The first India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave held in Lucknow on February 06, coinciding with DefExpo-2020, adopted the Lucknow Declaration. Following is the full text of the declaration:
1. We, the Defence Ministers and Heads of Delegation from African countries and the Defence Minister of the Republic of India held the first ever India Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave during the 11th edition of the biennial defence exhibition DEFEXPO INDIA 2020 at Lucknow, India on 6th February 2020.
2. We recall the Declarations adopted during the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi (8-9 April 2008); India-Africa Forum Summit-II held in Addis Ababa (24-25 May 2011) and the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (26-30 October 2015) in which the Delhi Declaration 2015 and the India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation further cemented our multi-faceted partnership. We welcome the organisation of this first IADMC in the run-up to India-Africa Forum Summit-IV.
3. We vividly recall India’s contribution to defence and security in the African continent through setting up of Defence Academies and Colleges in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania; deployment of training teams in several African countries including Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania; goodwill ship visits; provision of defence equipment and ammunitions and various other measures, including Defence Training Programmes. We also acknowledge contribution of Indian defence forces in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations such as during cyclone IDAI in Mozambique in 2019 and evacuation of stranded persons of 41 countries through Djibouti on 2018 and various other such operations over the years, including in Madagascar.
4. We appreciate initiation of Africa India Field Training Exercises with the first ever AFINDEX in March 2019 and agree that it will further strengthen cooperation in defence preparedness and security.
5. We recognise that peace and security are a key priority for both India and African countries. More so, “Silence The Guns: Creating conducive conditions for African Development” is the African Union’s theme of the year. This vision is to achieve ‘a conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters. During the deliberations between Indian and the AU delegations at the recent mid-term review of IAFS-III in September 2019, both sides agreed to explore possibilities of further cooperation in Peace and Security including support for initiatives such as Silence the guns by 2020, the African Standby Force, Maritime Security among other areas.
6. India has participated in almost all the peacekeeping operations in Africa, along with many other African countries. We recall joint efforts of India and Africa in peacekeeping and anti-piracy operations. We agree to further strengthen our cooperation in enhancing peacekeeping capacity and peace- building efforts including support to the African Standby Force (ASF) and through courses, such as those at the centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) in New Delhi and by other Peacekeeping Training Centres in Africa. We take this opportunity to underline the need for greater involvement of the Troop Contributing Countries, members of the UN, not only in the above- mentioned areas but in decision-making process as well.
7. We commit to continue our collaboration in the fields of peace and security including conflict prevention, resolution, management and peace building through exchange of expertise and training, strengthening regional and continental early warning capacities and mechanisms, enhancing the role of women in peace keeping and propagating the culture of peace. We agree to continue to collaborate in peace and security through exchange of experts and expertise, training programs and capacity building, enhance support towards peacekeeping and post conflict reconstruction in Africa. We welcome the establishment of the African Union’s International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peace keeping and Peace building in Cairo as a major contribution to peace and security in Africa.
8. We call for deeper cooperation in the domain of defence industry including through investment, joint ventures in defence equipment software, digital defence, research & development, provisioning of defence equipment, spares and their maintenance on sustainable and mutually beneficial terms.
9. We recognise the common security challenges such as terrorism and extremism, piracy, organised crime including human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapon smuggling and others and we agree to collaborate to tackle them together.
10. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the growing threat of terrorism and acknowledge that it constitutes a major threat to peace and security in the region. We urge all countries to take resolute action in rooting out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and eliminating financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists. We understand the need for all countries to ensure that all territory under their control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries in any manner. We emphasize the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence.
11. We call for strengthening the UN Counter-Terrorism mechanisms and to ensure strict compliance with the UN Security Council sanctions regime on terrorism. We urge the international community to envisage the adoption of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UNGA. We agree to further enhance cooperation and coordination between Africa and India to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to combat transnational crime.
12. We recognize the importance of the oceans and seas to the livelihoods of our peoples and that Maritime security is a pre-requisite for the development of Blue or Ocean economy. We seek to increase our cooperation in securing sea lines of communication, preventing maritime crimes, disaster, piracy, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing through sharing of information and surveillance.
13. We seek to significantly increase maritime security through mutual cooperation. Such cooperation will include, but will not be limited to, increased cooperation in securing sea lines of communication, preventing transnational crimes of piracy, trafficking of drugs, arms and humans through surveillance.
14. We encourage enhanced cooperation between India and Africa on the evolving concept of Indo-Pacific and welcome the AU vision for peace and security in Africa that coincides with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region).
15. We support the great strides in reducing the number of violent conflicts in the African continent. We intend to continue to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other Africa led efforts to enhance peace and security.
16. We support initiatives such as African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), Silence The Guns in Africa and Agenda 2063.
17. We, the Defence Ministers and Heads of Delegation from African countries thank the Government of India for taking the initiative of organising the first ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave and convey our gratitude for the hospitality extended to us. The Defence Minister of India (The Raksha Mantri) takes this opportunity to thank the Defence Ministers and Heads of Delegation from African countries for their participation in the first ever India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave.
18. We propose that Defence Ministers from African countries and India meet regularly in future at mutually convenient time and venue.