Addressing the BRICS meet, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj underlined that multilateralism, international trade and rules based world order was facing “strong head-winds” and called for joint action by the BRICS nations against money laundering, terrorist-financing and de-radicalisation.
Ms Swaraj, who is on a five-day trip to South Africa, was attending BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers’ meeting.
“Our deliberations here will contribute towards enriching intra BRICS cooperation further,” Swaraj said adding India attaches importance to the role of BRICS in consolidating intra-BRICS cooperation and in international affairs.
Swaraj also called for joint action of the BRICS nations against challenges to long-term growth.
“Later addressing a press conference, Swaraj said the four nations discussed the need to further strengthen our cooperation in the areas of security and countering-terrorism.
“You are all aware of strong statement on counter terrorism which emerged from BRICS Summit in Xiamen. I am sure the deliberations we have had in today’s meeting will be further taken forward in the forthcoming BRICS Leaders’ Summit in Johannesburg next month,” she said.
“We are fully committed to contributing towards a successful Johannesburg BRICS Summit, which Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is keenly looking forward to,” Swaraj said.
She said BRICS brings together almost 42 per cent of global population, with impressive growth, investment and trade share.
“BRICS meetings are keenly watched world over and our decisions have profound impact globally. In today’s meeting we exchanged views on current issues of global significance in political, security, and economic spheres,” she said.
“Our meeting today takes place at a time when multilateralism, international trade, and rules based world order face strong head-winds,” Swaraj said.
“Though, the global growth has exhibited signs of recovery, the challenges to long-term growth continue to persist. Ensuring that the benefits of globalisation are shared widely remains a challenge,” she added.
“Prime Minister Modi had given a call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy for joint-action with a focus on money laundering, terrorist-finance, cyber-space and de-radicalization as our priorities,” Swaraj said.
“Our leaders have also called for making UN Counter Terrorism framework efficient and effective. We reiterate our commitment to implement our Leaders’ mandate on counter terrorism under South Africa’s BRICS Chairship,” she said.
The other foreign ministers attending the meeting were China’s Wang Yi, South Africa’s Lindiwe Sisulu, Brazil’s Marcos Bezerra Abbott Galvao and Russia’s Sergey Lavrov.
BRICS cooperation in strategic areas of security, counter-terrorism, UN reforms, peacekeeping, de-radicalisation, cyber security, energy security, global governance, and international and regional hot-spot issues are deliberated in detail during National Security Advisor’s meetings, she said.
“It is imperative now that the common ground reached in our NSAs meeting on setting up a BRICS Security Forum is implemented fully,” she said.
Swaraj said that India welcomes South Africa’s Summit theme devoted to Development in Africa in an inclusive manner. “We also welcome the focus on technology as the engine of future-growth and its significance for future generations and their employment prospects,” she added.
Swaraj will also chair a meeting of Foreign Ministers of IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), another bloc working to deepen coordination among the three countries on major global issues.
(With inputs from PTI)