Reaffirming their nations’ shared values and increasing convergence of interests, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama resolved on Monday in New Delhi to expand and strengthen the India-U.S. global strategic partnership.
The two leaders welcomed the deepening relationship between the world’s two largest democracies. They commended the growing cooperation between their governments, citizens, businesses, universities and scientific institutions, which have thrived on a shared culture of pluralism, education, enterprise, and innovation, and have benefited the people of both countries.
Building on the transformation in India-U.S. relations over the past decade, the two leaders resolved to intensify cooperation between their nations to promote a secure and stable world; advance technology and innovation; expand mutual prosperity and global economic growth; support sustainable development; and exercise global leadership in support of economic development, open government and democratic values.
The two leaders reaffirmed that India-U.S. strategic partnership is indispensable not only for their two countries but also for global stability and prosperity in the 21st century. To that end, President Obama welcomed India’s emergence as a major regional and global power and affirmed his country’s interest in India’s rise, its economic prosperity, and its security.
A global strategic partnership for the 21st century
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama called for an efficient, effective, credible and legitimate United Nations to ensure a just and sustainable international order. Prime Minister Singh welcomed President Obama’s affirmation that, in the years ahead, the United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.
The two leaders reaffirmed that all nations, especially those that seek to lead in the 21st century, bear responsibility to ensure that the United Nations fulfils its founding ideals of preserving peace and security, promoting global cooperation, and advancing human rights.
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama reiterated that India and the United States, as global leaders, will partner for global security, especially as India serves on the Security Council over the next two years.
The leaders agreed that their delegations in New York will intensify their engagement and work together to ensure that the Council continues to effectively play the role envisioned for it in the United Nations Charter. Both leaders underscored that all states have an obligation to comply with and implement UN Security Council Resolutions, including UN sanctions regimes.
They also agreed to hold regular consultations on UN matters, including on the long-term sustainability of UN peacekeeping operations. As the two largest democracies, both countries also reaffirmed their strong commitment to the UN Democracy Fund.
The two leaders have a shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, the Indian Ocean region and the Pacific region and committed to work together, and with others in the region, for the evolution of an open, balanced and inclusive architecture in the region. In this context, the leaders reaffirmed their support for the East Asia Summit and committed to regular consultations in this regard.
The United States welcomes, in particular, India’s leadership in expanding prosperity and security across the region. The two leaders agreed to deepen existing regular strategic consultations on developments in East Asia, and decided to expand and intensify their strategic consultations to cover regional and global issues of mutual interest, including Central and West Asia.
The two sides committed to intensify consultation, cooperation and coordination to promote a stable, democratic, prosperous, and independent Afghanistan. President Obama appreciated India’s enormous contribution to Afghanistan’s development and welcomed enhanced Indian assistance that will help Afghanistan achieve self-sufficiency.
In addition to their own independent assistance programs in Afghanistan, the two sides resolved to pursue joint development projects with the Afghan Government in capacity building, agriculture and women’s empowerment.
They reiterated that success in Afghanistan and regional and global security require elimination of safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism and violent extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Condemning terrorism in all its forms, the two sides agreed that all terrorist networks, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, must be defeated and called for Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Building upon the Counter Terrorism Initiative signed in July 2010, the two leaders announced a new Homeland Security Dialogue between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security and agreed to further deepen operational cooperation, counter-terrorism technology transfers and capacity building.
The two leaders also emphasised the importance of close cooperation in combating terrorist financing and in protecting the international financial system.
In an increasingly inter-dependent world, the stability of, and access to, the air, sea, space, and cyberspace domains is vital for the security and economic prosperity of nations. Acknowledging their commitment to openness and responsible international conduct, and on the basis of their shared values, India and the United States have launched a dialogue to explore ways to work together, as well as with other countries, to develop a shared vision for these critical domains to promote peace, security and development.
The leaders reaffirmed the importance of maritime security, unimpeded commerce, and freedom of navigation, in accordance with relevant universally agreed principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and peaceful settlement of maritime disputes.
The transformation in India-U.S. defence cooperation in recent years has strengthened mutual understanding on regional peace and stability, enhanced both countries’ respective capacities to meet humanitarian and other challenges such as terrorism and piracy, and contributed to the development of the strategic partnership between India and the United States.
The two governments resolved to further strengthen defence cooperation, including through security dialogue, exercises, and promoting trade and collaboration in defence equipment and technology. President Obama welcomed India’s decision to purchase U.S. high-technology defence items, which reflects our strengthening bilateral defence relations and will contribute to creating jobs in the United States.
The two leaders affirmed that their countries’ common ideals, complementary strengths and a shared commitment to a world without nuclear weapons give them a responsibility to forge a strong partnership to lead global efforts for non-proliferation and universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament in the 21st century.
They affirmed the need for a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines. They support strengthening the six decade-old international norm of non-use of nuclear weapons.
They expressed a commitment to strengthen international cooperative activities that will reduce the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or material without reducing the rights of nations that play by the rules to harness the power of nuclear energy to advance their energy security.
