this in mind, we have drawn up and adopted a Framework for Cooperation that would provide the avenue for further and dynamic development of the Africa-India partnership. African Leaders deeply appreciate the initiatives that have been announced at this Summit by the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, that would provide an input for the implementation of this Framework for Cooperation. We have agreed that Africa and India will strengthen not only their bilateral linkages, but that India will also progressively strengthen its partnership with the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities of Africa.
Without prejudice to India on-going and future programmes at the bilateral, REC and other levels, we agree to develop jointly, within a period of one year, a joint plan of action at a continental level and an appropriate follow-up mechanism to implement our Framework for Cooperation.
We, the Heads of State and Government and Heads of Delegation that are representing Africa at this Summit would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government and people of India and, in particular, their Excellencies the President and Prime Minister of India for hosting this Forum Summit and for the warm reception and hospitality extended to us. This Forum Summit has further cemented the age old relationship between Africa and India, a relationship that has been of mutual benefit and is based on mutual trust, equality and solidarity.
The Prime Minister of India, on behalf of the Government and people of India, takes this opportunity to thank the participating Heads of State and Government and other Heads of Delegation from Africa for accepting the invitation to attend this Africa-India Forum Summit and for their most productive and useful suggestions to strengthen and re-invigorate the Africa-India partnership.