Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the BRICS countries to hold accountable the state sponsors of terrorism, indirectly cornering Pakistan’s ally China at the twelfth BRICS summit.
In his opening remarks at the summit held virtually on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi said, “Terrorism is the biggest problem facing the world today. We must ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are also blamed, and this problem is dealt with in an organised manner.”
China, a member of BRICS (the group comprising five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has repeatedly shielded Pakistan from international censure at the United Nations Security Council, for sponsoring cross-border terrorism in India and Afghanistan.
Reiterating that India has been a firm supporter of multilateralism as a founding member of the UN, PM Modi said, “Even in Indian culture, the whole world is treated as one family, so it was natural for us to support an institution like UN. Our commitment to UN values has remained unshaken – India has lost the most valiant soldiers in peacekeeping operations. But today the multilateral system is going through a crisis.”
Both credibility and effectiveness of institutions of global governance are being questioned, he said adding that the main reason for this is that these did not change properly over time. These are still based on the 75-year-old world mentality and reality.
India believes reforms are very mandatory in the UN Security Council, he asserted. “We expect the support of our BRICS partners on this subject. Apart from the UN, many other international institutions are also not functioning as per current realities. Institutions like WTO, IMF, WHO should also improve,” he said.
Expressing his happiness over the finalisation of BRICS ‘Counter-Terrorism Strategy’ during the chairmanship of Russia, the Prime Minister said, it is an important achievement. “And India will pursue this task further during its presidency,” he added.
The theme of this year’s summit was ‘BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth’. Significant geo-strategic changes are taking place in the world, which will continue to have an impact on stability, security and growth, and BRICS will play an important role in these three areas, PM Modi predicted.
BRICS economies, Modi said, will play an important role in the post-Covid global recovery. “We have more than 42 per cent of the world’s population, and our countries are among the main engines of global economy. There is a lot of scope for increasing mutual trade between BRICS countries,” he said two days after the 10-member Asean bloc signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with its five FTA partners — Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
“Our mutual institutions and systems – such as BRICS Inter-Bank Cooperation Mechanism, New Development Bank, Contingent Reserve Arrangement and Customs Cooperation – can also make our contribution effective in global recovery,” he said.
Modi reiterated that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will serve humanity. India and South Africa have proposed to be exempted from Intellectual Property agreements relating to Covid-19 vaccine, treatment and investigation. “We hope that other BRICS countries will also support this,” he said.
During its BRICS chairmanship next year, India will work on enhancing BRICS collaboration in digital health and traditional medicine, Modi announced. India, he said, will try to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation in all the three pillars of BRICS, increase intra-BRICS solidarity and develop a solid institutional framework for this purpose. In 2021, 15 years of BRICS will be completed.