India, France and the UAE on Saturday formally launched a trilateral initiative with the aim of expanding cooperation in various fields of mutual interest, including defence and economy.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a phone call with his counterparts from France and the UAE during which the three ministers adopted a roadmap for the implementation of this initiative.
The three sides agreed that the trilateral initiative will serve as a forum to promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy, with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, as well as in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region.
For this purpose, the three countries will explore the possibility of working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to pursue concrete, actionable projects on clean energy, the environment, and biodiversity.
It was further noted that the trilateral initiative will serve as a platform to expand cooperation between the three countries’ development agencies on sustainable projects. Furthermore, it was agreed that the three countries will seek to ensure greater alignment of their respective economic, technological, and social policies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
In support of these endeavours, a range of trilateral events will be organised in the framework of the Indian Presidency of the G20 and the UAE’s hosting of COP-28 in 2023, respectively.
The three countries also agreed to expand their cooperation through initiatives such as the Mangrove Alliance for Climate led by the UAE and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France. It was agreed that the three countries should seek to focus on key issues such as single-use plastic pollution, desertification, and food security in the context of the International Year of Millets-2023. The three sides also underlined their keen desire to cooperate in the field of circular economy under the aegis of India’s Mission LiFE.
It was acknowledged that defence is an area of close cooperation between the three countries. Therefore, efforts will be undertaken to further promote compatibility, and joint development and co-production, whilst seeking out avenues for further collaboration and training between the three countries’ defence forces.
The three countries will also seek to strengthen exchanges of views on emerging threats from infectious diseases, as well as on measures to fight against future pandemics. In this regard, cooperation in multilateral organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, and Unitaid will be encouraged. Further, the three countries will attempt to identify tangible cooperation in implementing the “One Health” approach and support the development of local capacities in biomedical innovation and production within developing countries.
The three ministers had on 19 September 2022, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, met for the first time in a trilateral format and agreed to launch this initiative.