India-France-UAE Trilateral Initiative

The Foreign Ministers of India, France, and the UAE came together for the first time on 19th September 2022 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. They acknowledged their shared interest in promoting international stability and prosperity and further strengthening the existing ties between the three countries. To this end, the three Foreign Ministers decided to launch a formal trilateral cooperation initiative.

On 5th February 2023, a phone call was held between the three Ministers to adopt a roadmap for implementing this initiative. The trilateral cooperation will serve as a platform to promote collaboration in various fields, including energy with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, and the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region. The three countries plan to explore the possibility of working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to implement practical and actionable projects in these areas.

In addition to this, the trilateral initiative will also act as a platform to expand cooperation between the development agencies of the three countries on sustainable projects. They agreed to align their respective economic, technological, and social policies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. A range of trilateral events will be organized in the framework of the Indian Presidency of the G20 and the UAE’s hosting of COP-28 in 2023 to support these efforts. 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. They aim 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 countries also expressed their interest in cooperating in the field of the circular economy under the aegis of India’s Mission LiFE.

Defence is an area of close cooperation between the three countries, and they will undertake efforts to further promote compatibility, joint development and co-production, and explore opportunities for further collaboration and training between the defence forces of the three countries. The three countries also aim to strengthen their exchanges of views on emerging threats from infectious diseases and measures to fight future pandemics. They will encourage cooperation in multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, and Unitaid. They also plan to identify practical cooperation on implementing the “One Health” approach and support the development of local capacities in biomedical innovation and production within developing countries.

As countries at the forefront of technological innovation, they will encourage the development of trilateral cooperation between academic and research institutions and promote co-innovation projects, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship. Trilateral conferences and meetings on the sidelines of high-level technology events such as Vivatech, Bengaluru Tech Summit, and GITEX will be arranged to support this cooperation.

Finally, the three countries acknowledged the critical role that social and human bonds play in their constructive partnership. They decided to use this trilateral initiative as a platform to promote cultural cooperation through joint projects, including heritage promotion and protection.

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