India, France, UAE form trilateral group with focus on energy, IOR

The initiative will also work as a platform to expand cooperation among the development agencies of the three nations on sustainable projects.

New Delhi | Updated: 04 February, 2023 6:59 pm IST
EAM Dr S Jaishankar with French foreign minister Catherine Colonna and his UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L) during their first trilateral ministerial meeting in New York on Sept 19, 2022.

India, France, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a trilateral cooperation initiative with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity.

The announcement was made after a phone call among foreign ministers of India, France, and the UAE on Saturday.

In a joint statement, they said that 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 (IOR).

“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,” the joint statement reads.

The initiative will also work as a platform to expand cooperation among the development agencies of the three nations on sustainable projects.

The foreign minister agreed to ensure great 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 organized in the framework of the Indian Presidency of the G20 and the UAE’s hosting of COP-28 in 2023, respectively, according to the joint statement released by the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

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 also agreed 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 the circular economy under the aegis of India’s Mission LiFE.”

They 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.”

Under the new initiative, 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.

“As countries at the very forefront of technological innovation, the development of trilateral cooperation between relevant academic and research institutions and efforts to promote co-innovation projects, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship will be encouraged,” the statement said.

To support tech cooperation among the three countries, trilateral conferences and meetings on the sidelines of high-level technology events such as Vivatech, Bengaluru Tech Summit, and GITEX will be arranged.

“France, India, and the UAE will ensure that this trilateral initiative will be leveraged as a platform to promote cultural cooperation, through a range of joint projects, including heritage promotion and protection,”  it said.

The foreign ministers of India, France and the UAE met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 19, 2022, for the first time in a trilateral format.

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