The leaders reaffirmed their shared dedication to work together to realise the commitments outlined at the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit to achieve the goal of securing vulnerable nuclear materials in the next four years.
Both sides expressed deep concern regarding illicit nuclear trafficking and smuggling and resolved to strengthen international cooperative efforts to address these threats through the IAEA, Interpol and in the context of the Nuclear Security Summit Communiqué and Action Plan. The two sides welcomed the memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership being established by India.
Both sides expressed deep concern about the threat of biological terrorism and pledged to promote international efforts to ensure the safety and security of biological agents and toxins. They stressed the need to achieve full implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and expressed the hope for a successful BWC Review Conference in 2011.
The United States welcomed India’s destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Both countries affirmed their shared commitment to promoting the full and effective implementation of the CWC.
The two leaders expressed regret at the delay in starting negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for a multilateral, non-discriminatory and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the future production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
India reaffirmed its unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. The United States reaffirmed its testing moratorium and its commitment to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and bring it into force at an early date.
The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, and discussed the need for Iran to take constructive and immediate steps to meet its obligations to the IAEA and the UN Security Council.
Technology, innovation, and energy
Recognising that India and the United States should play a leadership role in promoting global non-proliferation objectives and their desire to expand high technology cooperation and trade, Prime Minister Singh and President Obama committed to work together to strengthen the global export control framework and further transform bilateral export control regulations and policies to realise the full potential of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Accordingly, the two leaders decided to take mutual steps to expand U.S.-India cooperation in civil space, defence, and other high-technology sectors. Commensurate with India’s non-proliferation record and commitment to abide by multilateral export control standards, these steps include the United States removing Indian entities from the U.S.
Department of Commerce’s “Entity List” and realignment of India in U.S. export control regulations.
In addition, the United States intends to support India’s full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, and Wassenaar Arrangement) in a phased manner, and to consult with regime members to encourage the evolution of regime membership criteria, consistent with maintaining the core principles of these regimes, as the Government of India takes steps towards the full adoption of the regimes’ export control requirements to reflect its prospective membership, with both processes moving forward together.
In the view of the United States, India should qualify for membership in the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement according to existing requirements once it imposes export controls over all items on these regimes’ control lists.
Both leaders reaffirmed the assurances provided in the letters exchanged in September 2004 and the End-Use Visit Arrangement, and determined that the two governments had reached an understanding to implement these initiatives consistent with their respective national export control laws and policies.
The Prime Minister and President committed to a strengthened and expanded dialogue on export control issues, through fora such as the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group, on aspects of capacity building, sharing of best practices, and outreach with industry.
The possibility of cooperation between the two nations in space, to advance scientific knowledge and human welfare, are without boundaries and limits. They commended their space scientists for launching new initiatives in climate and weather forecasting for agriculture, navigation, resource mapping, research and development, and capacity building.
They agreed to continuing discussions on and seek ways to collaborate on future lunar missions, international space station, human space flight and data sharing, and to reconvene the Civil Space Joint Working Group in early 2011.
They highlighted the just concluded Implementing Arrangement for enhanced monsoon forecasting that will begin to transmit detailed forecasts to farmers beginning with the 2011 monsoon rainy season as an important example of bilateral scientific cooperation advancing economic development, agriculture and food security.
The two leaders welcomed the completion of steps by the two governments for implementation of the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement. They reiterated their commitment to build strong India-U.S. civil nuclear energy cooperation through the participation of the U.S. nuclear energy firms in India on the basis of mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions that enable a viable tariff regime for electricity generated.
They noted that both countries had enacted domestic legislations and were also signatories to the Convention on Supplementary Compensation. They further noted that India intends to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation within the coming year and is committed to ensuring a level playing field for US companies seeking to enter the Indian nuclear energy sector, consistent with India’s national and international legal obligations.
India will continue to work with the companies. In this context, they welcomed the commencement of negotiations and dialogue between the Indian operator and U.S. nuclear energy companies, and expressed hope for early commencement of commercial cooperation in the civil nuclear energy sector in India, which will stimulate economic growth and sustainable development and generate employment in both countries.
Just as they have helped develop the knowledge economy, India and the United States resolved to strengthen their partnership in creating the green economy of the future.
To this end, both countries have undertaken joint research and deployment of clean energy resources, such as solar, advanced biofuels, shale gas, and smart grids.
The two leaders also welcomed the promotion of clean and energy efficient technologies through the bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) and expanded cooperation with the private sector. They welcomed the conclusion of a new MoU on assessment and exploration of shale gas and an agreement to establish a Joint Clean Energy Research Centre in India as important milestones in their rapidly growing clean energy cooperation.
The leaders discussed the importance of working bilaterally, through the Major Economies Forum (MEF), and in the context of the international climate change negotiations within the framework of the UNFCCC to meet the challenge of climate change.
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama reiterated the importance of a positive result for the current climate change negotiations at the forthcoming conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Mexico and affirmed their support for the Copenhagen Accord, which should contribute positively to a successful outcome in Cancun. To that end, the leaders welcomed enhanced cooperation in the area of climate adaptation and sustainable land use, and welcomed the new partnership between the United States and India on forestry programs and in weather forecasting.
