New India-Brazil-South Africa Declaration on South-South cooperation for decent work

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The Minister of Labour of South Africa, Ms Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant, the Minister of Labour and Employment of India Mr Mallikarjun Kharge and the Minister of Labour and Employment Mr Brizola Neto signed a joint declaration to reaffirm the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) commitment to South-South cooperation and the Decent Work Agenda. This Declaration reaffirms the principles of an India–Brazil–South Africa (IBSA) Declaration of Intent regarding South-South Cooperation and Decent Work which was signed at the ILO in Geneva on 22 November 2010 during the Global South-South Development Expo of the United Nations.

The signing ceremony took place on 12 June 2012 during an IBSA side event at the International Labour Conference. The India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Development Forum has since 2003 been engaged in the promotion of South-South cooperation, while consistently supporting the International Labour Organization’s Decent Work Agenda.

Mr Kharge, Minister of Labour of India mentioned the key importance of employment and social protection guarantee schemes in IBSA countries, such as the Mahatma Gandhi Public Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Brazilian Bolsa Família and thee South African "community works". He called this a historic IBSA event in the field of Decent Work, reaffirming the principles discussed at the IBSA conference on public employment held in New Delhi in March 2012.

Ms Oliphant considered that IBSA support to South-South cooperation was critical and the creation of an IBSA tripartite Working Group on Labour Issues was welcome.

The Brazilian Minister of Labour, Mr Brizola Neto, mentioning the important growing cooperation between the three big IBSA democracies, stressed the importance of the fight for social and inclusive justice.

In the Declaration the three countries have reaffirmed their commitment to promote a job-intensive economic recovery, create a framework for sustainable growth, and promote the Decent Work Agenda through horizontal exchanges between developing countries. The Declaration also launches the idea of an India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) tripartite Working Group on Decent Work which would meet at least once a year during the International Labour Conference in Geneva.