Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Oliver Stuenkel on Why IBSA and BRICS should not merge

This incisive piece by Mr. Oliver Stuenkel, a Professor of International Relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation argues for keeping IBSA and BRICS as disparate entities and cautions against any plans for their merger at the behest of China. According to him, IBSA members share a set of fundamental notions about global order, are democracies which are able to freely debate issues related to human rights and civil society – matters than cannot be discussed openly at BRICS Summits and help create an intimate setting undisturbed by at times strained bilateral ties. He cuts through the rising perception of IBSA's nebulous and general nature of activities by stating that IBSA's greatest positive externality lies precisely in its generality which allows think tanks, civil society, academia, public sector technocrats and foreign policy makers to engage and develop joint strategies to common problems. He concludes by opining that BRICS and IBSA can work for synergising their activities, but not towards a merger.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Less Politics, More Economic Development : IPS interview with CEO of African Business Group

Michael Sudarkasa,heads the African Business Group, a South African-based economic development and business consulting advisory services group. He has 20 years of experience in regional and international trade and business analysis, with a focus on private sector development. In a recent interview with the Inter Press Service, he opined that IBSA forum, nine years into existence, has impacted on aid effectiveness in Africa. According to him, "IBSA dialogue forum has also been a catalyst for greater efforts within the South to explore ways that development aid can be mobilised from domestic resources to support developing countries".

For excerpts of his interview, please check out Less Politics, More Development by IPS News.