Inclusive growth, mutual prosperity, and economic cooperation
The two leaders stressed that India and the United States, anchored in democracy and diversity, blessed with enormous enterprise and skill, and endowed with synergies drawn from India’s rapid growth and U.S. global economic leadership, have a natural partnership for enhancing mutual prosperity and stimulating global economic recovery and growth. They emphasise innovation not only as a tool for economic growth and global competitiveness, but also for social transformation and empowerment of people.
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama celebrated the recent growth in bilateral trade and investment, characterised by balanced and rapidly growing trade in goods and services. They noted positively that the United States is India’s largest trading partner in goods and services, and India is now among the fastest growing sources of foreign direct investment entering the United States. The two leaders agreed on steps to reduce trade barriers and protectionist measures and encourage research and innovation to create jobs and improve livelihoods in their countries.
They also welcomed expanding investment flow in both directions. They noted growing ties between U.S. and Indian firms and called for enhanced investment flows, including in India’s infrastructure sector, clean energy, energy efficiency, aviation and transportation, healthcare, food processing sector and education.
They welcomed the work of the U.S.-India CEO Forum to expand cooperation between the two countries, including in the areas of clean energy and infrastructure development. They also encouraged enhanced engagement by Indian and American small and medium-sized enterprises as a critical driver of our economic relationship. They looked forward to building on these developments to realise fully the enormous potential for trade and investment between the two countries.
Recognising the people-to-people dynamic behind trade and investment growth, they called for intensified consultations on social security issues at an appropriate time. The two leaders agreed to facilitate greater movement of professionals, investors and business travellers, students, and exchange visitors between their countries to enhance their economic and technological partnership.
To enhance growth globally, the Prime Minster and President highlighted both nations’ interests in an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda negotiations, and in having their negotiators accelerate and expand the scope of their substantive negotiations bilaterally and with other WTO members to accomplish this as soon as possible.
They agreed to work together in the G-20 to make progress on the broad range of issues on its agenda, including by encouraging actions consistent with achieving strong, balanced, and sustainable growth, strengthening financial system regulation, reforming the international financial institutions, enhancing energy security, resisting protectionism in all its forms, reducing barriers to trade and investment, and implementing the development action plans.
Building on the historic legacy of cooperation between the India and the United States during the Green Revolution, the leaders also decided to work together to develop, test, and replicate transformative technologies to extend food security as part of an Evergreen Revolution. Efforts will focus on providing farmers the means to improve agricultural productivity. Collaboration also will enhance agricultural value chain and strengthen market institutions to reduce post-harvest crop losses.
Affirming the importance of India-U.S. health cooperation, Prime Minister and the President celebrated the signing of an MoU creating a new Global Disease Detection Regional Centre in New Delhi, which will facilitate preparedness against threats to health such as pandemic influenza and other dangerous diseases.
Embracing the principles of democracy and opportunity, the leaders recognised that the full future potential of the partnership lies in the hands of the next generation in both countries. To help ensure that all members of that generation enjoy the benefits of higher education, the Prime Minister and the President agreed to convene an India-U.S. Higher Education Summit, chaired by senior officials from both countries in 2011, as part of a continued effort to strengthen educational opportunities.
They welcomed the progress made in implementing the Singh-Obama 21st Century Knowledge Initiative that is expanding links between faculties and institutions of the two countries and the expansion in the Nehru-Fulbright Programme for Scholars.
Noting that the ties of kinship and culture are an increasingly important dimension of India-U.S. relations, President Obama welcomed India’s decision to hold a Festival of India in Washington DC in 2011. Recognising the importance of preserving cultural heritage, both governments resolved to initiate discussions on how India and the United States could partner to prevent the illicit trafficking of both countries’ rich and unique cultural heritage.
A shared international partnership for democracy and development
Consistent with their commitments to open and responsive government, and harnessing the expertise and experience that the two countries have developed, the leaders launched a U.S.-India Open Government Dialogue that will, through public-private partnerships and use of new technologies and innovations, promote their shared goal of democratising access to information and energising civic engagement, support global initiatives in this area and share their expertise with other interested countries. This will build on India’s impressive achievements in this area in recent years and the commitments that the President made to advance an open government agenda at the United Nations General Assembly.
The President and Prime Minister also pledged to explore cooperation in support of efforts to strengthen elections organisation and management in other interested countries, including through sharing their expertise in this area.
Taking advantage of the global nature of their relationship, and recognising India’s vast development experience and historical research strengths, the two leaders pledged to work together, in addition to their independent programmes, to adapt shared innovations and technologies and use their expertise in capacity building to extend food security to interested countries, including in Africa, in consultation with host governments.
Prime Minister Singh and President Obama concluded that their meeting is a historic milestone as they seek to elevate the India-U.S. strategic partnership to a new level for the benefit of their nations and the entire mankind. President Obama thanked President Patil, Prime Minister Singh, and the people of India for their extraordinary warmth and hospitality during his visit. The two leaders looked forward to the next session of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in 2011.